Friday, July 22, 2011

BAUME & MERCIER RETURNS TO THE HAMPTON

kee@fswmag.com
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My very first gold watch with gold bracelet and decorated with diamonds and sapphires was a Baume & Mercier Riviera. I wanted a Cartier, Rolex, Piaget, Harry Winston, Graff or Patek Philippe solid gold watch but Baume & Mercier was the only one I could afford. So this brand is rather special to me.
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Like they say, you never forget the first time you made love but sadly, I have! For the life of me, I really cannot recall with exactitude who was the lucky person I had fullscale sex with! So if you are reading this, contact me and put me out of this misery.
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Speaking of tragedy, even now I STILL don't have a solid gold Cartier, Rolex, Harry Winston, Graff or Patek Philippe solid gold watch! I do have 2 gold Piaget watches though plus dozens more of other brands but Cartier has always eluded me! But Buddha and Jesus have promised me I would have a diamond encrusted Cartier before I enter heaven so I shall be patient, not that I have a choice.
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Back to the Hamptons. For now till 2012, Baume & Mercier is basing its advertising blitz on The Hamptons which all jetsetters know is one of America's richest enclaves where white supremacy rules as most mansions were built decades ago and even from the 19th century when America first became rich. The effortless elegant, semi-rustic lifestyle is a world apart from New York which is at the opposite, bottom end of Long Island.
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This is the sort of life at The Hamptons where life is one long holiday
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The air and atmosphere at the Hamptons is one of unfettered luxury
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Even the wood takes on a special patina for Baume & Mercier's Capeland to repose on.
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This wraparound Linea is just the thing to strap round your wrist at the Hamptons
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The weather beaten sticks form the perfect foil for Baume & Mercier Linea watches
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Baume & Mercier Linea
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Baume & Mercier Capeland
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Baume & Mercier Capeland
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Baume & Mercier Capeland
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Baume & Mercier Linea
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This Linea allows interchangeable straps so you can wear a new watch anytime all the time
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My favorite Linea with diamonds
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This Linea is also OK

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Path to a private paradise
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No skyscrapers here!
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The rushes blow in the wind though there is no rush here once you arrive
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This is the type of mansions the Hamptonians call 'cottages'!
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And so ends another glorious day!
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This is the recreated Hamptons interior at Capella hotel in Singapore
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Jalil Kouch-Bordier lords over the dining hall
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There are no banana groves in the Hamptons so this is the tropical version!
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Kee Hua Chee enjoying the Hamptons lifestyle in Singapore's 6 star Capella hotel
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Kee Hua Chee and Jalil El Kouch-Bordier under the brolly
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Showing off our watches. My Baume & Mercier is a Riviera, named after the French playground fof the rich and titled Europeans which is even more highclass and glamorous than the Hamptons!
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My Baume & Mercier Riviera watch is a classic Riviera solid gold with sapphires and diamonds as I prefer gold bracelet hugging my skin rather than a dead cow or preserved reptile.
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Baume & Mercier's man for SE Asia and Australia holding court
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A private presentation upstairs
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A Baume & Mercier watch is always beautifully presented
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Like me, all Baume & Mercier watches should be handled with kid gloves
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Life is about moments measured by a Baume & Mercier or so Jalil tells me passionately
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Some buy the watch for the box
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The Linea collection is presented in the master bedroom of the Capella Residence
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This Linea watch is versatile as you can change the strap in 10 seconds flat
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The bathroom is the size of a Tokyo flat
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Like the Hamptonians, I only drink champagne and fruit juices
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Lounging elegantly is my forte
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Making women's life happy is one of my duties









The Hamptons actually refer to a cluster of well heeled villages in the suburbs of Southhampton and East Hampton on Long Island which is a marvellous drive from New York City. the Hamptons are popular seaside retreats for wealthy New Yorkers and a favoured summer colony and boasts some of the most expensive houses in USA.

