Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases epitomise understated luxury Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases epitomise understated luxury

Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases epitomise understated luxury

Jamie Weiss

They say money can’t buy class – and I think that’s mostly true. Indeed, I think the truest marker of enthusiasm or class is enjoying the finer things on a budget without missing out. Whether that’s ordering the prix fixe menu at a fine restaurant, shopping last season’s styles or travelling off-peak, the savvy luxury buyer knows how to save money without compromising, and knows when something’s worth investing in. It’s not about “balling on a budget”, it’s about recognising real value.


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There are few watch brands that epitomise this more than Baume & Mercier. “Value” is a particularly specious and dubious term when it comes to luxury timepieces, but Baume & Mercier’s watches have indeed long represented exceedingly good value: boasting uncontroversially handsome designs and above-average movements at attainable prices. Case in point: this new pair of Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases, which present one of watchmaking’s most traditional complications in a contemporary yet timeless package with a great movement beating under the hood that you don’t need to be a billionaire to enjoy.

The case

Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases case

Baume & Mercier debuted the new Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases earlier this year with the ref. 10736, which features an exceedingly traditional 18k rose gold case and an off-white dial. At A$19,900, it represents amazing value for a gold moonphase watch – but again, calling a gold watch “good value” is a bit on the nose. These two models in stainless steel, however, present a more affordable proposition. Compared to previous moon phase iterations of the Clifton, the new Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases feature 39mm cases rather than 42mm ones – which is sure to make a lot of people happy, as 39mm is a pretty ‘Goldilocks’ size. It’s a pretty straightforward circular design with a thin polished bezel and lugs.

The dial

Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases dial

The dial of the Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases (yes, the plural in the name is slightly confusing) is where things get more interesting. Both the blue and black colourways feature tasteful dégradé finishes, punctuated by thin, almost Art Deco-like riveted indexes. Thin alpha hour and minutes hands glide above, with a large but minimalist moonphase display taking pride of place at 6 o’clock, which also functions as a date indicator. The blue model features rhodium-plated highlights, whereas the black model features gold highlights: slightly less stealthy but a bit more luxe.

The strap

The Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases come mounted on dial colour-matched alligator leather straps with steel folding clasps and curved quick-release spring bars for that nice integrated look.

The movement

Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases movement

Baume & Mercier’s Baumatic movement is one of my favourite movements: not only does it possess a 5-day power reserve, but it’s also proven to be an exceptionally versatile base for different modular complications. The Baumatic BM14-1975 AC1 in the Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases might not be COSC-certified like other Baumatic calibres, but it manages to introduce a moonphase while maintaining that 5-day power reserve, which is pretty good in my book.

The verdict

Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases

Real watch aficionados prize moonphases: they’re a complication associated with old-school watchmaking as well as high price tags. They represent an elevated horological experience. The Baume & Mercer Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases promise this experience in a thoroughly understated way. Aesthetically versatile, user-friendly and minimal but not severe, these are moonphase watches that those in the know will adore.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases pricing & availability

The Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases are available from April 2024. Price: A$7,250.

Brand Baume & Mercier
Model Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases
Reference Number M0A10756 (blue)
M0A10758 (black)
Case Dimensions 39mm (D) x 12.2mm (T)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Lacquered blue or black dégradé
Strap Blue or black alligator strap, steel folding clasp
Movement Baumatic BM14-1975 AC1, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 120 hours (5 days)
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date, moonphase
Availability From April 2024
Price A$7,250