If there were one brand presentation that I would have liked to have attended at Watches & Wonders, it would have to be that of Baume & Mercier, and this given the brand’s direction that has emerged from the newly announced Baumatic watches with complications including the Clifton Baumatic day-date, moon-phase and the Clifton Baumatic moon-phase, date.
Now this is a brand that is sometimes overlooked in favour of its more prestigious siblings within the Richemont group. When you are showing somewhat more pedestrian and humble everyday watches next door to the horological pyrotechnics from the other brands at SIHH, it can be a little bit difficult to get a proper look in.
Thankfully, something special emerged in 2018, with the launch of the Clifton Baumatic 5 Days Chronometer. This was a watch that offered technical prowess, with a huge dose of value and a sober design anchored in the Clifton collection that was launched in 2012. There was much to like with its in-house BM12 movement, that had a 5-day (or 120 hour) power reserve and a silicon hairspring. Wrap up everything under the auspices of a well known and respected Swiss brand, with a good price, and it had everything it needed to become a hit.
Baume & Mercier continued with new variations of the Baumatic 5 Days Chronometer, as well as the Baumatic Perpetual Calendar one year later in 2019, which offered a clue to the direction that the brand has fully leaned into for this year.
What did it do? Well, it seems to have taken the technologies that have emerged from the first Baumatic and applied it to every watch in the Clifton collection, now called the Clifton Baumatic collection. It was the first time that the word “Baumatic” appeared on a complicated watch in the Baumatic Perpetual Calendar, which also coincidentally saw an upgraded power reserve to 5 days over the previous incarnation.
For 2020, Baume & Mercier has gone further in this direction, extending the Clifton Baumatic collection with two new members, the Clifton Baumatic day-date, moon-phase and the Clifton Baumatic moon-phase, date.
Both watches are related of course, differing in the day complication, which accounts for their similar BM14 base calibre, their 42mm case sizes and their 5 day power reserve.
The Clifton Baumatic day-date, moon-phase comes in rose gold or steel case, with both versions having a gradient grey dial. The day is indicated by pointer hand under the 12 o’clock, and the date via pointer hand above 6 o’clock, which is also the same place for the moon phase indication that is very attractive and elegantly done. The two moons represent the respective views of the real moon from the northern and southern hemisphere are set against a starry sky with a smoky grey sapphire crystal indicating when it disappears from view.
The next watch, the Clifton Baumatic moon-phase, date is basically the same as the above except with the day function removed. It comes in three versions – steel, two-tone (steel and steel topped with gold), 18K rose gold, with a choice of interchangeable bracelet or blue strap. The white porcelain finished dial that this watch comes presents a clean and elegant character compared to the grey dial of the Clifton Baumatic day-date, moon-phase with grey dial, which is comparatively more moody and lush.
Both of them course come in the sensuous round Clifton case, with trapezoid hour markers and alpha shape hands on the dial fulfilling the collection mandate of being “dedicated to the finest watch-making expressing elegance and refinement”.