In 1830 the Baume family opened one of the first comptoirs horlogers (watch shops) in the Swiss Jura region in the village of Les Bois. “Frères Baume” soon became a major watch company, thanks to the commercial flair and rigorous industrial methods of the two brothers, Louis-Victor and Joseph-Célestin Baume, who strictly followed their motto: “Accept only perfection. Only manufacture watches of the highest quality.”
From the beginning, the objective of the “Frères Baume” company was to make high-quality traditional watches enriched by various technological breakthroughs of the era. The Baume family were equally innovative commercially, when one of the two brothers, Joseph-Célestin, set up a branch in London named “Baume Brothers”. Baume Brothers rapidly expanded throughout the British Empire, from India through Singapore and Burma to Africa, and even became a pioneer in selling watches in emerging markets such as Australia and New Zealand.
By 1876, when the second generation took over, “Frères Baume” had already acquired a solid international reputation for its simple watches, chronographs and Grand Complication models, including minute repeaters, calendars and tourbillons. The company management was again shared by two brothers, sons of the co-founder, Louis-Victor. Alcide Baume was in charge of production in Les Bois, while Arthur Baume was based in London and handled international marketing. The company soon set up branches in Geneva, Switzerland and Philadelphia, in the United States.
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