Visiting the design studio at Baume & Mercier in Geneva. Designer Sara Sandmeier is a member of the studio, she told me what it needs to be creative and how she creates a new watch.
Yesterday I met charming Sara in Geneva. I wanted to see the design studio where she works together with Baume & Mercier design director Alexandre Peraldi and two other colleagues. Sara arranged a little scenery for me to show the basic tools designers need and use when they start creating a new watch. But more important than that I was able to talk to Sara and listen what she had to say.
Do NOT miss this enchanting story!
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When it comes to the creation of appealing design the designers go through a more or less defined process. The guys from product marketing make the first briefings and define the direction where to go. In case of the new “Clifton” collection the focus was on an iconic Baume & Mercier watch of the 1950s. Oldskool!!! You know the definition of the word, don´t you? Derived from “old is kool” becoming “old’s kool” and then becoming “old skool”, meaning old is cool. The goal was to create a very, very classical round watch that would please a younger wealthy clientel.
As you can see I had a lot of fun taking photographs of the typical tools designers have and use and I pointed the lens of my camera at the historic 1950s Baume & Mercier watch and some of the new “Cliftons”.
What my photos show are technical sketches, dials, hands, prototype cases, leather samples, leather straps and first plastic 3D-mock-ups. They are produced with an expensive 3D-printer the designer feeds with his 3D-computer-models. Then it takes about four to five hours until the printer forms the 3D-case. Sara told me that it is essential to work as soon as possible with 3D-models to get a better feeling for dimensions, shapes and appearance of the watchcase.
You will, by the way, find a photo of such a printer at the end of my little photo-story and a huge test tube the design studio uses to collect and/or store old Baume & Mercier mock-ups.
To enlarge the photos to full size please click on them and then once again …