Replica Baume & Mercier is at it again. Their new Clifton Day-Date Moon-Phase matches complication, build quality, and affordability. Crafted from solid blocks of steel or pink gold, this new Baumatic-equipped timepiece features a recognizable case design plus a moon phase, day-date complication, and sizable five-day power reserve, making it a seriously compelling offering overall.
Complicated timepieces are nothing new for Baume & Mercier, but complications paired with their Baumatic in-house movements are indeed quite fresh. Consider this new offering something of a more approachable version of last year’s Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar, but skimping on nothing in terms of movement technology. The Baumatic movement inside the watch boasts a silicon hairspring, high-performance escapement and, as noted, a five-day power reserve. Luckily, there is an open caseback for your viewing pleasure complete with a gilt open-worked oscillating weight adorned with “Côtes de Genève.” Whereas the perpetual calendar was offered only in gold, this model will be offered in both a solid pink gold and stainless steel variant, making it ever the more approachable in price. In either case material, the watch will have the smokey gradient grey lacquered dial with elongated trapezoidal indexes.
I have to say that Baume & Mercier moonphase surprise me each time they release a complicated watch because they are truly able to hone in on balanced dial design. In this case, the near-equilibrium brought on by the two lines of text at nine and three o’clock respectively is quite wonderful. Add the vertical configuration of the complications, and you’ve got yourself a mighty handsome dial. I am also a bit struck at how, while clearly a dressier offering, this watch still manages to exude a small tinge of sport watch DNA. Maybe it’s the Arabic numerals for the seconds, or maybe it’s just me. Either way, I think Baume & Mercier has nailed the combination of class and price yet again with this new Baumatic addition to the Clifton line.
This year’s Watches & Wonders was full of the highest of high horology, watches that exist purely to prove that they can exist. Some of the watches that are shown at Watches & Wonders, formerly SIHH, are about as far removed from the traditional mass market as you can get, and the marquee brands that show their latest and greatest pieces there, while certainly commercial, just live at a price point beyond that which we typically cover on Worn & Wound. But Baume & Mercier is an exception. Of all the Richemont brands, Baume is by far the most affordable, but that doesn’t mean that they get short shrift next to Panerai and Cartier. In fact, Baume & Mercier watches frequently incorporate much of the same high end movement features that those brands employ, but in a much more affordable package. The benefits of being part of a big luxury group. This year, Baume introduced a series of updates to their Clifton line, which we’ll take you through below.
Baume & Mercier held down the sub-$5,000 offerings for Watches & Wonders 2020, and they did it damn well. Using its in-house five-day power reserve Baumatic movement to produce the new Clifton Day-Date Moon Phase and Moon Phase Date watches, Baume & Mercier delivered what many of us asked for when first seeing last year’s Perpetual Calendar (that came in a gold case with a ~$25,000 price tag). While the Baume & Mercier Day-Date Moon Phase in steel is the standout piece from the brand for 2020, the simpler Moon Phase Date brings a different mood to the table, with a white dial that has a porcelain effect. This has been used in previous models, but I do not believe it has been the backdrop for a moon phase.