Some people buy watches to impress others, or to “join” a community of enthusiasts for a certain brand or model, and quite frankly there is of course nothing wrong with that. But sometimes you need to buy a watch just for you, a watch like the Baume et Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve, a decadent, sophisticated treat to celebrate whatever occasion you can think of as an excuse to buy it.
Baume et Mercier is not a brand that makes “in your face”-watches, it never has, and hopefully it never will. It has an history filled with well designed, well balanced models that have a tendency to age well, and the same can be said over, and expected of, the new Clifton. Despite a diameter of 45mm did Baume et Mercier achieve in keeping the case simple and elegant. The stepped bezel transitions seamlessly into the case, with the crown nicely recessed into it, while the lugs are a treat on their own. The refinement in terms of design is incredible, yet not surprising given the recently introduced Promesse.
For those of you that think that 45mm is a bit too much….I agree, when the watch would have all its additional complications squeezed in the middle of the dial and the backside reveals a tiny movement surrounded by a thick spacer. But that is not the case with the Clifton, it really needs and utilizes the space it has been given. This also results in a balanced dial. The date occupies the far right side of the dial, while the left is home to the power reserve. This really lasts only 192 hours, because after this period an ingenious mechanism will stop the balance wheel automatically because the energy levels inside the watch will be insufficient to sustain accurate timekeeping anymore.
I never know how I feel about the back of manual wind watches that feature a high power reserve. Just as the recently introduced Panerai with caliber P5000, is also the majority of the movement of the Clifton hidden behind large bridges. That is a pity because the movement lay-out of a manual wind watch can be a thing of true beauty (check out for example the Svend Andersen). However, the brute force of an eight day power reserve coming from a single barrel requires somewhat extreme measures to keep in order. Is also allows for an almost uninterrupted, lavish decoration of Geneva striping, and that is quite the treat by itself!
This Baume et Mercier Clifton is dedicated to the brands 185th anniversary and will because of that also be available in a limited edition of 185 pieces. A pleasant number, because it will make the watch rare enough to not see it pop up everywhere, while you still have a decent chance to obtain one before they are all spoken for. Now you just have to come up with an excuse to give yourself one!
Images courtesy of REVOLUTION’s own Adi Soon
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics