Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer Watch Review

Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer Watch Review

Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

When it comes to watches that have been capturing my attention as of late, it boils down to a single class of complication - second time zones. This is most commonly achieved via a GMT hand, and it works quite well in that manner. Now that I've spent some time with the Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer, however, I can see that there's a lot more functionality that can be had when you want to track more time zones than the one you're currently in.

As befits a watch labeling itself as a world timer, this Capeland model allows you to see, time in another time zone. Not only that, it allows you to see the time in any of the 24 time zones around the world. This is accomplished by a disc that rotates around the outer edge of the dial. This then interacts with the world cities printed just inside of that display, and you can check the time anywhere around the world, at a glance. This is accomplished quite simply: once you have the main time set, set the outer disc (at the city for your time zone) to match the 24 hour time. This keeps everything in sync, and you can easily tell what time it is in, say, Moscow or Sydney. In essence, this disc is really just a modified version of a GMT hand.

Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Whatever time you're looking for, you've also got the handy day-night split on the disc (6:30 am to 6:30 pm) that can both keep you straight as to the time of day, as well as if you're calling too late in the day to someone around the globe. All told, this gives you a much greater amount of flexibility than a simple GMT hand would offer, albeit at the cost of a slightly larger watch, to keep things legible (though the famous Patek Philippe World Timer is still a rather modestly-sized watch). That said, I can see the argument for both styles of timekeeping; it really depends what your use of the watch is.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I can't go pronouncing a verdict until I've run through the rest of the watch, now can I? This particular Worldtimer is a limited-edition model that was created specifically for Tourneau. It differs from the standard model in that you've got a dial in a lovely shade of dark blue (in place of the standard off-white); accordingly, the Breguet-style hands have shifted from being blued, to appearing in a polished finish. Last, but certainly not least, the date wheel has changed from black text on white, to white text on black, keeping the overall darker scheme in place. Past those differences (oh, and some labeling on the watch case), you've got identical watches.

22 comments
TwistyRoads
TwistyRoads

If you consider a World Time watch as a tool for use by a frequent global traveller, then, aesthetics aside, some functional observations about the B&M Worldtimer:


1. Includes the hour jump setting feature.  You don't stop the minute/second hand, or the 24 hour ring, when adjusting to a new time zone.  I think this is critical in a wold time watch, especially since it acts as it's own reference (i.e., are you flying to Paris?  you can adjust the main dial to Paris time at any point along your journey, since you already know what time it is in Paris.).


2.  The hour, minute and second hands are too long.  The minute and second hand obscure the city ring and 24 hour ring.  The only apparent reason is so they can connect with the outer minute scale, which IMO is a bad reason, and not worth obscuring the city and hour rings.  The minute scale should be within the hour numbers, not 5 mm to the outside of them.


3.  The city ring is inside of the hour ring.  IMO this is a poor design... the city ring should be on the outside, providing more room for the city names to possibly increase font size or at least make it less crowded and easier to read.


4. This is a personal preference, but I like that the city ring is fixed and does not rotate.  I want to always know where to quickly find Paris or Sydney on the dial.


5.  Not luminous.  A good travel watch should be luminous for dark plane cabins and hotel rooms.


In my opinion, the watch in this price range that gets most of the functional elements of a world time watch correct is the IWC Pilot Worldtimer.  


The Frederique Constant mentioned below is also very nice, and gets most of the functional elements right.  However, the date sub-dial obscures a large part of the 24 hour ring, making it difficult to read what time is is in Aukland or Samoa.

Abu Rose
Abu Rose

I really like the idea of a Worldtimer with GMT expressed as a 24 hour ring, but at an 8k price tag, this Baume et Mercier needed a bigger punch and I would like to cite a few points that shaped my opinion:

1.The blue dial needs to be more intricately made. For example, a Guilloche pattern (patterned engraving) on the inner ring from the large numbers inward would have added to the dial a sense of luxurious texture and sophistication that may justify some of the price. I am not talking about the labor intensive old engine-turning process, but either the stamp or the laser method.

