Hands-on with the Baume Mercier Clifton Automatic Big Date and Power Reserve (live photos, specs price)
The Baume & Mercier Clifton is no stranger to us. It’s a watch that we know for quite a long now and that deserves to be appreciated. For sure, don’t expect it to be a grail or a dream watch that will be attached on teenagers bedroom’s walls (well if some teenagers are doing so, which I doubt). It has to be seen as a solid choice for anyone who’s looking for a nice, elegant and refined watch that feels luxury without being ostentatious. Some of them even bring useful and quite complicated displays, like the Baume & Mercier Clifton Retrograde Date (Full Review here) and thus create a nice horological pleasure. A new one with a large date and a power reserve follows this trend. Here is our hands-on review of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Automatic Big Date and Power Reserve.
Shortly before the SIHH, Baume & Mercier came up with a new iteration of its most masculine and modern timepiece, the Clifton. What is this watch about? Not a dream concept, not an horological UFO, not a watch made for the hard-core watch lovers. No, it’s a watch made (and very well made) for people who just want to wear a beautiful timepiece on a daily basis, whether they are heading to a business meeting or relaxing with their friends and family. We’re so used to see ultra high-end watches and extraordinary concepts that we tend to forget that the market is mainly made of ordinary people, with an ordinary job, an ordinary budget and an ordinary collection of watches (usually 1 to 2 watches). Forget about the crazy collectors and aficionados that you can see on forums. They are not the market – and Baume & Mercier knows about it. We already had the time to feel the Clifton (in its most complicated edition, the Retrograde Date) and here is the latest one that features a Big Date and a power reserve indicator.
Like all of its predecessors, this edition of the Baume & Mercier Clifton comes with a very nicely finished and shaped case, in stainless steel and measuring 43mm – which is, in our opinion, as we already said in our previous review, 2mm too large. This solid diameter creates an interesting mix between a casual and dress watch – making it more versatile and usable in most conditions – however, it remains a bit too large to be purely elegant when worn, under cuffs, with a suit and tie. Still, the case is well executed, with an alternation of satined and polished surfaces – the polished bevel on the flank and that runs from a lug to another is especially refined and qualitative. This case is classical but also dynamic and modern.
Then comes the dial that again, doesn’t break the ceiling but that shows a discreet and refined elegance, suitable in every conditions – nice and warm silvery plate with a sunburst pattern, applied indexes and numeral gilded (with a superb font by the way) and, on this edition, two interesting indications. The first one is no especially useful as the Baume & Mercier Clifton features an automatic movement but a power reserve is always a welcomed feature that proves the mechanical attributes of a watch. The second one is a large date that is displayed by two separated discs. The gap between these two discs is here cleverly hidden, as a thin metallic circle passes in-between and around the date windows. The overall layout of this dial is again discreet, balanced and elegant – even if it lacks a bit of boldness.
Behind the sapphire caseback sits a very well-known movement, an ETA Clone – most likely a Soprod – that will do the job perfectly on a daily basis. It’s a solid and reliable base that powers a module for the additional complications. It shows a pleasant (even if still industrial) finish with Geneva stripes on the rotor and circular graining on the plates and bridges. This movement boasts 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
This new Baume & Mercier Clifton Automatic Big Date and Power Reserve is like the rest of the collection of the brand: a nice, elegant and discreet watch made to be worn on a daily basis and that could easily complete a small collection made of sports / dive watches. The new display (large date / power reserve) is again interesting as, even if not really complicated, it gives enough of horological pleasure to people already aware of mechanical timepieces. Price: 3.700 Euros (on alligator leather strap with curved ends). More on Baume-et-Mercier.com.