Well, it’s official: B&M finally introduces its first limited edition model designed exclusively for their U.S. customers. Destined to be sold -again: exclusively- through Turneau, one of the largest luxury watch retailers in the United States, the new Baume & Mercier Capeland Tourneau Limited Edition (Ref. MOA10088 aka 10088) automatic wristwatch will be produced in a limited party of just 250 pieces. And it will be quite expensive, too.
Launched back in 2011, the Baume & Mercier Capeland Collection was updated earlier this year with a new movement and a couple of new dials. Also manufactured by the Swiss ebauche maker LaJoux-Perret, the brand’s longstanding partner, the new LJP Caliber 3513 sports a very similar basic design and, too, features a nicely executed flyback chronograph complication. As far as finish is concerned, the mechanism features the usual skeletonized oscillating weight with a set of vertical and diagonal Geneva stripes on the rotor and quarter plate respectively, as well as the usual perlage and something that looks like sandblasting on other visible surfaces. Polished and blued screw heads finish the picture of a caliber that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to show-off via the rear sapphire crystal.
Just as the base model, the new Capeland Tourneau Limited Edition comes in a noticeably oversized stainless steel body that measures 44 millimeters in diameter, is 16.50 mm thick and may be considered by many as not the most comfortable choice to accompany classic formal attire. On the other hand, the watch harmonically combines the vintage-styled face with its inevitable italicized Arabic numerals and Breguet-type hands with classic-looking chronograph push-pieces and a very comfortable-looking setting crown. Some may even argue that the gadget tries to mimic the look and feel of pocket watch-based wristwatches from 1920s that were equipped with huge mechanisms and themselves were rather big.
Of course, thanks for its generously sized hands and a number of different scales on the dial (tachymeter, blue), sub-dials and even on the bezel flange (telemeter, black), the face of the watch looks kinda busy, but that’s how the chronos from the first half (or maybe even the first third) of the 20th century generally looked like.
Again, the watch is legible enough to easily tell current time in broad daylight. It wouldn’t be as impressive in total darkness, though, since the piece comes without even a trace of lume, neither on its hands nor on its hour markers (these are simply printed on the chapter ring.)
As usual, its only serious problem is the price. Sporting MSRP of whopping $8000 USD, the Ref. 10088 will be either out of financial reach of a normal watch enthusiast, or will be on par with such monsters as Glashutte Original Vintage Senator Sixties Chronograph and the likes that, from my perspective, offer better value and will probably depreciate not as dramatically the moment a box with the new timekeeper changes hands in the shop. Well, I guess the guys from Baume & Mercier know what they are doing.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier Capeland Tourneau (Ref. MOA10088) specification
Price: $8000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, LaJoux-Perret caliber 3513, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Skeletonized “Baume & Mercier” oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph, tachymeter (blue) and telemeter (black) scales
Case material: Stainless steel
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 16.50 mm
Numerals: Arabic, Breguet-type
Hour markers: Black
Hands: Steel, blued
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with contrasting beige stitching
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective