The definition of an everyday watch is one that doesn’t excel in any one particular area. It has to do everything, from jeans and hoodies, to bow ties and dinner jackets, and it has to do them all well. It needs to be noticeable yet invisible, characterful but discreet, and the Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic 10551 with its smoked-grey dial manages to be all of those things and more.
Although fumé dials are rising in popularity, this one is definitely a showstopper. The balance between the darker charcoal tones and the lighter wispy-cloud grey in the centre offers a perfect blend for the steel sword-hands, indices, and white printed details to pop with legibility without becoming garishly visible. The crosshair and Arabic numerals surrounding the minute track, along with the “5 Days – Chronometer” text, add a level of sophisticated detail that sets it apart from other dressy, everyday watches. The black-backed date wheel also doesn’t draw too much attention, with its slightly rounded window not being overcomplicated by a shiny frame.
The Clifton Baumatic case is a masterclass in considered taste. Its bubble-like shape allows its 40mm width to be mostly occupied by the dial, in turn letting the watch have quite a visible presence on the wrist. That doesn’t mean it wears largely, however, as the vintage-style short lugs mean that it won’t overextend a smaller wrist, and the bracelet is allowed to drape freely down over your arm for a comfortable fit.
The polished surfaces from the front are accented by brushed case sides, managing to make the watch appear even slimmer on the wrist as your eyes are drawn to them. While this isn’t exactly a watch designed for the beach, the 50m water resistance given by the screwed-down caseback is enough to not worry about the odd splash.
The Baumatic BM13-1975A is B&M’s flagship in-house movement, something that is unlike anything remotely in its price range. Yes, you could argue that Longines using an ETA movement is technically in-house, however you wouldn’t necessarily get the same highly decorated movement, anti-magnetic properties, 120-hour power reserve, and COSC accuracy within -4/+6 seconds per day. Plus, a seven-year servicing interval for a watch that ticks at 28,800 vph is nothing to scoff at. It’s a visual feast just as much as a spec monster, too, absolutely covered in the most beautiful machine-finishing techniques, such as the Geneva striping on the rotor and the engine-turned baseplate.
The solid-steel five-link bracelet is well finished with satin-polished outer links and brushed centre links that darken the apparent colour of the metal, matching the flowing grey tones from the dial. The butterfly deployant clasp is solidly milled and blends well once closed, contributing to a very cohesive overall appearance. What’s more, the end links are graced with bolt-action quick-release spring bars, allowing for quick changes should you wish to dress it up with a leather strap.
As Swiss-made watch prices from established, centuries-old brands creep up, there are few watches out there that offer luxury quality for a reasonably attainable price. With an RRP of $3100 US, this particular Clifton Baumatic reference is a wonderful and unique choice for a daily wear, offering all of the specifications you could ask for, in an interesting colour that remains supremely adaptable.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic pricing and availability:
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic is $4700 AU and is available now. For more details, visit Baume & Mercier right here.
Made in partnership with Baume & Mercier. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.