“Accept only perfection, only manufacture watches of the highest quality”. More than just a motto, this is a philosophy embedded in the DNA of Baume & Mercier since 1830. Profoundly attached to the Swiss Made label, the Maison produces all its watches in the Swiss Jura and adopts a deliberate historical approach – known as “établissage” – that has shaped its success. In contemporary language, this term refers to in-house mastery of the key stages of watch development, assembly, quality control and maintenance, and calls upon the finest watch specialists to produce its components. A pledge of quality, reliability and performance – and all at the fairest price. Close-up and personal with Baume & Mercier.
As one of the oldest Swiss watch Maisons, Baume & Mercier has been shining in the watch industry firmament for almost two centuries. Such longevity commands respect and the inevitable question comes to mind: what is the recipe behind this success? The key ingredient is undoubtedly expertise, continuously distilled with authentic passion. This perpetually enriched heritage features two other essential elements: rigorous discipline and carefully controlled movements. All enhanced with a timeless flavor.
B for Baume
The story begins in the mid-19th century in the Swiss Jura, with the creation of a family firm that developed rapidly. The two siblings Louis-Victor and Joseph-Célestin found themselves at the head of “Baume Frères” and set up a subsidiary company in London, before extending their watchmaking reach to encompass the entire British Empire. Their combined assets – notably commercial flair and rigorous industrial standards – helped spread the brand’s reputation across borders. Known for its classical watches, chronographs and grand complication models, it won a number of international prizes, particularly for the precision of its models. In the early 1920s, William Baume, representing the third generation of the watchmaking dynasty, associated with Paul Mercier in founding “Baume & Mercier” in Geneva, where the brand has its current headquarters. In this temple of luxury watchmaking, the Maison became one of the most active firms in the realm of wristwatches. Expressed through a blend of horological mastery and timeless elegance, the founders’ vision has lived on through a dedication to making high-quality watches incorporating the latest technological advances.
Epitomizing the very best
In almost 200 years, the watchword of the Baumes brothers has been scrupulously upheld and applied. One might almost imagine it echoing through the corridors of the Maison. This imperative demand for quality, matched by the fairest possible cost, is based on an historical artisan-style production method: établissage. The term carries echoes of the past, just as it should do! In the 19th century when the Baume family opened a watch dealership in the Swiss Jura, its watches were assembled from components made by specialized artisans, each dedicated to a specific part of the watch. Based on the établissage mode of operation, the Maison Baume handled the making of the finished product, and its subsequent sale. Much later, at the dawn of the 21st century, Baume & Mercier returned to its roots and set up its Ateliers Horlogers in Les Brenets, a village of its native Jura. Adopting a meticulously careful approach based on manual craftsmanship, the Maison thus revived the “Frères Baume” approach while incorporating all the assets of modern times. The “établissage 2.0” concept at Baume & Mercier – an original artisanal method applied to the modern era – is notably designed by in-house control of each stage involved in creating a watch: design, development, assembly and quality control. It also implies drawing on the know-how of the finest specialists when it comes to component production. The core of this organizational mode consists in scrupulous attention devoted to every detail, along with the patience and dexterity of passionately dedicated watchmakers with a sure, deft touch.
Swiss made, for ever and ever
Ever since its origins, Baume & Mercier has made its watches in Switzerland. In the course of its history, the quality, innovation and precision of its creations have earned it numerous distinctions, of which some have been patented. These stringent standards were rewarded in the 1920s by the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark, the highest certification of watchmaking craftsmanship. The demand for quality, a full-fledged corporate philosophy at Baume & Mercier, has been a constant characteristic right from the beginning. A fervent ambassador of the ‘Swiss made’ label, the Maison designs and develops its movements in its own design studio inside its Geneva headquarters. All of them are subsequently assembled and tested in its Ateliers Horlogers in Les Brenets, in the Swiss Jura. These light-filled, perfectly equipped workshops also handle after-sales service and restoration of vintage models.
A perfectly balanced identity
In the 1960s, Baume & Mercier adopted the Greek letter “Phi” as its visual identity. Now the brand logo, this “golden number” symbolizes finely balanced proportions. It lays the foundations of the archetypal aesthetic – the traditional round watch – as well as the ‘affordable luxury’ status of Baume & Mercier. Through its collections, the Maison offers both classically understated watches as well as chronographs with various useful functions. Women’s models enjoy a special place within this sphere of quality watchmaking at an affordable price. This close attention to their needs and wishes goes back a long way: in 1869, one of the Baume brothers gave his daughter a gold pocket watch; and between 1920 and 1940, the brand offered a number of modern and inventive feminine models, some of which are now legends. Today, two lines are exclusively dedicated to them: Promesse and Linea.
