Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.
Two years ago, Richemont unveiled Baume, a new manufacturer of entry-level watches aimed squarely at those who aren’t quite ready to pay IWC- or JLC-like money for a Swiss watch. Touting an ethos based upon sustainability, Baume’s timepieces feature materials such as recycled plastic, linen and cork in their strap designs.
Now, Baume is partnering with French ski brand Zag on the Limited Edition II, a watch made from excess natural wood and carbon from the production of Zag skis and powered by an automatic Japanese Miyota movement. The LE II ships with two interchangeable straps: one white with cork linking and blue stitching made from recycled PET — which is found in plastic bottles fished from the ocean — and one blue with cork lining and yellow stitching.
Baume’s watches feature aesthetics that one can only imagine are polarizing: with their 12 o’clock-positioned crowns and wire lugs, their pocket watch/trench watch/early wristwatch inspiration is palpable (if distant). It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that younger watch buyers may not identify with Baume’s overall look, while perhaps a more seasoned crowd would find the aesthetic either A) clever or B) refreshing. Of course, Baume is far from the only brand with this aesthetic, and a simple search for watches with 12 o’clock crowns reveals timepieces both old and new that utilize this form factor.
If the Baume aesthetic is your thing, however — and we have to say that the LE II’s partially skeletonized dial, regulator layout, and white-on-cork colorway are all pretty cool — you can pick one up for $1,350. The LE II is a limited edition of 100 pieces, and a portion of sales will be donated to ProtectOurWinters, a non-profit whose mission is to “turn outdoor enthusiasts into climate advocates.”
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