Baume & Mercier has done a good job in choosing this seaside resort and even has a collection called Hamptons though ironically the new advertising campaign does not feature any new models from the Hamptons collection! Strange but true. You would think they would come up with a classy new set of Hampton watches since the location is the Hamptons itself! But I was not asked to handle Baume & Mercier advertising account so don't blame me.
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Alain Zimmerman, president and CEO of Baume & Mercier
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Jalil El Kouch-Bordier explaining a fine point to me
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Jalil is the Managing Director of Baume & Mercier for SE Asia and Australia










HOME BY THE HAMPTONS

Since 1830, watchmaker Baume & Mercier has been marking life’s most memorable moments for the well heeled bourgeois. Savvy marketers know sales are often dictated by a coherent advertising blitz that best reinforces their existing image or radically change their positioning.

As Baume & Mercier is one of those discreet, lowkey and upmarket markers, it has wisely gone for the ‘stealth wealth’ approach that cements its aura of quiet elegance and dependability. No one has ever spent RM 1 million on a Baume & Mercier regardless of how many diamonds as the average price ranges from RM 8,000 to RM 15,000.

Until spring 2012, Baume & Mercier’s advertising campaign has relocated to the Hamptons, enclave of New York’s rich and mighty. Ironically, almost all the Hampton mansions are holiday or second homes, rather reflective of the watch’s standing! It can be assumed the owners of such grand homes would consider Baume & Mercier a second watch to be worn on holidays or family gatherings while the bejewelled Cartier or Rolex are their main tickers!

As a Malaysian royal who used to own a home in the Hamptons noted, “It is fabulous to spend a few weeks or even months there but I wouldn’t want to live there permanently. New York is where you call home and Hamptons is your weekend retreat.”

Still, the Hamptons gels nicely with the Swiss watchmaker’s modus operandi. Says ????? , “We chose The Hamptons for the photo shoot for this campaign as it is a magical place that our buyers easily relate to. Its history is marked by artists and everyone knows such magnificent homes have witnessed generations of families have gathered there on vacation, during special occasions, for celebrations and during Christmas. Generation after generation, the families congregate at The Hamptons to mark special moments so there is a genuine echo of the history and identity of our brand.”

Alain Zimmerman, CEO of Baume & Mercier, reveals it is the natural, somewhat untamed beauty that appeals to him. “The name ‘Hamptons’ evoke images of the endless soft sand and pebbles that remind me of some of the shapes of our watches. And wood, which is everywhere, on the houses, benches, verandas, pontoons and piers. Wood is synonymous with the Hamptons. We used wooden planks we found onsite as the backdrop of our photo shoots as we wanted to be faithful to our concept but also it was impossible to find this same unforgettable grey patina anywhere else.

“To me, the Hamptons are a refuge for those who prefer genuine personal luxury over superficial trappings. These people have a confident but discreet style---an unmistakable correlation with the aesthetics of our watches!

“And don’t ever forget Baume & Mercier already has a longtime, iconic series called ‘Hampton’, named after this legendary place!”

Chirrups Francesco Carrozzini, nominated for Best Young Director at Cannes Film Festival and photographer for Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and New York magazine, “For once, shooting was a breeze and without a drop of stress. This carefree feeling was shared by the Baume & Mercier team, my assistants and the families involved.

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“I grew up in Tuscany and my earliest memories are of the beach. I was excited due to this link and the Hamptons has an extraordinary light reflected from the sand which I used to my advantage. Instead of photographer, I was more a spectator telling the story of what was happening in front of him.”

THE NEW COLLECTIONS

Linea; Beloved for its sensuous, soft curves, this ultra-stylish, feminine timepiece is equally at home by the beach or inside the boardroom. The new 2011 Linea is larger and boasts a redesigned bracelet that can be changed in 10 seconds or under!

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A historical Linea from the archives

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A historical Linea

Capeland; Athletic and bold, this man-centric series is rugged handsome and dashing. Inspired by a 1948 single push chronograph, the new Capeland showcases smooth contours that mimic wave-weathered stone while the striking two-tone dial offers a self-winding movement, flyback function, tachymeter and telemeter.

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Baume & Mercier Capeland


Classima; Like its name implies, this classy watch is a standby everywhere. The new Classima features high precision mechanical movement, dual time zone, power reserve and sapphire crystal caseback in 39 or 42 mm case.

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Baume & Mercier Classima

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Baume & Mercier Classima

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The back of a Classima

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The rotor back of a Classima


THE END