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 the book. It must be said that I found the slender bezel a little hard to grip and turn – but then again this isn’t a professional dive watch per se.
All told, the Clifton Club represents quite a dramatic (and I suspect commercially driven) change of direction for the brand. The Clifton always stood apart from the pack as a well-executed, heritage-inspired dress watch, but the Clifton Club with its casual sports-chic plays in much more crowded waters, but rather than a high-powered jetski, it presents as a tanned, fit gent in Raybans – handsome, but breaking no barriers.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Australian pricing
Baume & Mercier Clifton Club, on steel bracelet $2850, on calf $2750.