For the year 2012, Baume & Mercier is slightly refreshing its 2011 Capeland Flyback Chronograph (refs. M0A10006 & M0A10007) with a version featuring a combination of black dial and rose gold hands. Probably set to compete with Montblanc’s Collection Villeret series, I expect the Capeland Flyback Chronograph Black Dial (ref. MOA10068 aka 10068) to be officially revealed in January during the upcoming SIHH 2012 trade show.
Did you know that in October 2011 as the world economy continued its gradual recovery after the biggest financial meltdown after World War II the combined exports of the Swiss watchmaking industry rose by almost 20 percent with models in gold cases surging by more than 30 percent and timepieces in bi-metallic bodies following the trend? At the same time, sales of pure steel watches were not that impressive.
I don’t know the reason for that. It may be that the more expensive timekeepers suffered more during the last financial crisis as the middle class cut its expenditures on all things luxury and are now simply rebounding to the pre-crisis level. Perhaps, some people think that a watch must have something of “real” value in it, besides the legendary -yet way overpriced- “Swiss Made” inscription on its dial that adds at least 10 percent to a timekeeper’s sticker price.
Whatever the reason is, it is a fact that people are more and more interested in gold and, so it is no wonder that more and more serious watchmakers are introducing their timekeepers in gold and gold/steel mixes.
The new Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph Black Dial is among them.
It seems that the two-tone version will comfortably sit in between the pure steel and rose gold models revealed last year during the SIHH 2010 international trade show. I believe, there is no use in reciting my impressions regarding this model (you can read them in the initial impressions review published last year.)
I can only say that the chronograph will sport the same oversized stainless steel case 44 millimeters in diameter and 16.5 millimeters in height. From my perspective, the watch is still too thick and large for a vintage-styled piece, yet I realize that you may have a dissenting opinion. Still, I can’t but admit that the button-shaped setting/winding crown is not just elegant, but also highly ergonomic, while the chronograph push-buttons are comfortable to operate (yet, a bit generic.)
What I love here is the way its otherwise cluttered black dial is perfectly contrasted with rose gold Breguet-style hour and minute hands, as well as leaf-shaped chronograph and small seconds hands crafted from the same precious metal.
The gold-toned tachymeter scale is nicely accented by the telemeter scale of a darker white (or rather very light grey) color giving the timekeeper’s face that “vintage” appeal. The choice of colors once again reiterates the theme of steel/gold mixt and does that in a very elegant way, for that matter.
A beautiful piece, that, but woefully overpriced.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Baume et Mercier
Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph Black Dial (ref. MOA10068) specification
Price: 7500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, La Joux-Perret 8147-2 ebauche, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27 jewels
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Branded and skeletonized oscillating weight, Geneva stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, chronograph, date, telemeter
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 16.50 mm
Strap width: 17.60 mm — 21.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, white
Hour markers: White
Hands: Rose gold, polished
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap with contrast stitching and stainless steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, domed