C for classic, and more besides…
Firmly rooted in the Baume & Mercier values, a mixed approach appealing to both men and women also characterizes the brand’s two flagship collections: Classima and Clifton. As its name implies, Classima – inspired by a 1965 ultra-thin automatic watch with a micro-rotor – comprises elegant and classical watches. Its range of sizes, materials, Swiss made mechanical and quartz movements, features a blend of understated elegance and technical refinement. Housing Swiss mechanical movements in both men’s and women’s timepieces, the Clifton range is intended for urbanites with a taste for Fine Watchmaking. Aesthetically speaking, the collection draws inspiration from a 1950s model, the epitome of traditional and artisanal watchmaking according to Baume & Mercier. In 2017, the new Clifton Club range marks a turning point in the history of Baume & Mercier, by reinterpreting the ultimate sports watch – one that accompanies urban, active and elegant men on every occasion.
Offering luxury watches embodying the full spectrum of Swiss expertise and featuring an excellent quality-price ratio: such is the enduring mission of Baume & Mercier, and a promise duly kept.
1. Artists designed and built eight race tracks for the film: Los Angeles International Speedway, Copper Canyon Speedway (Arizona), Heartland Motor Speedway (Iowa), Motor Speedway of the South, Thunder Hollow Dirt Track, Thomasville Speedway, Georgia Super Speedway, Florida International Super Speedway.
2. Lightning McQueen made his rookie debut in “Cars” in 2006; more than a decade has passed since he was a young superstar.
3. Artists, designers and technicians at Pixar Animation Studios were able to install 30,000 lights at the Florida Speedway for the final race of the film. They all work.
4. Artists created more than 80,000 storyboards during the production of the movie. Just 10,102 made it into the final sequences.
5. Junior Johnson, NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s who inspired “Cars 3” character Junior “Midnight” Moon, won 50 NASCAR races before retiring in 1966.
- “Cars” (2006) and “Cars 2” (2011) took in more than $1 billion in combined worldwide box office.
- “Cars” won a Golden Globe® for best animated feature film and two Annie Awards for best animated feature and best music in an animated feature production. Composer Randy Newman won a Grammy® for best song written for motion picture, television or other visual media (“Our Town”). The film was nominated for an Oscar® for best animated feature film, as well as best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song (“Our Town”).
- “Cars 2” was nominated for a Golden Globe® for best animated feature film, in addition to a host of other industry nominations.
Dubai, EditorInChief, Fijian, GirlBoss, Head of PR, Islander, LuxuryLifestyle, LuxuryLifestyleBlogger, Marketing, Media, MillionaireLifestyle, PrProfessional, Publicist, Shereen Shabnam, TechWrite, UAEmedia, UAE_PR, Writer
Women in media and creative industries are excelling in their industries and at the helm of the industry in Dubai is the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Dubai Media Incorporated.
Sara Al Sayegh is a young and dynamic professional who is a role model to young women interested to have a career in communications and media. Below are some insights from Sara on what makes her successful in her field and what her job entails.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into Media & Marketing and your present role at DMI?
I have long had a passion for media and marketing, which started whilst studying Marketing and Communication at the American University of Sharjah. My Father is a very established and respected financial advisor and banker who wanted me to pursue a career in the financial sector. However I found myself drawn to the media world, due to a fascination and interest in the sector. This great love for the industry led me to start my career at the Marketing Department at Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) in 2004, only a few months after its official inception.
I now have 16 years of combined academic and enriching practical experience across the media field. I feel very blessed to have fulfilled my passion through the launch of some of the greatest and most exciting media brands and channels in the Middle East.
All of this has brought me to today’s point, as Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI). This role affords me the opportunity to enjoy working on a series of strategic and operational aspects, which relate to growing and developing the range of brands and channels that was launched over a decade ago. I am now leading all of these aspects of the organisation through a whole new phase of media evolution, the digital era.
What inspires you most and what keeps you inspired?
On a personal and professional level I aspire to be an active part of the ongoing evolution of Dubai, both the city and the brand. This is an exciting time for both of these elements, with the Emirate soon to welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai.
