SIHH 2019: At Baume & Mercier, Baumatic Fanatics Are Treated To Vibrant And Complicated Upgrades

Baume & Mercier has released fresh upgrades and functions to its Clifton Baumatic collection, including a gorgeous gradient blue dial and a perpetual calendar timepiece!

By Josh Shanks

When Baume & Mercier launched the Clifton Baumatic collection at last year’s SIHH fair (Read HERE), collectors and enthusiasts greeted the collection with enthusiasm. The Baumatic was a technical and aesthetical departure from anything the brand previously had on offer, with an entirely new in-house calibre (BM13) featuring a silicon hairspring, a first for any Richemont brand.

The collection was well received, and the brand spent the better part of a year communicating on the virtues of the Baumatic. We saw the pieces hit retailers’ shelves over the summer of 2018, and from all accounts, Baumatics are selling at a pretty steady clip.

Vibrant updates

While the original Baumatic lineup was primarily comprised of white and black motifs, 2019's collection incorporates vibrant color waves. A starburst blue dial has been added for 2019, and after seeing it in person, I can attest that it's stunning. A blue-to-black gradient pattern gives the Baumatic an extra burst of color with a 70s funk vibe.

My personal favorite would have to be the COSC certified model, which like all COSC Baumatics has a crosshair pattern on the dial. The entire Clifton Baumatic line is sized at 40mm across. While last year’s Baumatic isn’t going anywhere, these new additions to the collection will give buyers additional dial and case material options.

Baume & Mercier has also launched an ambitious red gold COSC certified model with a slightly reduced case size of 39mm. To complement the case, the watch has a "porcelain-effect" dial fitted with riveted red gold indices. The 39mm, after experiencing it in-person, seemed like a fairly marginal size difference from its siblings. While the majority of the Baumatic collection fits in the dress watch or smart casual category, the Clifton Baumatic COSC Or Rouge is the ultimate Baume & Mercier statement piece.

It’s all in the details

While Baume & Mercier is placed at the entry-level of Richemont's portfolio, the Baumatic collection certainly punches above its weight. They are competing almost on-par with offerings from their sister brands including Montblanc and IWC. Small details such as Côtes de Genève finishing, snailing (a finishing method), and open-worked rotors on the BM13 automatic movement are often only found in higher-priced lines.

And don’t get me started on the movement! 120 hours (five days) of power reserve and anti-magnetic properties because of the silicium balance. While all Clifton Baumatics use the B13 platform, there are two distinct movement options – COSC-certified or Non-COSC. Both options are highly reliable and precise but if precision is the order of the day, then got with the COSC version which offers -4 / +6 seconds per day.

For servicing and maintenance, Baume & Mercier has also thought ahead on that front. Because of the new BM13 movement’s design and the use of silicon, the Baumatic will only need to be serviced every seven years instead of the traditional 3-5-year window.

To summarize, at SIHH 2019, the Clifton Baumatic received five new models. All stainless models are available on metal bracelets or alligator leather strap. While the red gold version will see only a leather strap, but hey, wouldn't a full gold bracelet look cool on the Baumatic?

Perpetual Baumatic!

Baume & Mercier’s “quest for perfection” is evidenced in their new Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar. This 42mm red gold timepiece sees major perpetual calendar complication come to the Baumatic. Why, you may be asking,  did Baume & Mercier release a perpetual calendar and have it be an extension of the Baumatic platform?

It's simple; the BM13 movement is a great canvas to work from. By adding a perpetual calendar module to the Baumatic base movement, the brand has retained all of the impressive qualities (power reserve, service intervals, anti-magnet, etc.) of the BM13 movement. Complications are nothing new to Baume & Mercier. 2014 saw the release of the Clifton 1892 Tourbillon Volant, and in 2015, the brand released a Clifton 5 Minute repeater to celebrate its 185th anniversary.

Let's break it down. The Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar comes in a red gold case with a supple black leather alligator strap. Three counters are dedicated to the perpetual calendar function. A counter at 9 o'clock tells the day of the week, while a second at 12 o'clock displays the month and leap year. Finally, the third counter at 3 o'clock shows the perpetual calendar. A "warm white" porcelain dial is fitted to the piece to lend a luxurious watchmaking element to the novelty. As you'll see in the photos, a simply stunning Moonphase complication (at 6 o'clock) completes the look.

See you again in 2100!

Complicated pieces were all the rage of SIHH 2019, and Baume & Mercier came to the table with the most affordably priced grand complication. Priced at just $24,500  the Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar is sure to intrigue collectors and enthusiasts for some time to come. After all, the piece requires no date correction before March 1st, 2100.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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