Baume & Mercier is one of the older companies still in the business of luxury watchmaking. The first shop was founded in 1830, and expanded internationally in 1921. As the brand increased in prominence, they spread even further across the globe. This watchmaker is also renowned for creating some of the most accurate watches. In the late 1800s, they won several timekeeping competitions and set many records based on the accuracy of their watches. In fact, they were even awarded the Geneva Seal in 1919 – an enormous honor and the best international distinction an atelier can receive.
Today, Baume & Mercier continues to create many dependable, gorgeous luxury watches. One of the upcoming releases, the Clifton Baumatic, is set to make an appearance at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2018. The SIHH is an international watchmaking conference that many ateliers use to introduce new products. Instead of waiting until then, let’s take a closer look at this watch now.
The most striking thing about the Clifton Baumatic is the polished, satin-finished steel case. It comes in at a smaller diameter – only about 40mm – so it will fit comfortably and well with any outfit. Plus, the steel case gives the entire product the feel of understated luxury, contrasting quite well with the other colors present on this timepiece. It is also equipped with anti-reflective sapphire crystal for both the dome and the caseback to ensure great visibility without any glare. In addition, the watch has been certified for water resistance at up to 50 meters – so don’t worry about it getting wet. Overall, the watch has a luxurious yet durable feel about it. Plus, this is reflected in the movement itself and the improvements that Baume & Mercier have made.
The movement used in the Clifton Baumatic is the first proprietary mechanical movement that the atelier has created. It is designed in an ultramodern fashion, making using of a few particular technologies that ensure accurate and reliable timekeeping. First off, it was made antimagnetic. The hairspring, escape wheel, and anchor were all made of silicon. This prevents them from having residual effects from exposure to magnetic fields, ensuring that the watch will not be ruined by exposure to a magnet.
Secondly, the watch is chronometer-certified. This means that it has the met stringent requirements that all chronometers must meet in regards to timekeeping accuracy. This is mostly due to innovation in the hairspring and balance wheel by Richemont engineers (the parent company of Baume & Mercier).
Third, running time was maximized. The Clifton Baumatic has been engineered to conserve as much energy as possible in the operation of the movement. Therefore, less energy loss leads to a longer running time on a single mechanical charge.
Finally, Baume & Mercier wanted to improve the reliability of the piece. They have developed dedicated oils to foster better lubrication of the gears. This not only reduces stress on the gears, but will greatly increase the time in between required service appointments for the watch – and current periods are already five years.
The Dial and Hands
The dial design is simple and effective. It consists of a sand-blasted, lacquered white dial that is a good backdrop for the hands and indicators. The hours are represented by steel facets, with the minutes marked by Arabic numerals in five-minute increments. Finally, there is a date indicator at the three o’clock position. This watch makes use of a standard set of lancet hands. The hour and minute hands are in a subdued steel color, whereas the second hand sticks out in dark black. Though the hands almost match the case in color, the effect is surprisingly elegant, and lends a solidly luxurious vibe to the Clifton Baumatic.
The Strap and Price
The strap included with the watch is a black alligator strap. It is easily interchangeable should you want to change it out, but as it sits it is a great pairing with this particular timepiece. The Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic also comes in at a fantastic price. It is priced at about $2500, and includes a two-year warranty. This is a great value for a beginner, but expert watch collectors might want to pick this piece up as well.
If you’re in the market for an entry-level luxury watch, the Clifton Baumatic is the way to go. It has a technologically-advanced design, with timeless and simple looks that will carve out a place in the market for this watch. Plus, the price is low – but a great value for what you get.
Keep tuned for more information, as SIHH 2018 is coming on January 15th to Geneva. We will see the Clifton Baumatic, as well as many other luxury watches, at this huge horological event.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker