Baume et Mercier

Since 1830 Baume & Mercier have been making watches that embody the principles of equilibrium and balance in their design. Their timepieces are classic, yet contemporary, elegant, yet robust. They are designed to accompany “the special moments in life” and appeal to the human element in their design. Time+Tide is the perfect place to explore the watches and backstory of Baume & Mercier.

HANDS-ON: The sporty new Baume & Mercier Clifton Club

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This year’s SIHH sees Baume & Mercier release a new, sportier take on the Clifton – the Clifton Club. This collection of robust, three-handed timepieces is made for ‘gentle sportsmen’ – which, if I’m interpreting the PR video full of people on boards (surf and skate) and bikes (mountain and motorised) means it’s a sporty go-anywhere-do-anything watch that would still fit quite neatly into your daily life. Presented in a range of dial and strap options, at its core this collection is a 42mm steel case, with a diver’s bezel and legible dial design, applied indices, a bold ‘Phi’ logo at 12 and contemporary hands. As far as things go, it’s a fairly conservative package, which works with a range of colours. It looks summery in sunburst blue, and far more stealthy when realised in black and paired with the matching black ADLC case. The strap options are good too – including a traditional three-link bracelet, a sailcloth textured ‘All Road’ calfskin number with contrasting orange details, and an unusual vulcanised rubber option with a central grille of vents. With 100m of water resistance across the board, a fairly slender 10.2mm profile, screw-down crown and amply applied Luminova, the Clifton Club plays it by… Read More

INTERVIEW: Baume & Mercier’s Alexandre Peraldi on the past and present of the Clifton

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We’ve spent a fair amount of digital ink this week talking about Baume & Mercier’s Clifton collection, and how it’s such a neat link to the Geneva-based brand’s heritage. So we thought it was only appropriate to explore this history, and how they’ve honoured it, in a little more detail. And who better to explore it with than Alexandre Peraldi, Baume & Mercier’s Design and Product Director. Time+Tide: Looking at the watch that inspires today’s Clifton collection, the resemblance is immediately obvious. Can you tell us what elements you kept, and what you changed? Alexandre Peraldi: Of course, we tried to retain as many elements from the original, with updates to meet today’s quality standards. The double bevel on the bezel and caseband is the aesthetic signature of this model, and it allows the profile to remain slim, despite the relatively thick movement. The bevelled edge continues from the caseband to the tips of the lugs, creating a single line, and providing perfect visual unity from strap to baseband. And the strong graphic appeal of the Arabic numerals is also very important, and clearly speaks to the history of our brand. T+T: And were there any concessions you had to make? AP:… Read More

IN-DEPTH: The Baume & Mercier Clifton Complete Calendar Chronograph

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The story in a second Baume & Mercier’s Clifton always had a pretty face. Well, that face just got complicated. It’s hardly a secret. We like the Clifton at Time+Tide. It’s a well-balanced collection that walks a fine line between dressy and casual, retro and modern, all while being very well priced. Typically, though, these Baume & Mercier watches tend towards the simpler complications – calendar or moonphase or date – that sort of thing. Today we’re looking at a Clifton that loads all these complications into one watch. In theory it sounds good – more bang for buck, right? But in reality does all this added functionality detract from the simple allure of the Clifton? There’s only one way for us to find out. The dial As is immediately obvious, there’s a fair bit going on here, but the Clifton does a good job of conveying a large amount of information with as little fuss as possible. First of all, the blued hands indicate chronograph functions – central seconds, with minutes and hours at 12 and six respectively. The subdial at 12 also has windows displaying day and month, while the date is displayed via the red tip central hand…. Read More

