Baume & Mercier The Clifton collection gains a perpetual calendar
As it does every year, Baume & Mercier is enriching its Clifton Collection with a new exclusive watch.
The Clifton Perpetual Calendar, unveiled at Dubai Watch Week, is a foray into the fascinating world of grand complications. It joins the flying tourbillon and the five-minute repeater, iconic models broadly inspired by some of the brand’s archive watches. Its vintage accents and understated lines make it a worthy successor to the fine watchmaking tradition.
The complex calendar of the new Clifton, which presents a significant construction and miniaturisation challenge, is considered one of the most accomplished “astronomical” complications: no date corrections are required before 1 March 2100 (which, like three centuries out of every four, is not a leap year). Its elaborate mechanism accounts for all the foibles of the Gregorian calendar, with its variable month lengths and the intermittent appearance of the 29th February.
Rigour and simplicity
Through the sapphire back of the 42 mm 18K red gold case the watch functions and exquisite finishes of the movement – Geneva-striped bridges, circular-grained baseplate and blued steel screws – can be clearly admired. The micro-rotor, decorated with the company’s Phi symbol, helps to keep the movement slim, fitting into a case just 11.2 mm deep.
The subtly domed opaline silvered dial has the Swiss watchmaker’s trademark elegance. The date is displayed at 3 o’clock and the day at 9 o’clock, with the month and leap year indications at 12 o’clock. A black alligator strap with red gold pin buckle underlines the watch’s refined appearance.
Some questions for Baume & Mercier CEO Alain Zimmerman
How many of these watches do you expect to sell?
We will produce around thirty per year.
Why have you chosen to outsource the technical side?
It was the best solution for this watch! Although for the manually-wound Clifton Flying Tourbillon we identified a solution inside the group, with ValFleurier, for the Clifton Perpetual Calendar we found a more appropriate solution externally.
It is driven by the Vaucher 5401 automatic movement (21,600 vph) with a Dubois Depraz 5100 module. This enabled us to keep the case slim while supplying a power reserve of 48 hours.
How do you manage projects like this, given your price positioning?
This new timepiece, one of which we bring out every year, is intended as a reminder of the company’s heritage and traditional savoir-faire. Having said that, it remains true to Baume & Mercier’s philosophy of producing accessible timepieces, even in the domain of grand complications. This model was designed with a rigour and attention to detail worthy of the finest watchmaking tradition. I’m thinking not just of the technical solutions, but also elements like the domed “chevet” crystal that is extremely difficult to produce. Even with 43 grams of gold and impeccable finishes, it is possible! (the watch is priced at CHF 19,500.)
Do you think you will ever produce a women’s watch with a grand complication?
It would require significant resources, and I don’t feel that is where our focus lies.
The Baume & Mercier watchmaking Maison has always had powerful emotional and celebratory connotations, while expressing watchmaking excellence in all its creations. Since 1830, it has embodied a family history in which a passion for detail and a quest for excellence convey a firm commitment: to perpetuate its heritage while being an essential partner of memorable moments. For Baume & Mercier, time is far more than just a sequence of seconds,...Find out more >
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