Rectangular Baume & Mercier Hampton watches are certainly a considered choice over more conventionally shaped ones, but the form is a classic going back to their heyday in the early to mid-20th century. Of the contemporary choices out there today, Baume & Mercier have one of the most elegant case profiles in their Hampton line-up. Their gently angled lug edges and variety of case sizes and aesthetics bring a wealth of choices to a wide spectrum of wrists, and Baume & Mercier Hampton watches has just released three new variants, adding to an already deep Hampton catalogue. Let’s dive into what’s new for Baume & Mercier’s Hampton line-up for 2023. First off, we have the midsized Reference 10732, which fully embraces the timeless blue dial/stainless-cased look. The clean lines are pure Art Deco, with a streamlined, fully polished look that recalls classic timepieces. Case dimensions are a just-right 43mm x 27.5mm, which should fit nicely on an average-sized wrist. Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 are complemented by the bursting pattern of the remaining indices, a handsome design that works as well today as it did in the past. Bonus: there’s no date window to clutter the clean dial design. The striking opaline dial in intense blue has a unique pattern that teases a range of reflections out of the surrounding light. There’s a sunray effect radiating from the portion of the dial inside the indices that provides a compelling contrast to the outer dial, bringing added dimension. Around back, you’ll find a porthole window displaying the BM 72671 auto winding movement, which is based on the ETA 2671. It’s got 25 jewels, a beat rate of 28,800 VpH, and a 38-hour power reserve. The movement is nicely, if simply decorated, and the case has a 50 metre water resistance rating. The matching blue strap is alligator, and features a folding clasp and tool-less strap swapping. Searching for a more neutral look that goes with virtually anything? The opaline white dial of the 10740 has you covered, and this model comes with a sleek bracelet as standard. The midsized case matches the dimensions of the 10732, 43 x 27.5mm, so it’s truly a unisex size. The dial is a shimmering silvery-white, with a fine grey minute track and a similar texture to the blue dial. The rhodium-plated markers also follow the same form, with Arabics at 12 and 6 and stick indices radiating from the centre. The model is a two-hander, powered by a Swiss quartz movement, for set-it-and-forget-it convenience. The stainless three-link bracelet is fully satin finished for a softer feel, and secures with a pushbutton three-fold clasp. If you’re seeking a Hampton with a bit extra, the diamond-set 10709 is your ticket to the ball. A more delicate size at 34.9 x 22.2mm, it’s just under 7mm thin, for a trim and elegant profile. The case is set with 28 VS-quality brilliant cut diamonds, which flank the sides, drawing you into the midnight blue of the dial. Dial finishing is a sunray similar to the 10732’s, with the addition of twin diamonds at both 12 and 6 in place of the Arabic indices. In a subtle tip of the hat, the crown is set with a synthetic blue cabochon, for a touch of added refinement. The movement is Swiss quartz, and the blue alligator strap may be changed without tools. The watch is glamorous yet tasteful, and works with tailored casual looks, along with more formal ones.
The Baume & Mercier Hampton watches series channels the design language present in the 1920’s Art Deco era. The rectangular case features subtle curves and rounded edges that are meant to play with the way light reflects off the case. There’s a display caseback that allows a view of the automatic movement inside, and due to the nature of the case shape, it’s secured by four screws.