WHAT’S a watch to a businessman? “Well, a timepiece is a man’s accessory besides for keeping time,” says Fabrice Poch, Baume & Mercier managing director, Asia Pacific. “I love watches and they are my only accessories,” he quips.
If he can afford it, on the average, Poch reckons a man may fancy having “four to five watches” to change according to wardrobe or occasion.
A collector, Poch has 30 watches (from different brands) so far. He acquired them as he was “attracted to the designs and technicalities of the watches.”
Some watches fit every occasion (or can be worn every other day), while others (the pricier ones) are best reserved for special functions.
“Certain watches may be ‘fragile’ or inappropriate for certain events and one doesn’t want to appear overdressed,” says the suave and charming Poch.
Watches can be someone’s status symbol or even be regarded as “a feel good factor”. For the young executive on the go, a stylish watch that keeps dual time helps him keep track of time in different parts of the world.
Swiss watchmaking house Baume & Mercier’s new Business Class collection says a lot about its owners.
Poch says: “The collection is targeted at young executives or frequent travellers who wish to stay in touch with a sense of style and functionality.”
The collection’s product lines – Classima Executives, Hampton Classic Square and Riviera – have models which offer two time zone options or dual time function.
“In the watchmaking world, dual time function is a small complication. It’s not just a simple movement but one that incorporates more than one function – whether it’s an alarm, a dual time (or GMT) function or open-dial function,” says Poch. Such features, he insists, are “not technically easy and require research”.
The Business Class collection, touted as “a connoisseur’s collection,” has fine features such as guilloche dials, blued steel hands, an open view of the balance and power reserve as well as sapphire crystal apertures. Enthusiasts of fine watchmaking are greeted by a myriad of functions and embellishments.
Classima Executives watches represent the excellence of the classic round watch, Hampton Classic Square features square shape case, whilst the Riviera line, a brand icon since 1973, retained its original aesthetic features and 12-sided watch case.
Classima Executives and Hampton Classic Square come with alligator skin straps (black or dark brown) while Riviera features a steel bracelet.
“In this part of the world (hot climate), people favour steel bracelet which is waterproof and resistant to humidity. However, those who prefer leather straps feel that it’s nice to wear, more elegant and refined,” says Poch.
The Classima Executives L (MOA08700) makes a powerful impact with two crowns: one at 2 o’clock for setting the time, date and dual time function, and one at 4 o’clock for setting the alarm. Its rust-coloured dual time numerals and hand match the dark brown alligator skin strap.
The Classima Executives L (M0A08693) has a thin, classic, round case (39mm) and each dial displays a central guilloche decor, a second time zone counter and blued steel hands.
Classic and thoroughbred – that sums up the Classima Executives XL (MOA08689). It is “classic in appearance” with its round case, guilloche finish and dial aperture to view its automatic movement and “thoroughbred in personality” with its black dial and black alligator skin strap.
Response is good for the business collection. When launched in Geneva in April. “Retailers like the designs and the prices,” Poch said.
Ever attentive to its female clientele, Baume & Mercier also have designs to meet the needs of working women who have their own distinctive style of refinement.
Two models offered are the Hampton Milleis and the Diamant, set with diamonds and sporting a pink alligator strap.
Hampton Milleis S set-steel on leather (MOA08683) has quartz movement, cambered rectangular small size case in polished steel set with 28 diamonds. It has mother-of-pearl dial with applique Arabic numerals, indexes and a Phi symbol. It comes with a shiny pink alligator strap with square scales and triple folding clasp.
Diamant set-steel on steel (MOA08667) features quartz movement, and small size case in polished steel set with 14 diamonds.
It has a mother-of-pearl dial with applique Arabic numerals, indexes and phi. It has a shiny pink alligator strap with square scales and pink buckle.
Watches in the Business Class collection range from RM9,000 to RM12,000, says Jalil Elkouch-Bordier, general manager of Baume & Mercier (Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia).
Malaysia is the sixth biggest market in Asia Pacific for the brand after Hong Kong, China, Australia, Singapore and South Korea.