HANDS-ON: Let’s be real, the Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Automatic Day Date Moon Phase is stupendously good-lookingZach Blass
Everyone loves good value. It’s always nice to walk away from a purchase with the smug feeling that you got a lot more than what you paid for. One brand that consistently provides those good vibes is Baume & Mercier. They really know how to walk the fine line between luxury and accessibility and it is no secret that we at Time+Tide are genuine fans of what they have to offer. Not in general, because the brand has suffered dark patches, but specifically since they re-entered the fray with the Baumatic.
Modern-day Baume & Mercier ticks a lot of boxes for prospective buyers of various backgrounds and levels of spending power. Sure, their watches are still at the mid tier, and face stiff competition, but compared to the rest of the industry, their catalogue of creations are both well priced and very well executed, when you compare them spec for spec. One stand-out example of both these characteristics is the Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Automatic Day Date Moon Phase 10548.
The stainless-steel case is 42mm in diameter and 13.2mm thick. The lugs are rather compact as well, which makes the 10548 a very wearable 42mm for most wrists. Fortunately, the added complications do not add too much size to the overall profile, making it more than capable of sliding neatly under your shirt cuff. The case leverages a variety of finishes, but from a front-facing viewpoint is highly polished throughout.
The bezel, and front-facing facets of the lugs are mirror polished, with only the caseband rendered in a satin-brushed finish. This yields a nice symphony of geometries at play, with the top and chamfered tapered facets both high-polished until the bevel meets a sharp line that breaks into the brushed surface. Elegant in look and feel, the result elevates the steel of the case to make it feel like a more opulent proposition.
The dial is made of a gradient shaded grey lacquer that has a grained texture for added depth. The alpha hands, central seconds hand, date indicator hand and riveted markers are all fashioned with a rhodium plating. Every millimetre of real estate on the dial is heavily utilised, yet it still maintains a pleasing sense of balance, symmetry and space.
At 12 you’ll find a day indicator instead of the typical Baume & Mercier logo, which now finds itself at the nine position. Moved from the usual six position, you’ll see the printed text that establishes the in-house caliber beating within and its five days or 120 hours of power reserve at the three-hour position. At six, the date complication and blue/grey moon phase aperture are perfectly situated.
The blue alligator leather strap matches the blue aspects of the moon phase disc and adds a nice touch of colour to the grey aesthetic that dominates the case and dial. Think you would prefer a grey strap to match the dial, or even fancy another colour to add more pop? Fortunately, for adventurous wearers the strap features a quick-release style system, making the watch’s overall aesthetic very easy to swap by popping on different coloured straps at the wearer’s leisure. An adjustable triple-folding buckle with security push-pieces fastens the watch to your wrist.
The in-house Baumatic BM14-1975A C2 movement inside the Day Date Moon Phase runs at 28,800 vph and has 21 jewels. What is really neat and makes this more than just your everyday run-of-the-mill movement is its anti-magnetic silicon components and 120 hours of power reserve that can keep the watch running an entire working week without wearing it – although, trust me, you will probably want to. The in-house caliber is likely based on the architecture of the time and date models found within the collection, but with an added in-house module(s) that adds the extra complication without making the movement much thicker. It is not chronometer-certified, like the Automatic COSC model, but should prove to be a highly accurate movement nonetheless.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Automatic Day Date Moon Phase 10548 pricing & availability:
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Automatic Day Date Moon Phase 10548 is $6900 AUD and is available now in-store and online. For more details, visit Baume & Mercier right here.