Looking for a new dress watch? Be sure to check out the range of options presented by the new Baume & Mercier Clifton line. Encompassing a series of three-handers and two stunning Complete Calendar models, the Clifton was inspired by past B&M models from the 1950s and is a continuation of the Baume & Mercier Classima line. The prices are very attractive as well. With the Clifton, B&M have created what looks to be a very versatile and understated line of everyday dress watches that offer a range of sizes, case metals and dial designs. The 39mm version also has one of the best 18k watch prices on the market.
The stainless steel versions are largely identical save for their dial and hand coloring. The black dial Clifton 10053 will be 41mm wide with a thickness of 11.54mm making it quite thick for a three-hand dress watch. The crystal is sapphire and has been treated to an anti-reflective coating allowing for a clear view of the black dial and rhodium-plated hands. Ticking inside is an automatic movement (possibly an ETA 2895-2) which offers a small seconds and date display. The Clifton 10052 is identical save for a silver dial and blued steel hands. Additionally, the very similar Clifton 10054 swaps the blued steel for gold hands and markers should you want an even dressier vibe. Baume & Mercier are also offering the gold-cased 10058 and 10059 which are 39mm wide and feature a central seconds hand with either a silver or anthracite dial, respectively.
The flagship three-hander Clifton version is undoubtedly the 10060 which forgoes the stainless steel build for one of 18K red gold with mixed finishing. This gold Clifton measures in at 42mm wide and 8.85mm thick thanks to a thin, hand-wound movement. In Ariel's opinion it was the best looking and most comfortable of the bunch with its thin profile and modern size. The 10060 is powered by a La Joux-Perret 7381 which incorporates two barrels and can be seen via the display case back. The dial design of the Clifton 10060 is more elegant than the steel models, with a different design employed for the sub seconds register and a more simplified overall layout that does not feature a date display. The three-handers certainly have a lot to offer with three sizes, multiple dials and case configurations and a classic styling that should make for a very wearable and elegant watch that will seldom find you underdressed.
Truth be told, of the entire Clifton line, I am most excited for the Clifton Complete Calendar ref 10055 (white) and 10057 (blue). These 43mm stainless steel watches feature a classic dial design which incorporates both a triple date display and moon phase complication. These features are delivered via a Dubois-Depraz 9000 automatic which offers a pointer date, windows for the month and day of the week display, and a beautiful moonphase display above six o'clock. With thickness of just 12.2mm, the Clifton Complete Calendar looks excellent for the $4900 USD asking price.
The Clifton will be available in stores by April 2013 and will be priced between $2,950 - $13,950 USD, depending on the model. While I am not generally a fan of gold on my own wrist, the Clifton 10060 is a beautiful looking watch with an interesting movement and subtle dial design that I really like. It is also the most expensive of all the watches with a price nearly double that of the next highest model at $13,950. If it were my money, I'd likely go for the snappy blue dial of the Clifton 10057 Complete Calendar ($4,950). I think the additional color will work well with the larger case width and tie in nicely with the brushed steel finishing. The Clifton range as a whole is reminiscent of the Hamilton Jazzmaster collection and should make for a popular line with a wide range of appeal. The basic 41mm wide Clifton model is priced at just $2,950, while the 18k gold 39mm automatic is well-priced at $6,450. We hope to have a Clifton in for review soon, but until then, which version would you like to have on your wrist?