Baume & Mercier Unviels Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary

by Sameera Gamage

This is the second timepiece from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based on Pierre Soulages master artwork!

Baume & Mercier has revealed their second timepiece dedicated to Pierre Soulages artwork. This unique timepiece is a faithful representation of the artist and expresses the strength and beauty of the poignant legacy that he left behind. The “Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary” timepiece references the artwork from Pierre Soulages, inparticular the painting  Peinture 324 x 362 cm, 1986, Polyptyque I Edition from the series Outrenoirs.

Back in 2023, Baume & Mercier sought out the Musée Soulages, a Modern art museum in Rodez, France, that carries the work of Pierre Soulages. Back in 2005, the famed artist donated up to 250 artworks and 250 documents to the urban community of Greater Rodez. The Musée Soulages was founded based on this act to carry the artist’s master creations.

The late Pierre Soulages, extraordinaire artist behind the Peinture 324 x 362 cm, 1986, Polyptyque I Edition.

“Pierre Soulages is connected with Baume & Mercier on many levels: humanistic and artistic, cordial and technical, and through the museum and timepieces that bear his name.  The first “Hampton Hommage à Pierre Soulages” timepiece, released in February 2022, was a testimonial to Baume & Mercier’s admiration for the great artist Pierre Soulages.  

The second watch that we dedicate to him, which we are revealing today, represents the materialization of our dream: the creative embodiment of our connection. This one is inspired by our first encounter with the artist in person, in June 2021, when Pierre Soulages and his wife Colette invited us to their villa in Sète.

It was at the precise moment when he suggested that we place a delicate touch of gold on each of the watch hands that we understood the extent to which he wanted to help us consider the design of the first watch, as well as those to come.” 

David Chaumet, CE of Baume & Mercier.

The latest timepiece from Baume & Mercier, “Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary”, is dedicated to this special encounter, with the Swiss brand delighted to be able to create a timepiece in his name, especially with the watch displaying the artist’s bold personality. The watch is also a dedication to the Musée Soulages 10th anniversary.

The inspiration behind the dial of this timepiece is, as mentioned earlier, Pierre Soulage’s Polyptyque I Edition artwork. At the start of 1979, Pierre Soulages did his canvas paintings entirely in black. Some of his works were achieved by layering different textures of black by applying them with different tools and brushes to showcase different effects, such as shiny, matte, powdery dull, slick, striated, polished, and even sharp-edged effects.

 Peinture 324 x 362 cm, 1986, Polyptyque I Edition.

The Noir-Lumière series was named Outrenoir in 1989. The painting that inspired the dial of this watch is part of that series. Peinture 324 x 362 cm, 1986, Polyptyque I is an oil on canvas measuring 324 x 362 cm: a gigantic polyptych made up of four overlapping elements, each measuring 81 x 362 cm. It hangs at Musée Soulages in Rodez.

Baume & Mercier on the inspiration behind the dial

The artistic dial is encased in a streamlined rectangular case that stems from Baume & Mercier’s Hampton Collection. This 48mm x 31mm x 10.5mm thick rectangular case is made from DLC steel, which is sandblasted and then coated with hydrogenated amorphous carbon ions through plasma-assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD) in a thickness of 2 microns, which ultimately gives a hardness of 6000 Vickers. For reference, 304 stainless steel has a hardness of 170 Vickers!

The all-new Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary.

The all-black case plays its part perfectly in blending in and not taking the attention away from Pierre Soulage’s artwork that is presented on the dial. To match this overall aesthetic nicely, Baume & Mercier has also given this timepiece a cellulose strap that has been lined with apple leather. The deep black colour of the strap not only completes the all-black appearance of the timepiece, but the detail of the textured strap also matches perfectly with the different textures presented on the dial.

