For more than 180 years, Baume et Mercier has enjoyed an international reputation linked to an exceptional heritage. Over the decades, the company has successfully created iconic collections that combine design, elegance and fine watchmaking. Artful Swiss watchmaking that features many horological complications and, among them, the chronograph.
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In 1821, the word “chronograph” appeared for the first time when watchmaker Nicolas-Mathieu Rieussec used one of his inventions, the “seconds chronograph”, to time horse races. The patent was subsequently filed in 1822. The word chronograph comes from the Greek “kronos”, meaning time, and “gráphô”, to write. Here, it takes on its full meaning since the device works by depositing ink on a rotating dial to measure time intervals. It was in the twentieth century that the instrument saw its greatest evolution, notably with the first chronographs to feature automatic movements.
The chronograph as it is known today measures a short time precisely, to the nearest fifth or tenth of a second, independently of its primary function: To indicate the time. Equipped with an additional mechanism, it features a needle placed in its center, a second hand which makes it possible to count the number of revolutions. The chronograph starts, stops and resets according to the time lapse that the user wishes to calculate. But how? A simple press of a button activates the start, a second stops it, while a third brings the second hand back to the central position.
Thus, the chronograph is an essential timepiece which, beyond its classic watch attributes, also acts as a chronometer. However, it is not to be confused with the latter, which designates a high-precision watch that has obtained a very specific control certificate awarded by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
Created in 1973, the COSC has one mission: To measure and control the precision of watch movements in order to award them the official title of a certified chronometer. A true label of tradition, it guarantees the high precision, uniqueness and incomparable quality of Swiss chronographs and chronometers. A certified watch has undeniable added value, a precision that places it in the category of luxury timepieces. Among its collections, Baume et Mercier offers high performance watches focused on true engineering. Its iconics Clifton and Riviera collections includes COSC-certified models. Everything about this watch confers an immediate impression of precision. From the long “lancet” hands and the elegantly delineated hour markers to the white dial enhanced by a subtle cross design. The Maison's COSC models are recognizable at first glance thanks to this delicate central cross design. A classically inspired design that is reminiscent of the Maison's roots.