Baume & Mercier Clifton Chronograph Watches For 2014

Baume & Mercier Clifton Chronograph Watches For 2014

Baume & Mercier Clifton Chronograph Watches For 2014   watch releases

When a brand such as Baume & Mercier says they're digging into their archives for new watches, you can't be quite sure what you might see. As one of the seven oldest watch brands, they've got quite an assortment of inspiration to draw from. This latest batch of vintage-inspired pieces will expand the Clifton collection that we saw introduced earlier this year.

Drawing from what's labeled as the "golden era" of the 1950s, these new automatic Clifton chronographs will be formally introduced at SIHH in January. Intrinsically, the three are mechanically the same - 43mm stainless steel case, ETA 7750 movement (decorated and visible through the case back), sapphire crystals, and a 50m WR rating, to mention some of the highlights. Where the three models differentiate themselves then, is in the styling.

The Clifton 10129 (pictured up top) is marked as being the most vintage-looking of the collection, with gold tone hands and indices on a silver sunburst dial paired with a brown alligator strap. The next one in the collection, the Clifton 10130 takes the same look we saw in the 10129, and swaps in a seven link steel bracelet, giving it more of a sporty look than the alligator strap affords. Finally, we come to my favorite of the three, the 10123 model.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Chronograph Watches For 2014   watch releases

While the other two watches featured gold on the indices and hands, the 10123 opts for a rich blue finish for the hands and a silver tone on the numerals and indices. This also swaps in a black alligator strap, completing what is a much different look from the other two (that said, I think I'd opt for the steel bracelet on this variant, myself). I think what really works for me here is that you don't often see colors other than gold or silver on dress chronographs like these. And yes, they're dress chronos - there's not a hint of lume.

In terms of overall design, these look to have a clear layout, with the chronograph registers at 12 and 6, and the sub-seconds appearing at 9. Balancing out the dial, you've got the day and date display showing up at 3, with the fairly subtle branding showing up under the date. While I touched on the colors of the hands, I also want to point out their sizing and proportions.

On the main handset, these reach precisely to their appropriate time track, and the chronograph seconds looks like it heads right to the edge of the case. Their shape is a classic style which helps present a more upscale look. This proportion and sizing is also evident in the sub dials, which I truly appreciate. When you see a completely different hand style showing up on those dials, or hands that don't touch the edge of the register, it throws off the overall look and feel. Thankfully for us, Baume & Mercier avoided that trap, and has a cohesive dial design.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Chronograph Watches For 2014   watch releases

While pricing isn't officially "locked down" until we get to SIHH, it's anticipated that these models will come in between $3,900 and $4,200, with general availability occurring in April 2014. While these follow with the lineage established with the non-chronograph Clifton, this presents some additional functionality (and styling) that some may prefer. And besides, who ever said too many choices was a bad thing?  baume-et-mercier.com

7 comments
spiceballs
spiceballs

Very handsome designs with which I think the bracelet should work well.  I too prefer the silver dial and blued hands and agree that the silver numerals tend to disappear into the background.  Maybe all they need is some (blue) lume?  Also agree the running seconds needs a "60" marker - for balance if nothing else?

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Maybe this is not really fair, but when I saw the picture my first thought was that they remind me very much of the Bulova Wilton chrono. The Wilton obviously has a lot more going on, but there really are only a few degrees of separation in styling on them. 


Which is a good thing. Of these, the silver with blued hands is my choice. Very handsome. 

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I think they chose well.  The blue hands are lovely, though i'm not 100% sure they go with the silver markers... oh what the hell, i'd love to have a watch like this.  This is a brand that oozes class, even with their more humble offerings.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Agree, nice proportions of hands and dial elements. Most minor gripe - I think the running seconds sub-dial at 9 needs a "60" marker to be visually consistent with the 30 minute and 12 hour chronograph sub-dial counters.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

Rather sweet dials, however 43mm by bezel + massive lugs = one monster of a wrist needed... And for the price tag ~5000$ we can easily expect something more interesting than just another simple ETA workhorse

JonnyD
JonnyD

Well spotted. A simple thing to rectify, I'm surprised the design team missed that.

Cheers :-)

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

Mistaked, price ~4000$. Nevertheless it is still high for ETA workhorse