HANDS-ON: The Baume & Mercier Clifton Perpetual Calendar raises the bar

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Baume & Mercier are known for their value-focused take on traditional watchmaking. Their Clifton and Capeland collections epitomise this approach, offering versatile style at a price that won’t break the bank. Of course, this means some concessions must be made: Cases are usually steel, and complications are of the more down-to-earth variety. But just because this sort of everyday mechanical is Baume & Mercier’s bread and butter doesn’t mean that they don’t have the capacity to hit the horological high gear on occasion. In fact, over the past few years Baume & Mercier has released a series of fairly stunning special edition takes on the Clifton, including a tourbillon, this handsome 8-day power reserve model and the unusual five-minute repeater pocket watch. The latest addition to this series is a full blown perpetual calendar, housed in a slender, solid 18K red gold case. It’s an extremely elegant piece, thanks to the traditional dial layout and the faceted, vintage-inspired lugs, slightly recessed crown and glassbox sapphire crystal. At 42mm across it’s well sized for a complicated watch, ensuring that there’s enough room on the dial for everything to be legible, but not so big as to lose the old-world charm. Looking through the sapphire… Read More

LOOKBOOK: Three ways to wear Baume & Mercier’s steel Petite Promesse

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Take a good look at the image below. What do you see? A ladies’ dress watch, right? That’s a fair point. When you have 44 brilliant-cut diamonds bracketing a mother-of-pearl dial, a teeny 22mm case and a wrap-around bracelet, it’s clear we’re not operating at the rough-and-ready end of the watch spectrum. But don’t be fooled into thinking the Baume & Mercier Petite Promesse is a one-trick pony. This is a versatile little gem. Here are just three ways to work it – though we guarantee there are countless more. Evening wear Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first, shall we? This watch performs very well in the presence of lace, clutch bags and Champagne. Meanwhile, thanks to a clever mechanism for setting the time using a tool that inserts into the caseback, there’s no crown on the side to disrupt the all-important silhouette, which is especially important after dark. This is elegance to a tee. Biker chic Weren’t expecting that, were you? But see, no woman worth her buttery-soft calfskin leather goes all-out butch when she does biker chic. (Exhibit 1: fresh white sneakers. Exhibit 2: lack of obvious guns and/or tyre irons.) A chunky timepiece would be overkill, while a… Read More

HANDS-ON: The romance of travel and the Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer

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There’s an inherent romance to a worldtime watch. It’s a complication that offers the promise of adventure. As you check the time in your Sydney office, you can’t help but notice that it’s daquiri o’clock in glamorous places like Santiago (Denver – not so much). Compared to the purely functional GMT, a worldtimer reminds you just how big the world is, and implicitly invites you to explore it. Baume & Mercier has done an excellent job capturing this spirit in their Capeland Worldtimer – it’s a watch full of warmth and curves. The 44mm case mixes classical style with contemporary size, and the high glassbox sapphire crystal only amps up the analogue vibe. The same goes for the off-white dial, with its old school Arabic numerals and blued steel hands. And while the alligator strap adds a dressy element, I’d be tempted to pair this watch with a distressed leather or mid-brown suede to cement the golden age of aviation look. Flip the watch over and you can see the movement through the sapphire caseback. Baume & Mercier call it a ‘group manufacture movement’ which translates to an external ebauche (top end Sellita) with a world time module supplied from another… Read More

INTERVIEW: “I’ve got a god-given gift in my ass.” 5 legendary quotes from legendary driver, Allen Grant

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He’s been George Lucas’ “hero” since they were kids (but he didn’t watch Star Wars until his own children forced him to), he’s one of the key players in the story of the Ferrari-beating Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and he now has a watch named after him. Race car driver Allen Grant has led quite a life. And that’s the right turn of phrase. Allen Grant has spent a lot of it in the lead. As for the eponymous watch, it’s the rather comely Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 Allen Grant model to be precise, limited to just 15 pieces. And it’s probably not gilding the lily to say that – in the same way that the Shelby Cobra changed the game on Ferrari, who’d won 10 of 12 FIA sports-car titles in the previous 12 years up until 1965  – the sporty Capeland Cobra has changed the game for Baume & Mercier. A few months ago, after an adrenaline-fuelled lap of the historic Paul Ricard racetrack in Provence, I sat down with this legendary driver to find out about his life behind the wheel. These are the five quotes that sum it up. ON HAVING A WATCH WITH HIS NAME ON IT:… Read More