2.No need to announce that this watch is an Automatic Worldtimer; we already know that. But in order not to leave too much dead space in that area, consider pulling up the Swiss Made stamp and make the font size bigger (old style). I always resented the need to use Ibn Sahl’s treatise on optics in order to see that my watch is Swiss Made and watch companies should not to be bashful about that fact.

3.Bring the dial also in a white dial option with pink/yellow gold case; a mesmerizing color combination.

4. Make a few more decorations/fine touches on the movement; for e.g. make the rotor in yellow gold for visual stimulation when appreciating the beauty of the movement (I am fine with an IWC 35750).

5.Recently, Frederique Constant did execute most of the above aspects in a sublime manner at less than 4k price with an in-house movement in their Worldtimer Manufacture FC-718MC4H4 that comes in 42 mm case http://www.frederique-constant.com/en/collections/955/fc-718mc4h4

Look how pretty the movement is below:

http://www.frederique-constant.com/press/pages/Frederique_Constant_Classics_Manufacture_Worldtimer_Collection/images/2_FC_718WM4H6.jpg

6.In order for the chromatic contrast to shine, limit the blue color to the inner circle from the large numbers inward, where the outer rim is mainly white. In addition, consider a lighter shade of blue in a reverse sunburst dial (lightest at the periphery and darkest at the core), ensuring the seamless transition/continuation of the white color from the outside to the inner core.

7.I like big watches but after trying the FC in person, I feel that 44mm might be big but I have to try one for final opinion. I never understood why watches do not think of releasing two sizes of their successful watches; 40/44 for classics and 42/46 for sporty ones (based on the current size trend).

8.Finally, “For Tourneau’s Eyes Only”?!!! Really B&M? Enough said.

Ok, OK, I have to admit the following; I was trying to make this B&M look like the gorgeous Patek Philip 5130P but in a larger case and at a much more affordable price ;-) http://www.patek.com/contents/default/en/5130P_020.html

spiceballs
spiceballs

Niceish, but sorry B&M nothing special for $8K+  (And yes we are hard to please.)

Ivan1998
Ivan1998

Nice but rather have Christopher Ward c900 WT.

BIGCHRONO
BIGCHRONO

Limited editions immediately signal exorbitant prices. That's why they exist, as a means of creating exclusivity, & generating more revenue courtesy of the 1%'rs, & others who stain themselves seeking short run productions. 

r_s_g
r_s_g

I saw this blue dial "limited edition" at an AD in Hong Kong. I guess there is a reason why "one out of 100" instead of actually numbering it. Dodgy.


Also, it's way too large for a dress piece. 

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

What a chubby watch. I never guessed 44mm from the opening photos..  I think the disc is super easy to read, but $8K for a glorified GMT hand is pushing too far. Their far more complex Capeland Flyback Chrono is less. The face seems crowded and isn't getting any relief from the giant branding and movement billboards, The Tourneau exclusivity is the final nail in the coffin

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

No thank you. It is proportionally challenged, and that flat dial just looks cheap. 


Also, there is a type in the price - you've added an extra zero by accident. 

LapYoda
LapYoda

Good looking watch, but ridiculously ambitious pricing.  I would rather get either the Nomos Zurich Weltzeit or, even less expensively, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer, and use the thousands I would save *not* buying this watch to take a trip where I could use the world timer functionality.  And both of them have manufacture movements, whereas this may or may not (depending on whether you feel a Richemont movement is truly "in-house').

MikeinFrankfurt
MikeinFrankfurt

A few things:


- I think the watch looks nice overall, but was there really a need to put "Automatic" and "World Timer" on there?  If yes, why so damn big?  Also, every line of text uses a different style of font!!!

- I've finally seen these Capelands in person and they seem huge...a shame it isn't 40mm or 42 max.

- $8K...wow.  It would take a dedicated person to skip over a GMT2 for not much more (or go used) or a host of other higher end brands with a GMT/World Time function. The price and value of a Nomos Weltzeit would make one feel like they're getting away with a crime versus this.

