Baume & Mercier is a lot older than many may think. This year, the brand will celebrate its 185th anniversary. And to mark the notable and special occasion, Baume & Mercier is releasing a limited edition Clifton watch. The watch is the Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve.
Baume & Mercier has been quietly and steadily making waves for the past couple of years with some very solid releases. Ever year, the brand’s Clifton and Capeland collections are bolstered with very competent and nice new pieces. I’m particularly fond of the Clifton Complete Calendar (review here) and also the very vintage looking Capeland chronograph (review here).
New for this year and to mark the brand’s 185th anniversary is the Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve. The watch comes in a 45mm wide red gold case and the overall aesthetic of it is very classic and clean. The 45mm case is fairly large for such a watch, but is absolutely necessary, as you will find out later. And as befits an anniversary piece, the bezel and case is endowed with mirror and satin polishing. The sides of the case and lugs are satin-finished, whereas the top facing parts of the bezel and case are given a mirror finish. The end result is a case that plays well with the light and is very interesting to behold.
The dial is slightly domed and coupled with the domed sapphire crystal, giving the watch vintage vibes. For a classic looking dress watch, some may argue there is quite a lot going on on the dial, but overall it can still be described as clean. There’s a fairly large seconds sub dial at 6 o’clock, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator for the hand-wound movement’s massive 8 day reserve at 9 o’clock. The hours, minutes and seconds hands are gilt steel, whereas the hand for the power reserve indicator is blued steel.
For fans of IWC, the dial layout might seem familiar to you, and it should, because this watch is powered by the IWC caliber 59210, which sees action in the Portofino Hand-Wound 8 days. It also explains why the watch has a large case size of 45mm. This is not the first time Baume & Mercier has used movements from IWC, the Capeland Worldtimer (review here) uses the same movement as the IWC Pilot Worldtimer. The movement in the Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve is finished nicely with Geneva strips on the bridges, bevelled edges and blued screws. Power reserve is 192 hours or 8 days, courtesy of a single extra-large barrel. The balance wheel runs at 4Hz and has a hacking mechanism.
All in all, the Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve is a nicely executed watch and ideal for anyone who likes a large yet classic looking dress piece. The Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve is limited to just 185 pieces and is priced at around $17,500. This is about a quarter less than an IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 days in 18K gold. Just saying. baume-et-mercier.com