challenge the boundaries of design

August 2019 – Geneva, Switzerland

By accelerating change through innovation and collaboration, we will help to ask questions to aid generations to come

If actions speak louder than words, BAUME has proven more than once its commitment to challenge the status quo of watchmaking and to re-imagine its academic and industry practice. Since January, we have partnered with Central Saint Martins, a world-renowned arts and design college, to explore innovative solutions that would reduce dependency on conventional materials and preserve the Earth’s natural resources. Central Saint Martins is the creative home of many change makers – such as Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen,  M.I.A and the late Alexander McQueen. The London college nurtures a community of students, graduates, and academic staff whose work is at the forefront of innovation.


Running for 3 months, BAUME sponsors 22 Student Projects from the Material Futures MA course on various topics like retail experience, client experience, strap materials and other components materials. This collaboration allows us to develop materials and technologies that sit in between craft and innovation, ultimately pushing boundaries and building new initiatives respectful towards the planet. As designers, it is our responsibility to look beyond the final crafting of an object but to equally consider how we can design and engineer more circular, ethical and more sustainable material and processes to better anticipate and prepare for the global challenges of the next century.

Kieren Jones, Course Leader of Material Futures MA

Metal and precious watch components are extremely durable and widely used in luxury watchmaking, but they require a high level of energy. Students are exploring the potential of working with living materials, technologies and systems such as synthetic biology. The processes and techniques used to create the new material and final watch part will also be taken into consideration, as they should be sympathetic to both the environment and the communities who source and create them. “We do not only want to see original material innovation, but also a sense of craftsmanship, originality in design as well as sense of quality that is evident in BAUME’s watch current materials,” explains Philipp Bolthausen, Art Director at BAUME. The partnership empowers students to think differently and look at the very forefront of material innovation and science, to ultimately develop entirely new manufacturing systems and man-made materials that could be both luxurious and as durable as the conventional watch.

Words by Alice APPERT

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