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Hello, I've been lurking these forums, and recently acquired a Baume & Mercier and wanted to know the experts' thoughts on its originality and details. It's solid 18k gold with black snail dial, which I haven't seen for these models (series 3922)--is this original? Judging by the movement pic I don't think it's a redone Chronograph Suisse, but goolging for this watch style with the black dial comes up empty.

Also, compared to similar vintages this one has a red chrono hand, which seems unusual. Outer blue markings have much less wear/fade than the inner brown. Still, I love the style, and figured it's a nice poor-man's alternative to the Girard Perregaux 4945. Case diameter w/o crowns is around 37-38mm.

Attached a couple pics.
baume-mercier-01.jpg baume-mercier-02.jpg baume-mercier-03.jpg
 

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I'm sorry, but I think that it is a redone Chronographe Suisse! My reasons:

1. Structurally, many features are those of a CS: movement held by a fat brass "base metal" ring to support it inside the case, lugs with nipples (or whatever you call them) akin to those of a CS watch, the correct cheapo (Landeron 148) movement for a CS

2. movement finissage is rather underwhelming for a more luxurious brand like Baume & Mercier. In case you are wondering: the engraved chrono bridge doesn't mean a thing - Landeron only put the generics (17 jewels, Swiss made,...) on their movements and leave the end user to apply extra writing so even the real ones have post hoc lettering, showing how easy it is to do that

3. we have had rather too many faked B&M chronographs here in the past!

Clearer pictures would help clinch (or disprove) this assessment. However, as it currently stands, I am fairly sure that I am correct.

Hartmut Richter
 

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I think the outer telemeter number ring has been re dialed at some point , not sure on black dial for these .

Whats the case ref number on the case back ?

Its a lovely looking piece ,the case looks in fairly good condition for the age , the movement pic needs to be angled straight on at the lens to see the cal and any numbers.

It could be a longines movement as Buame was the British importer of longines and I have read on the internet, they went on to be a big shareholder if the St Imier firm
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm sorry, but I think that it is a redone Chronographe Suisse! My reasons:

1. Structurally, many features are those of a CS: movement held by a fat brass "base metal" ring to support it inside the case, lugs with nipples (or whatever you call them) akin to those of a CS watch, the correct cheapo (Landeron 148) movement for a CS
2. movement finissage is rather underwhelming for a more luxurious brand like Baume & Mercier. In case you are wondering: the engraved chrono bridge doesn't mean a thing - Landeron only put the generics (17 jewels, Swiss made,...) on their movements and leave the end user to apply extra writing so even the real ones have post hoc lettering, showing how easy it is to do that
3. we have had rather too many faked B&M chronographs here in the past!

Clearer pictures would help clinch (or disprove) this assessment. However, as it currently stands, I am fairly sure that I am correct.

Hartmut Richter
I haven't seen a BM chronograph from this era that isn't a Landeron, as opposed to Venus, Lemania Valjoux etc. Could just mean they're all fake, but don't know enough about these watches, as I can't find any resource about BM chronos and what's "legit" for this era. Definitely LOTS of fakes on fleabay. As for movement finishing being underwhelming, same thing--I haven't seen one of these Landeron BMs with nice beveled edges, Côtes de Genève or the like. Post ad-hoc lettering, the lettering is gold inside, and the bridge doesn't look like a different replacement. Skittish about prying this back off myself, so just had the seller's angled pic. The back itself doesn't look wafer thin as some of the (other) CS watches.

If this is a Chronographe Suisse watch, is there a way to tell how flimsy the gold case is? I've heard they used sheet gold metal, I was tapping around looking for a hollow sound, but seems solid to me?



I think the outer telemeter number ring has been re dialed at some point , not sure on black dial for these .

Whats the case ref number on the case back ?
Thanks for the comments. I forgot to mention this is a Landeron 148, reference number is 3922 in the back. The caseback, case and typography is consistent with other ref 3922s that I've found on the net, such as this one:

https://omegaforums.net/threads/baume-mercier-solid-18k-yellow-gold-two-register-chronograph-from-the-1940s.5810/

Yeah I do think the outer telemetre ring is redone since it's so much more intact than the faded inner ring. I've found another movement/dial with the same coloring as mine:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BAUME-MERCIER-Mouvement-Chronographe-Telemetre/333255209763

A bad redial
I have a month to return this watch, so if you can point me to why it's a redial that'd be much appreciated.
 

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This would already be enough for me. Furthermore there are other imperfections on the external tracks.
In my opinion, obviously
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This would already be enough for me. Furthermore there are other imperfections on the external tracks.
In my opinion, obviously
I confess I'm not sure what you're pointing out--the red box areas are you looking at the indices? The arrows are you pointing at the circular grooves?
 

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From what I have read about Chronograph Suisse , they were made for the swiss tourist market cheaply ! they have really thin case backs that you can push your finger to indent it !!!

Most have not survived well, which is a shame as I think they are a decent looking vintage chrono and I wanted to buy one until I saw this.

Surely if there is a ref number can you contact B & M to see if they know anything ? I think there still going !

your case back looks different from the chronograph suisse that I have seen thicker . I hope someone on here can help you with more info as the watch looks good, if it was reasonable priced I would keep it !
 

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This would already be enough for me. Furthermore there are other imperfections on the external tracks.
In my opinion, obviously
I think what's being pointed out is an obvious absence of symmetry.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
From what I have read about Chronograph Suisse , they were made for the swiss tourist market cheaply ! they have really thin case backs that you can push your finger to indent it !!!

Surely if there is a ref number can you contact B & M to see if they know anything ? I think there still going !

your case back looks different from the chronograph suisse that I have seen thicker . I hope someone on here can help you with more info as the watch looks good, if it was reasonable priced I would keep it !
The problem I'm having is the lack of frame of reference of what's a "real" B&M 18k from the '40s... even the ones that look like original condition still have a similar case shape (incl brass movement ring), movement to this one. Maybe they're all fake? I did look for a watch with a ref. number and serial, and emailed B&M to see what they'll say. I did try pushing down on the lug to see if it'll dent easily, looks like that's not an issue thankfully. I got it for a bit over $700, purportedly serviced right before selling.

I think what's being pointed out is an obvious absence of symmetry.
Yeah I saw that too, seems like that's an issue with the indices "11" being physically closer. The 11 o'clock index is actually what bugs me the most. What's the issue then with the red arrows?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just got a response back from Baume & Mercier.

"First of all thank you very much for contacting us and apology for our belated response.

After consulting with our techinician, we think that your vintage watch is authentic by looking at your pictures and information."

Think that's good enough for me. Think I'll be keeping the watch then--also like the subtle Rose Gold hue.
 

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Congratulations! Good to know for reference purposes that B&M made watches like that - even with some resemblance to CS watches.

Hartmut Richter
 
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