To The Moon: Baume & Mercier Makes An Enticing Value Proposition In Today’s Market
With its 2020 Watches & Wonders introductions, Baume & Mercier has solidified its standing in the luxury world.
For the last five years, Geneva-based watchmakers Baume & Mercier have been stealthily building excitement for its brand amongst collectors. The three pillars of this success have been its instantly recognizable Clifton Collection, its innovative Baumatic movements, and its accessible price point.
So it’s no surprise that the manufacture was the sleeper hit at Watches & Wonders 2020. With new novelties such as two new Clifton Baumatic moon-phases and COSC-certified Clifton Baumatic date, it’s easy to see why Baume & Mercier is up there with Tudor and Seiko at providing the best bang for your buck.
TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS
In 2018, Baume & Mercier debuted the COSC certified Clifton Baumatic five-day power reserve BM12-1975A Caliber. This movement was developed by the brand’s parent company through the expertise of Richemont’s Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier facility and its research and innovation department. Basically, the brain trust that brings you ultra-luxe brands like IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, and Montblanc. That expertise provides the basis for the much more affordable but no less reliable Baume & Mercier mechanism.
At the same time, the Baumatic is no hand-me-down technology. Every year, the brand has built upon the Baumatic with a wider range of complications. Last year, Baume & Mercier’s big introduction was a Clifton Baumatic perpetual calendar. And for those who missed out last year, a new rose gold edition will be available in August for CHF 20,800.
This year the company continues to focus its efforts on exploring its savoir-faire with three very modern entries to the Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic collection: the Clifton Baumatic Day-Date Moon-Phase, Clifton Baumatic Moon-Phase Date, and the COSC-certified Clifton Baumatic Date.
The Clifton Baumatic Day-Date Moon-Phase complication can certainly go head-to-head with many top tier brands when it comes to quality. Cased in steel or pink gold, this 42mm timepiece marries its recognizable case design with a moon phase, day-date complication, and sizable five-day power reserve, making it a seriously compelling offering overall.
Equally alluring is its gradient grey lacquered dial, which reveals the moon phases against a starry sky background. This well-balanced display sits under a smoky grey, domed sapphire with a glare-resistant coating for optimal legibility. Finally, it comes on a very stately blue alligator leather strap and, starting October 2020, it will be available for CHF 4,000.
The slightly simpler Clifton Baumatic Moon-Phase Date offers a distinctly different vibe with a clean white dial that makes the moon phase pop in a totally different way. This piece shows the central hour, minute, and seconds, and at 6 o’clock the pointer date display surrounds the moon phase. It’s powered by the Baumatic BM14 self-winding in-house calibre and is available with either a blue alligator leather strap or steel bracelet.
Officially launching October 2020, the Clifton Baumatic Moon-Phase Date will retail for CHF 3,650 on the alligator strap and CHF 3,800 on the steel bracelet.
Equally impressive from a more minimalist perspective is the COSC-certified Baumatic Date, a sophisticated gentleman’s Watch that highlights the many ways the Maison has elevated its timepiece to a new level.
On top of the COSC-certified Baumatic BM13 in-house calibre, which offers a five-day power reserve, the Baumatic Date shines a spotlight on fine finishes. Specifically, you can choose a dial finished in a gradated grey lacquer or a warm white porcelain. In addition to the big date window at 3 o'clock, there are also crosshairs positioned at the center of the dial to symbolize the watch's precision. And for extra sharpness, the timepiece has riveted trapezoid-shaped hour markers and faceted alpha-shaped hands.
This timeless timepiece is available in three versions. The first version comes in a 40mm steel case, mounted on either an alligator strap or steel bracelet. Available in September, it will be priced at CHF 2,650 for the steel/alligator pairing and CHF 2,800 for the steel/steel combo.
The second version, launching in October, comes in a 39mm 18K rose gold case with an alligator strap and will retail for $6,400.
Finally, the third version comes in a 40mm two-tone (steel and steel topped with gold) case and matching two-tone bracelet. Already available, this iteration is priced at CHF 4,000.
A PLACE IN THE HAMPTONS
Baume & Mercier has also updated its Hampton range for 2020. These deco-influenced, rectangular watches recall the classic charm of a Cartier Tank or a JLC Reverso, but with a more contemporary silhouette at a much more accessible price point.
Affordable doesn’t mean that this year’s models – a small quartz version for the ladies and three larger automatic editions – look and feel any less premium. For example, on the larger 48 x 31mm models, the Arabic numerals (except for 12) have been replaced with black ruthenium indices on an opaline silver-colored dial. On the smaller quartz versions and the 43 x 27.5mm automatic model, the Arabic numbers 12 and 6 remain. The dials are protected by domed sapphire crystals.
Overall, there are 8 new introductions to the Baume & Mercier Hampton collection.
The women’s watches feature white mother-of-pearl, opaline silver, and sunray satin-polished blue dials and are all adorned with a delicate grey minute-track. Also, the watches feature a new generation quartz movement with optimized 7-year reliability.
The men's models are just as refined on the inside and out. The understated automatic three-hand movements can be observed through a circular display case back through which you can admire "Côtes de Genève" decoration. And depending on the model, each watch features a 38- or 42-hour power reserve. For the display, the dials come in silver-tone and grained dials with various opaline textures. A two-tone black and grey minute-track surrounds the dial. Also, sword-shaped black ruthenium hands provide sharp relief to these hues of the dial.
The standout of the 2020 Hamptons is a 48 x 31mm edition featuring a large date with a dual time zone and day/night indicator. This GMT not only provides travelers a 42-hour power reserve but it is also a passport to coolness with its self-winding Soprod TT651 movement enhanced with "Côtes de Genève" engravings.
The strap is an interchangeable, black, all square scales alligator with grey topstitching. The watch also comes with an innovative system of bars that allows the wearer to quickly change the strap without tools. And for extra reassurance, it has a triple folding clasp with security push-pieces.
While the Hampton Automatic is priced at CHF 2,200, the Hampton Automatic Small Seconds Date at CHF 2,400, and the Hampton Automatic Big Date Dual Time at CHF 3,650; happily, all of the quartz editions are priced below CHF 2,000.
Another piece of good news: All of these new Hamptons are available now.
(Images provided by Baume & Mercier)