Baume & Mercier Goes Art Deco with New Watches in the Hampton Collection

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The Reverso by Jaeger-LeCoultre is a classic and truly iconic watch, and it’s lusted after by many. It has a great story and history, a classic design, flipping the case around hearing it click satisfyingly into place on the opposite side is downright addictive for those among us who are obsessed with getting tactile feedback from their watch. But the cost of entry to a Reverso is prohibitive for some, so what is one to do if you simply must have a classic rectangular cased watch with Art Deco flair on a budget? Baume & Mercier just announced an appealing alternative.


Baume & Mercier Hampton Automatic

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: White
  • Dimensions:  43 x 27.5mm (M0A10522), 48 x 31mm (M0A10528)
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters  
  • Crown: Push/pull                       
  • Movement: ETA 2671 (M0A10522), ETA 2895 (M0A10528)
  • Strap/bracelet: Alligator leather
  • Price: CHF 2,200 (M0A10522), CHF 2,400 (M0A10528)
  • Reference Number: M0A10522, M0A10528
  • Expected Release: Available now 

Baume & Mercier Hampton Big Date Dual Time

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: White
  • Dimensions: 48 x 31mm 
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters  
  • Crown: Push/pull                       
  • Movement: Soprod TT651
  • Strap/bracelet: Alligator leather
  • Price: CHF 3,650
  • Reference Number: M0A10523
  • Expected Release: Available now

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While I generally steer away from the “can’t afford that, so get this” line of thinking (personal experience here: it just leads to wanting that even more) the new Hampton series announced by Baume & Mercier at Watches & Wonders could serve as a satisfying alternative to a collector who wants some of the look and feel of the Reverso but is just not willing to drop the roughly $6,000 it would take to break into that particular collection (for a Reverso in JLC’s “Medium” size). The Hampton offers a similar rectangular case with Art Deco inspiration for a little over $2,000, and you can spend about $1,000 more if you choose to and get one with a big date and dual time complication. Now, you won’t get an in-house movement at this price point, but the value proposition for something with such a striking design is real. 

And while Baume & Mercier is part of the same corporate family as JLC (and, for that matter, Cartier, who of course produce an iconic rectangular watch of their own), the Hampton shouldn’t be seen as an homage or downmarket alternative. This line has been around for decades, and Baume & Mercier has a long history of creating watches with shaped cases that goes back to the 1920s and the peak of the Deco period. The Hampton has always been a way for the brand to reference this style of watchmaking, long before the current craze for anything vintage inspired. 

The larger version of the Hampton Automatic

The three new watches in the Hampton collection seen here run the gamut from discreet and time only to more prominent modern sizes with the aforementioned complications. The Hampton Automatic is available in two sizes, the larger of which features a subsidiary seconds and date window at 6:00. The Hampton Big Date Dual Time comes as advertised with an indicator for a second time zone, and a date spread across two windows at the top of the dial. 

Across all the models, dials feature multiple finishes with applied markers and an overall muted, monochromatic color palette. The cases are more complex than they appear at first glance, with sharp angles at the lugs that give these watches some geometric interest and likely hide their size a bit on the wrist (the larger Hampton Automatic and the Hampton Big Date Dual Time are both 48mm from top to bottom, which on a square watch could wear larger than expected for some). 

At a time when sports watches on metal bracelets are still all the rage (we’re even heading into summer, which is peak dive watch season, if there is such a thing), a series of watches that have style roots in the 1920s feels something like counterprogramming, and for a collector after something a little outside the norm who digs that Tank or Reverso look but wants a watch from a strong Swiss brand, these new Hamptons could check the right boxes.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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