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

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.

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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.

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Alexandre Peraldi

T+T: And were there any concessions you had to make?

AP: Yes, we had to take price into account. This is why the distinctive lugs attached to the middle caseband (as seen on the original model) are a feature only on our high-end emblematic models.

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The newest version of the Clifton, reference 10316

T+T: You’ve recently released images of the latest Clifton, with a stylish blue dial and very balanced GMT/power reserve complications. You seem to constantly come up with new and interesting combinations of complications, which made me wonder – are there any functions we won’t see in the Clifton collection?

AP: There are some configurations we avoid using in any Baume & Mercier watches. No overly large or thick movements, and certainly no gadget features or useless complications. Any version of the Clifton we release has to uphold the line’s aesthetic signature.

T+T: Thanks very much for your time Alexandre. Looking forward to seeing you and the new range in a few weeks at SIHH.