- Oh yeah, you forgot the other "worst characteristic of this watch" and that would be the requirement to walk into Tourneau to buy this new.  We can all thank their knowledge-less, pushy, hard-sell tactics for taking away one of the few reasons for liking to go to the mall with the better half . 


JosephW
JosephW

No mention of the movement? At all? That's very odd. Even if it's an ETA or Sellita, I want to know what it is

Actually - at $8,000+ - I REALLY want to know about the movement.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

As world timers go it's somewhat attractive, but if it weren't for the blue dial I don't think i'd look at it twice.  The movement is woefully under-decorated and laughably small - two hallmarks of a watch you might expect to be half the price of this.  It has some nice details but i'm just not feeling it.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

Don't like it. I wanted, because dial style is rather sweet, but "44mm stainless steel case that measures in at 14.52mm thick" - its just too big and fat. Look at the backside -  tiny movement in a saucepan.

abhishes
abhishes

very nice and classy look

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@TwistyRoads Good comment. However I believe the logic regarding  #2 (minutes outboard of the hours) is long established as confirmed by minute hands being longer than hour hands. When properly sized, each hand points to it numbers/scale.But your comment about the locations is well taken. But the larger area on the periphery does allow for all of those long place names. The other option these days (since most travelers fly) is 3 letter airport codes which can more easily fit inside the hour numbers/scale. Cheers.

vmarks
vmarks

@MikeinFrankfurt   @JosephW


Baume et Mercier describe the movement as:


Swiss Made
Manufacture
Movement Designation: Automatic, self-winding, IWC 35750
Finish: Circular-grained finished plate and bridges. Open worked oscillating weight adorned with "Côtes de Genève", snailed decor and PHI symbol.
Power Reserve: 42.0 hour
Frequency: 4.0 Hz / 28800.0 Vph


With the balance wheel at 12, and the large rotor bearing, this looks like it could be an ETA family movement. with IWC attention to precision. I believe they either order gear trains to a higher spec than ETA normally delivers, or they replace those parts with higher spec ones on their own.

Patrick Kansa
Patrick Kansa

@JosephW  Apologies for the oversight there - this is utilizing the IWC 35750 movement.

TwistyRoads
TwistyRoads

@MarkCarson @TwistyRoads  MarkCarson, i take your point on #2, and I stand corrected... the hands ARE the right length for the dial layout, and having the minutes outboard of the hours is an established layout for the Capeland.  You've helped me realize that my issue is really with how the world time function was integrated with dial layout.  I don't like that the city ring and 24 hour ring are between the minutes and the hours.  I would prefer that the minutes stay directly adjacent to the hours, the hands then sized to point to the hours numbers or minutes as appropriate, and the 24 hour ring and city ring outside of all that.  Almost all world time watches that I have seen have layouts like I described... I know the world timers from IWC, Patek, Breitling, Jaeger, GP, Ball, and Zenith all do..  The only other world timer that I've seen with the minutes outboard of the city ring and hour ring is the Vacheron.  The Vacheron also has the hands extended across the 24 hour ring and the city ring... and I don't like it on that watch either!  I've also seen the Mont Blanc Time Walker, which takes another approach and puts the hour numbers and date BETWEEN the outboard city ring and an inboard 24 hour ring..... I thought it made it harder to read the world time function.  But I suppose variety is the spice of life... 

TwistyRoads
TwistyRoads

I like the skeletonized hands that allow the 24 hour ring to show through... It "acknowledges" that the hand would otherwise block the 24 hour ring. But I think if you skeletonized the hour and minute hands more so the city ring could also be read "through" the hands, that would be much better! It would make the world time complication 100% usable to me.

Airport codes are an interesting approach. I have not seen a world timer use them before. (And the Christopher Ward is not a wold timer. It's a very cool watch, but not a world timer in my book). I agree MOST people that really use a world timer are familiar with airport codes, and if you are marketing to that segment...perfect! But SOME world time users sit in one place and just need to know the time in Sydney and London at the same time...so they are not so familiar with airport codes. I personally like it, and to me the use of 3 letters "justifies" the inner (smaller) placement of the city ring.