The new Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph (refs. M0A10006 & M0A10007) collection of vintage-styled wristwatches from the Swiss-based watchmaking brand is a modern re-interpretation of the classic monopusher from 1948. While I am positive that the watch will appeal to many representatives of the generation of baby boomers looking for a nice “classic” chronograph at a relatively affordable price, there is a good chance that some of the brand’s younger customers would want one of these timekeepers, too, thanks for its impeccable finish, elegant exterior design and, of course, good mechanism made by La Joux-Perret: the brand’s new source of mechanical calibers.
Soon to be presented at the forthcoming SIHH 2011 industry event, the new Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph watch will be delivered both in understated stainless steel case (ref. M0A10006) and in absolutely gorgeous rose gold version (ref. M0A10007.)
Both versions are relatively affordable in their niches with the one in steel set to be offered at approximately $7500 and the one in gold at some $19,500 (the final price, as usual, will depend on your local taxes, custom duties and almost inevitable discounts since, when it comes to MSRP, the watch is almost as expensive as, say, IWC Portuguese Chronograph and the company probably intends to lure potential customers by offering them good ‘bargains’ over the sticker price.)
Sporting almost the same dial layout as the model from 1948 that was chosen as a source of inspiration for B&M’s designers, the watch is as easy to operate as a slide rule (i.e. not at all, unless you have an adequate experience of dealing with watches that feature tachymeters, telemeters, and chronographs and actually intend to use the features.)
However, if you are looking for a contemporary version of a vintage watch, which, while offering basically the same exterior layout with period-correct typefaces and overall look and feel, is equipped with a modern high-grade movement and is covered with a full manufacturer’s warranty, you should seriously consider this timepiece before turning your eyes at the Longines Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage chronograph or the Omega Number 9 Milestone 1941 watch.
The information regarding this timekeeper is still scarce at best. It is reported that the watch will be delivered in an oversized case 44 millimeters in diameter and 16.50 mm thick and will come on a choice of 20 mm straps either in dark brown or black alligator leather with nice contrast stitching.
It is also known that the new Capeland will be equipped with an automatic movement built by La Joux-Perret ebauche maker, which is basically the good old ETA 7750 chronograph movement with an add-on complication module.
For a mass-produced job, the movement is nicely decorated with circular-grained finish and its winding rotor not only sports the stylized Φ letter (Baume et Mercier’s logo,) but is also adorned with Cotes de Geneve and snail decor. Perhaps, the only thing that may scare a number of international customers is that the mechanisms (or, rather, the aforementioned complication modules) are not as widespread as ETA calibers with similar functionality and there are not so many repair professionals officially qualified to do repairs (and, by the way, spare parts maybe missing, too, which will require more time to get the watch in perfect running order if something goes bad.)
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Baume et Mercier
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) automatic watch specification
Price: $7500 (stainless steel) / $19,500 (rose gold)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber La Joux-Perret 8147-2 (base ETA 7750,) Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case material: 18-carat rose gold or Stainless steel
Bezel material: 18-carat rose gold or Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 20 mm
Case height: 16.50 mm
Dial: Two-toned, domed
Hands: Blued steel, Breguet hands
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Either dark brown or black alligator leather with tang buckle in metal matching material of the case
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire