The hand-wound Baume & Mercier Clifton 1830 (ref. MOA10060 aka 10060) demonstrates how far the Swiss watchmakers have come since their sometimes clumsy and often epigonic models of the past. Although their new baby (if you can call a ‘baby’ a watch that costs close to $15K) still shows that it was at least partially influenced by more renowned models from more expensive brand names, the watch delivers a completely new level of refinement and elegance, something that you don’t expect from a “second-tier” brand.
The watch is animated by a nicely finished La Joux-Perret 7381 hand-wound caliber that was developed by the Swiss maker of blank movements specifically for Baume et Mercier. Somehow resembling Unitas calibers of the times long gone, the new movement offers superb finish: even though it is only limited to diagonal Geneva Stripes motif on its bridges and some circular-graining on the mainplate, it still looks expensive. The blued and polished screw heads make the mechanism look even classier. Thanks to its double-barrel design, this reliable movement keeps going for at least 90 hours after being fully wound.
Like many dress watches, the new B&M Clifton 1830 sports a slender-looking, slightly over-sized body. Crafted from 18-karat rose gold, the case measures 42 millimeters in diameter and is less than 9 millimeters high, which doesn’t put it in the “ultra-thin” league, but still makes it a nice companion for a business suit or a tuxedo.
Similarly to their vintage-styled William Baume Jumping Hour (M0A08857) model that was revealed two years ago, the new Clifton 1830 is, too, equipped with, um, distinguished horns that slightly detract from the timekeeper’s laconic look, but still give it a more unique look.
As you can see on the photos above and below, the silvered (Or is it solid silver? I am not sure.), sand-blasted dial is clearly readable thanks to the set of applied rose gold Arabic numerals and polished hour and minute hands that look contrast enough to be visible even in twilight.
Of course, there is no lume on these elements, but that’s okay for a watch, which is supposed to be worn on special occasions.
The Swiss brand plans to start selling the watch sometime next year. You will probably be able to see it in flesh next January during the upcoming SIHH 2013 event.
As far as pricing is concerned, Baume et Mercier plans to sell it at a price of $14,500 (it is an MSRP for the North American market, the recommended price may be different in your region) that is almost a bargain for a limited edition timepiece crafted from good gold alloy.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Ultra-Thin in Rose Gold (ref. 43075/000R-9737)
Photos: Baume et Mercier
Baume & Mercier Clifton 1830 Hand-Wound in Rose Gold (ref. MOA10060) specification
Price: $14,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, La Joux-Perret caliber 7381, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 90 hours
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneva pattern on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case: Rose gold
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 8.80 mm
Numerals: Arabic, rose gold
Hour markers: Rose gold
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with an 18-karat rose gold tang buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective