Baume & Mercier have recently launched an entirely new collection, named Clifton, and yesterday they introduced the top line model of the collection, the new Clifton 1830. This is a lovely dress watch, with classic looks, in red gold and with a proprietary manual wind movement.
The Clifton 1830 comes in a red gold case, measuring 42 mm in diameter. The beefy case has lovely classic lugs and shows more tasty details, like the applied numerals and stick markers, the blue small seconds hand and more. One thing that I particularly like: it’s got a proprietary movement delivering 90 hours of power reserve.
The movement is, like the chronograph calibers used in the Capeland, exclusively made for Baume & Mercier by the La Joux-Perret Manufacture. The 90 hours of power, that caliber 7381 holds, are stored in two main spring barrels. Visible through the transparent case back, it shows the features that we as watch lovers like so much, like bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève striping, a circular-grained main plate and blued-steel screws. The level of finishing and movement construction doesn’t hold up with classic dress watches like the A. Lange & Söhne 1915 or the Observatoire by Kari Voutilainen. However, for the price point a very nice dress watch!
The Clifton 1830 (ref 10060) balances perfectly between classic design, inspired by the best of Baume & Mercier’s models from the “Golden Fifties”, and modern dimensions with its diameter of 42 mm. Still, the Clifton 1830 is a discreet timepiece that doesn’t immediately give away its nicely decorted manually wound movement.
The case is made from an ingot of 18 carat red gold. According to Baume & Mercier this watch is considered the foundation of the Clifton collection. Like mentioned before the case shows very nice details, like the polished and satin-finished case parts. The side of the case and lugs is satin-finishes, the bezel and upfacing parts of the case are polished and the inward facing parts of the lugs are also satin-brushed with straight strokes.
The dial is curved to match the domed sapphire crystal, with a “Chevée” shape that is identical to that of the acrylic watch glasses of the past. The domed dial in silvered opaline, with a small seconds counter inset at 6 o’clock, is set with numerals and indices that are individually applied and riveted from behind.
Baume & Mercier also launched two new automatic models in the Clifton collection, one with a black dial and one with a silver-colored dial. These two Clifton Automatic models have a diameter of 41 mm and a case with less refined details. These Clifton models can be considered the more affordable entry level of this new collection.
Clifton Automatic, displaying hours, minutes, small seconds and a date at 3 o’clock comes with a silver-colored dial (ref. 10052) or black dial (ref. 10053). Earlier Baume & Mercier already launched ref. 10054 with a silver-colored dial and gilt Arabic numerals, stick markers and hands. The dials of all three models shows a very nice sun-ray satin finish.
The case is more plain, less detailed, as the Clifton 1830, however shares the same looks and proportions although it is 1 mm smaller then its manually wound sibling, measuring 41 mm in diameter. Inside ticks a movement that looks like an ETA or ETA-clone of the best finished quality, featuring a rotor adorned with Côtes de Genève striping. The movement has a frequency of 28,800 beat per hour and is visible through a sapphire crystal in the case back.
The Clifton Automatic models come on a black alligator strap that is held together by a triple-folding security clasp. It is water resistant to 50 meters. The price of the Clifton models will range from $2,700-$6,300 USD.
PS. an interesting detail… check the URL of the special homepage Baume & Mercier made for the Clifton collection: http://clifton.baume-et-mercier.cn/en. Indeed… it’s a dot CN web address! So although Baume & Mercier names it’s collections after the good life of living in the Hamptons, they focus on China for customers.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.