Expo 2020 Dubai is just one example of a bigger than life idea and it is these kind of grand ideas and concepts that truly inspire me. We are fortunate in Dubai to be part of one of the largest and most momentous city projects in the world, and I am thankful to have been provided with the opportunity to be involved in some of the exciting plans and projects such as those I have worked on with DMI. The team I work with to deliver these projects keeps me inspired through their strength, creativity and dedication, and our collective efforts are the key driver behind the success of the organisation’s brand. The projects we work on together are what get me out of bed in the morning, and planning, managing and executing a good campaign provides me with a great deal of satisfaction and keeps me going.
Is there a specific area that you focus on at DMI?
My role at DMI comprises of a broad range of activities, and on a day-to-day basis I formulate and execute the research, marketing and commercial strategies of the network. The research component is fundamental to our business, as what we find in each research project provides us with the information we need to create carefully targeted campaigns, which is crucial to distinguish us within an increasingly crowded media and broadcasting landscape.
I’m a big believer of the power of tailor-made research as it helps in setting a solid fact-based foundation for our business, marketing and commercial initiatives. This component of DMI’s work is front and central to the organisation’s overarching strategy, and it affords me the opportunity to work in partnership with a number of different departments all across the network. All of these different aspects make my work extremely challenging and fascinating. I have a great deal of passion for what I do.
Which is your favourite piece of content/work (both within DMI and outside), something that you take great pride in, and why?
It is actually impossible to choose a favourite, as each launch and event has its own story and distinct personality. We take great pride and joy in every project we do and treat each piece of work as if it is our one and only, giving it all the love and attention it needs. This dedicated, tailored approach is what makes each of our projects a stand out success. Our team’s hard work has paid off significantly and I am proud of the contribution it has made to where we are today, with exciting projects ahead of us and a string of memorable success stories behind us.
Externally I would choose the successful global Expo 2020 Dubai bid. Even to be involved with the bid was an honour and a positive and challenging process, however winning the bid was a whole other level. Not least because of the considerable positive effects this significant event will produce for our country.
What do you see are the biggest challenges that traditional broadcasters per se face given the current context of content generation and new media invasion?
The technological revolution which has swept the globe has had a hugely significant impact primarily on how people engage with media – you can see from your own usage how this has become a lot more active rather than passive following consumer empowerment. Modern technology has provided consumers with advanced and easy to operate tools including state-of-the-art media software and applications, which have had the effect of altering media habits.
In turn, at DMI we dedicate a lot of resources towards conducting research into how customers use digital platforms and research in general; media organisations such as ours require reliable information on how these platforms are used. Although such materials are widely available, the tracking data in this respect tends to be unregulated and has a questionable level of credibility.
I believe that the good news is that an overly saturated media market provides an opportunity for experienced broadcasters, who have the tools and the know-how to provide their viewers with what they want, considering the unique and diverse mix of cultures in Dubai.
As a broadcaster in an extremely segmented market like the UAE, what do reckon are your biggest marketing, branding & content related challenges and how are you going about addressing them?
The modern media landscape is constantly evolving and changing, with new technologies coming in leaps and bounds. DMI works in tandem with these technologies, employing digital, social media and advanced interactive platforms to reach its audience where they consume media.
This new media utilises segmented and on-demand content, personalised to what the viewer wants and prefers to watch. Customers’ smart devices are having an increasingly significant impact on the viewer experience and are creating what we are now calling ‘smart viewing’, where users can watch at their leisure and their convenience, even extending to advanced media such as virtual reality. Furthermore, ‘Geomapping’ technologies undertake careful study of viewer information, to learn about target audiences with a view to creating content that is tailored to their preferences.
Do you see Dubai/UAE becoming a hub for Television content conceptualisation and production?
From what I can see this is already happening – Dubai has long been an innovative media centre and has created whole zones which are dedicated to different media. These include hubs scattered across the city such as Dubai Media City, Studio City and International Media Production Zone.
Through the combined efforts of all of these different zones, Dubai is positioning itself as the new capital of media production in the MENA region. The UAE has for many years been a regional and global media innovator and our organisation has been a fundamental part of this. Much of our work is based out of the Emirate’s specialist media zones, along with many of our partners. From a personal perspective I am proud to be a part of this wave, and I believe that much of the groundwork that has already been laid in the Emirate’s media development will soon bear fruit with output of increased regional and global significance.
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