Baume & Mercier states that the creation of the artistic dial was a considerable technical and aesthetic challenge. One that required the use of innovative 3D printing to achieve the full effect of the masterpiece. To faithfully reproduce the Polyptyque I Edition, a painting that spans 324 x 362 cm, onto the dial of the “Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary” with a thickness of just 10mm is an extraordinary effort that requires a high level of technical skill. Along with the Baume & Mercier team, Pierre Soulage was also certainly moved by this project, as he personally expressed his wishes for it.

Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary.

Baume & Mercier has made use of laser-cut brass and Levant stone to create a soft matte appearance on the dial. The brand states that “using electrolysis makes it possible to plate the dial with colour in a thickness of just 0.2 microns. A coat of semi-matte protective glaze with a thickness of 10 microns is also applied. These materials and processes liberate the volume, sculpt the texture, and showcase the alternating dark-and-light effects.”

The dial is almost an identical reflection of the Polyptyque I painting, which combines the use of vertical and diagonal strokes along with the above-mentioned materials to create the artwork. It was Pierre Soulage’s wish to have the tips of the hour and minute hands done in a spherical figure made of gold, which would be a perfect colour to contrast with the black artwork lying underneath. Following on from this idea, Baume & Mercier made the logo at 12 o’clock and the “Swiss Made” inscription at 6 o’clock in gold as well to keep the balance of colours on the dial.

Open case back view of the Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary.

Baume & Mercier has used a Swiss mechanical movement (ETA 2892) to power this exceptional work of art. The ETA 2892 is a very reliable calibre that has been used by the likes of TAG Heuer, Bell & Ross, Tudor, Omega and Cartier. This self-winding automatic movement operates at a high frequency of 28,800 VpH, meaning that it has a high rate of accuracy while delivering a power reserve of 42 hours. The “Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary” does come with an open case back, with the main aesthetic feature being the oscillating black weight adorned with “Côtes de Genève” decoration.

Final Thoughts

Art and watchmaking are the core foundations for Baume & Mercier. Paul Mercier, an art lover who surrounded himself with painters and writers, partnered with the watchmaker William Baume in 1918 to found the Baume & Mercier brand in 1920. Tackling this latest project, in re-creating a masterpiece artwork on the dial, as impossible as it may have seemed, the Baume & Mercier team were up to the challenge.

While the Peinture 324 x 362 cm, 1986, Polyptyque I Edition artwork couldn’t be directly translated onto the dial due to size limitations, Baume & Mercier has done an incredible job of portraying the masterpiece, down to the littlest details of materials and how the different panels interact with each other.

Wrist shot of the Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary.

In the artwork Polyptyque I Edition,  the appearance of the work changes under the influence of light and texture as the viewer moves around. The design team at Baume & Mercier has made sure to portray this key aspect on the dial, with the different materials and processes used to create them, along with the different textures all playing a part in achieving the dark-and-light effects as the wearer moves the watch around to different angles of light.

The “Hampton Polyptyque Edition – Musée Soulages 10th Anniversary” is an astonishing feat in replicating an iconic artwork and is a great tribute to the personality and work of the late Pierre Soulages.

This timepiece is limited to 328 pieces and can be purchased through Baume & Mercier boutiques or enquired through the brand’s online website,

Reference: HAMPTON 10741


  • Case: 48mm x 31mm x 10.5mm thickness
  • Case Material: Steel-DLC with Microbillé finish.
  • Dial: Black opaline dial with Polyptyque I Edition artwork recreated on the dial. Doré 5N hands.
  • Crystal: Scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal, treated on both sides with an anti-glare coating.
  • Water resistance: 50m (5 Bar)
  • Movement: Swiss made ETA 2892 movement
  • Movement Frequency: 4Hz (28,800 VpH)
  • Power reserve: Approx 42 hours
  • Bracelet: Cellulose strap that has been lined with apple leather, with an ardillon buckle.

Australian Recommended Retail Price: $11,450  AUD

Availability: Limited to 328 models. Available through Baume & Mercier boutiques or enquire through the online website

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