Despite its proximity to the bustling metropolis that is New York, the Hamptons is an area that prides itself on being elegantly laid back. As a playground for the elite of the East Coast, it’s a place that’s frequented by people who could definitely afford to take it slow and easy. That’s the kind of spirit that Baume & Mercier tried to capture with its Hampton collection, which debuted at the Salon International de la Haute Horologie (SIHH) 2009.
The Hampton collection itself made quite a statement, even for a designer watch, in the first few years after its birth in 1994. Its original rectangular case in steel was nothing short of revolutionary for the watchmaking industry and, for its 15th birthday, a whole new line of three Baume & Mercier watches was released to build on this groundbreaking aesthetic.
Most faithful to the original design is the Hampton Classic which combines the initial shape with more modern contours. It comes in several different flavors for men and women ranging from an open balance watch to a chronograph and even to designs with diamond-set bezels. But though only the finest materials were used in the production of these watches, the effort to remain classic and elegant is clearly visible.
The Hampton Manchette, meanwhile, is a little less classic and a lot more feminine. Its contemporary art shape gives one the impression that the design is strictly for the modern, more powerful woman who – as the diamonds on the bezel suggest – loves her luxury.
Weekend warriors will love the Hampton Magnum which gives an image that’s a little more casual but no less refined. The Magnum XXL for men looks rugged and powerful with the color combination provided by the black steel and red gold, while the alligator strap gives the idea of the tough outdoorsman. Ladies, meanwhile, will be attracted to the diamond-set bezel of the Magnum XL, which strikes a stark contrast against its tough-as-nails strap made of vulcanized rubber.
If there’s anything that the Hampton collection has in abundance (aside from diamonds and precious metals, of course), it’s personality. Each one of these luxury watches makes a clear yet careful statement about the person seen in it – just like the real Hamptons.