Baume and Mercier has recently expanded upon its popular series of men’s watches, beloved for their clean designs in a classic round case. For 2017, the Clifton Collection gets an upgrade with the introduction of a line created for the “gentlesportsman”. The Clifton Club Collection, as this series of timepieces is being called, represents this Swiss mid-range luxury watch manufacturer’s uncommon venture into sports watches.
Taking a cue from the beauty of movement and fair play found in sports, Baume and Mercier has created a refined sports watch with a multifaceted look and purpose. Functional yet elegant, the watches from the Clifton Club line are perfect pieces for daily wear as they fit both in the boardroom and on the pitch. Inspired by the adage, “Anima sana in corpore sano” — Latin for, “a healthy mind in a healthy body” — Baume and Mercier is endeavouring to appeal to the modern sportsman by tapping into the historic and powerful vision of sport.
The Clifton Club Collection includes five models of similar design, but wearers are given the chance to choose between a range of colour combinations and bracelet or strap offerings. Crafted from 316L grade stainless steel, the series sports a 42mm case that sits discreetly on the wrist thanks to a thickness of just 10.3mm. The collection’s first two iterations offer the wearer a dial and bezel in blue or black, paired with satin-finished stainless steel bracelets. The next two versions feature a black dial and silver-toned bezel or a white dial and black bezel fitted with Baume and Mercier’s exclusive “All Road” black leather strap. The final model from the Clifton Club Collection is perhaps its most impressive and certainly its most robust — boasting a black dial and bezel that perfectly matches the black, sandblasted case with an ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon) finish, the watch is rounded off with a black vulcanized rubber strap. One design element tying all the versions together is a pop of vivid orange that can be found on all bezels and dials and incorporated into some of the watchstraps.
All iterations feature a user-friendly unidirectional steel bezel that provides great accuracy by including 120 notches at two notches per second. Embellished with a long-lasting lacquer, the bezel’s numerals are hand applied to ensure resistance to wear and tear. Standing out against the classic round case design and giving the watch a more athletic shape is a large screw-down crown at 3 o’clock with an integrated crown guard. This crown allows for a quick adjustment of the date — the aperture for which sits at 3 o’clock on the dial — and time, thanks to its stop-second system. The Clifton Club range also includes integrated lugs that connect the case to the strap or bracelet, enabling the wearer to enjoy a more comfortable fit — a much-welcomed feature in a superior sports watch. Designed to be worn during all kinds of sporting activities, including water sports, the Clifton Club Collection is water resistant to 100 metres (10 bar).
Central to the dial design of this Baume and Mercier series are the generously sized hour and minute hands, as well as the extra thin orange second hand, all of which are finished off with a Superluminova coating. The hour indexes surrounding the dial and the watchmaker’s “Phi” logo at 12 o’clock are also lume-filled thus guaranteeing the watch’s legibility in all situations. Subtle detailing on the watch face, such as the riveted white index markers and a thin inner band in varnished orange at the periphery of the dial, add to the instrument’s overall elegant design. And created to withstand daily knocks, the dial is protected by an anti-glare, scratch-resistant flat sapphire crystal.
Driven by the mechanical self-winding Sellita SW200 movement, the Clifton Club Collection has proven to be reliable even in the face of extreme conditions, as the calibre has undergone rigorous testing for shock resistance up to 550 G. Offering hour, minute, seconds, and date functionality, this movement vibrates at a frequency of 28,800 bph (4 Hz) and provides a power reserve of 48 hours. In line with the rugged design of the collection, these watches sport a stainless-steel, screw-down caseback. Engraved with a coat of arms, the word “Club,” and Baume and Mercier’s signature “Phi” logo, it pays homage to the style of a private members’ club card.
Pricing for the Clifton Club Collection begins at $2,750 ranging to $2,950 depending on watchstrap or bracelet choice. Contemporary timepieces with high-performance, quality engineering, Baume and Mercier successfully cater to those looking for moderately priced watches at exacting Swiss standards.