This autumn, right in time for the holiday shopping season, the aspiring Swiss-based watchmaker will hit the stores with a new limited edition watch. Called Baume & Mercier William Baume Jumping Hour (ref. M0A08857, also known as ref. 8857), it is what it is: a dressy automatic watch featuring a not so common jumping hour complication. What’s even more exciting about this timepiece is that this is a true limited edition model: with just a handful of individually numbered time measuring devices to ever be released, there is a good chance that the wristwatch will become a rarity in no time at all.
Like some of the recently released gadgets with the same “jumping hours” complication, the watch is powered by the well-known Dubois Depraz 14400 automatic movement. Popular among second-tier brands who can’t afford designing their own caliber from scratch, it, in its own turn, is a modification of the ubiquitous ETA 2892A2 ebauche: a good old three-hander caliber that has proven its reliability and robustness during many decades it stays in production.
The same movement, by the way of speaking, was used in Baume & Mercier’s older Classima Executives L Automatic Jumping Hour model, as well as in the last year’s handsomely rugged Edox Grand Ocean Sea Dubai watch. Both featured completely the same dial layout -a jumping hour display at 12 o’clock, a slightly off-centered along the vertical axis minute hand display, and a smaller second hand sub-dial at 6 o’clock- that was dictated by the design of the cal. 14400 that, as I understand it, was used in its base form with just some minor embellishing on visible parts.
Of course, being a member of the classic-styled William Baume collection (i.e. sold at a much higher price than the rest of the pack,) the William Baume Jumping Hour watch features a completely different styling of its body and face.
Available only in a rose gold case, the watch comes equipped with either silvered or black dial, both featuring a cross weave guilloché motif and sunburst satin-brushed finish on the minute and second sub dials.
Sure, in terms of technical ingenuity, this model doesn’t even come close to the last year’s A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk model. Also, equipped with a mass-produced movement developed by a third-party company, it is by no means a high-end product as some bloggers try to position the device.
However, if you are more interested in style rather than in technical specifications, the Baume & Mercier William Baume Jumping Hour watch is among the best offerings on the market.
B&M plans to start selling this model in September, 2010, limiting the watch’s production to only 40 units (since the black-dialed and silver-dialed versions sport different reference numbers, I gather that the total run will be 80 examples.) In the U.S., it will retail at about $19,900, but I am sure that you will be able to find a good bargain and get it well below the $15,000 mark.
Or you can simply get yourself the gorgeous Patek Philippe 5196R Calatrava model for the same price.
Photos: Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier William Baume Jumping Hour automatic watch (ref. M0A08857) specification:
Price range: $19,900 (MSRP)
Movement: Dubois Depraz 14400 (base caliber ETA 2892-A2), automatic, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions & Complications: Jumping hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: Up to 44 hours
Case material: 18-carat Red gold
Bezel material: Matches that of case
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 9.60 mm
Dial: Silvered, guilloched
Hands: Red gold, polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown crocodile leather on red gold tang buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire