Pre-SIHH 2017 – Baume & Mercier adds a GMT Function and a Blue Dial to its Clifton
The Baume & Mercier Clifton is not just a watch but an entire collection, covering almost the entire scope of traditional (yet accessible) complications. You’ll find a Small-Second watch, a Complete Calendar watch, a Chronograph, a Chronograph Complete Calendar, a Dual Time, a Retrograde Date and a Large Date Power Reserve. Clearly, there’s a wide range of choice (plus you can throw in several different dial options into the mix). For SIHH 2017, Baume adds a version for travellers, the Clifton GMT Power Reserve, which aligns perfectly with the range of small complications offered by the Clifton collection and adds a striking blue dial to the usual white / black options.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton collection has always tickled our interest here. Yes, it is Baume, and thus rather conservative. It may not be as trendy as some other brands but it is still elegant and still quite interesting mechanically (at least for the price segment it fights in) plus it has quite a good looking case and dial. From time to time, we watch journalists have to consider the “average watch customer” and not the “average watch collector”. There’s a huge difference here, and Baume & Mercier is a brand that talks to new comers or people who want a nice watch (but only one). As we’ve discussed before here, this collection is for those people. The new version for SIHH 2017, the Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT Power Reserve, adds a very useful complication, a new dial layout and a really good looking color, making it a pretty attractive package.
With the new Clifton GMT Power Reserve, Baume & Mercier once again offers some useful and nicely integrated complications at an accessible level. This watch, in line with the rest of the collection, displays three features on its dial. The first and main one is of course the 24h / GMT function, placed at 12. In order to keep the right balance, this sub-counter is half-circle shaped. Reading it is easy thanks to the bi-color, two-side hand which allows for great legibility plus the GMT hand can be adjusted by the crown, negating the need for inelegant pushers or recessed buttons in the caseband. The second display, which gives echo in shape and placement to the GMT function, is the power reserve indication at 6 o’clock. Finally, the date is placed classically at 3, framed by a steel box. Hours, minutes and seconds are on the central axis. The Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT Power Reserve is powered by an automatic movement, the Soprod 9035, a reliable and efficient ETA-clone (with 4Hz frequency and 42h power reserve).
The aesthetic is also new, with a bright blue dial complete with sun-ray pattern for nice reflections. The hands and indexes (still with a very pleasant font) are polished metal and the indexes are applied on the dial. Although still luxurious in design and execution, the blue color dial combined with the silver details makes this watch more casual and eye-catching than before. Presented in the standard Clifton case measuring 43mm – still a bit too large for our tastes but comfortable though – with nice details, such as the mix of satin brushed surfaces and a pleasant polished line running from one lug to the other. The Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT Power Reserve is secured to the wrist by a black alligator strap, with folding buckle and elegant curved attachment.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT Power Reserve will be officially revealed at SIHH 2017. Price is not confirmed yet but the estimation is 3,400 CHF. www.baume-et-mercier.com.
Specifications of the Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT Power Reserve
- Case: 43mm diameter – polished and brushed steel – Domed sapphire crystal on the front, sapphire crystal on the back – 50m water resistant
- Movement: Sporod 9035 (ETA-Clone) – Automatic – 4Hz frequency – 28 jewels – 42 hours power reserve – Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT function, power reserve
- Strap: black alligator leather strap, steel triple folding clasp
- Ref. M0A10316
I really like Clifton range, but I wish it was 40/41 mm and the half price. After all, why not go for an Oris for the half price?
I love Oris but Baume is a lot more of a unique and focussed prospect. Nobody out there has a Baume, you have to be into horology to pick them. 7th oldest swiss watchmaker.