By  on January 10, 2011

If anyone knows the meaning of face value, it’s a watchmaker — right now, Baume & Mercier in particular. Over the past year, the 180-year-old Swiss luxury brand, part of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, has given itself a makeover, which will be revealed Jan. 17 at the SIHH watch fair in Geneva. There, the redesigned Linea, Capeland and Classima watches (23 styles in all) will compete with Baume & Mercier’s other new face: Gwyneth Paltrow, the newly minted brand ambassador, or “friend of the brand,” as the firm is calling her. Past ambassadors include Meg Ryan, Kim Basinger, Teri Hatcher and Evangeline Lilly. Although she won’t appear in the ad campaign, Paltrow, who’s also been busy rebranding herself, will be involved with “communication projects,” the first of which is attending Baume & Mercier’s seaside-themed cocktail party at SIHH. Despite its Swiss roots, the house has decided to anchor its new image to the Hamptons in New York, a place where Paltrow is known to spend time.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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