Originally founded in 1830 in Les Bois, Switzerland, Baume and Mercier Classima Chronograph took its current name in 1918 under the leadership of William Baume and Paul Mercier in Geneva. Now a member of the Richemont group, the manufacture is known for its Clifton, Classima, Capeland, and Hampton lines, most of which fall into the mid-range price category.
Thinking of purchasing an expensive watch? DO NOT purchase a Baume & Mercier watch, no matter how good you think it looks.
I made this mistake a few years ago and purchased one of their watches. Unfortunately, because of an eye problem, the watch spent its life in its box, unused due to its small face. However, I recently took it to one of their agents as the battery needed replacing. I was quoted £60 to replace the battery.
I paid the money and off my Baume and Mercier Classima Chronograph went. Many weeks later I received a call. My watch needed to be serviced and it would cost me an extra £230! They wanted to replace the hands. Nice little earner to bump up profits! I would add here that it is a quartz watch (not mechanical); nothing much to go wrong really.
Well, I did not want my watch repaired as it was working perfectly well before the battery expired. I declined the service and was informed, no extra £230, no battery! Yes, Baume & Mercier will not replace your batteries unless you bow to their, what amounts to, blackmail. When the watch was submitted to Baume & Mercier it was in immaculate condition. When I received it back in a plastic bag it was in an awful condition with prints/smudges and the like all over it.
Once you pay hundreds of Pounds for your watch, be under no illusion that you actually “own” your watch. You do not. Baume & Mercier reserve the right to dictate to you exactly what you do and how you treat your watch for its lifetime.
I should add that I own several watches: Breitling (mechanical), Bremont, Bell & Ross, etc and not one of these watchmakers has insisted on servicing when they have had to replace the battery. I think that says it all.
The only word I can think of for this company is Disreputable. If customers do not have the right to refuse overpriced unnecessary repairs, then all you have purchased in the first place is a piece of junk.
Unfortunately Baume and Mercier Classima Chronograph are no different to most other premium watch companies. Most of them take a similar stance when watches are returned to the for various reasons. I collect watches and have 4 Baume & Mercier,s along with Omega and Rolex watches. I have found that Baume & Mercier watches are of a very high quality and on par with other premiums brands. In fact the movements they use can be found in watches from other premium companies costing many thousands more. All my watches are mechanical autos, as I do not like quartz watches, but even quartz watches need to be serviced regularly if they are to be kept running properly. I suggest that instead of sending your watches back to the makers, is that you find yourself a good qualified watchmaker as they will normally be much more cost effective and do the same service requirements as the original watch company.
I hear what you say. However, I did not expect to send off a watch in immaculate condition only to have it returned with scratches, prints and smudges in a plastic bag.
And, yes, I have since managed to have the battery replaced. Suffice it to say, my watch was returned by the second watchmaker in a far better condition than Baume & Mercier returned it, with no extra scratches being found.