Baume & Mercier Clifton Automatic MOA 10059 - no need to retire
During my late father’s working life, it was customary for an employer to recognise long service with the gift of a carriage clock or gold watch. For some, the gift was made at the point of retirement. Alas, times have changed and long service is a concept few will know.
Today, our working lives are punctuated with several employers and in many cases different careers. This often necessitates new skills being learned as a result of alternative occupations being pursued.
Life in the twenty-first century is a very different world.
The caring face of employment practised by the Cadbury brothers, William Clark of Clarks shoes and Lord Leverhulme, the man who conceived Port Sunlight and the Lever Brothers empire, is now a benevolent business model rendered to history books.
For many, the prospect of receiving a gold watch in acknowledgement of loyalty will prove elusive. Few people of my generation will work for the same organisation for forty years.
This preamble may lead some to wrongly deduce I am a depressive soul. Quite the contrary, as any hint of melancholy soon evaporates with the realisation that a gold watch is readily available without long service being needed. Thanks to those lovely people at Baume & Mercier, a gold watch does not require an elusive sum of money.
At SIHH 2013, the Genevan brand whose history dates back to 1830, presented its Clifton model. A handsome range of timepieces featuring both mechanical and self-winding movements, few could not fail to see the merit of these affordable watches.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Automatic, with 18-carat red gold case, is presented in two forms, a silver coloured dial version and an anthracite dial version. It is the anthracite dial variant which appeal to me the most.
The gilt hour and minute hands are dauphine shaped. A slim central seconds hand, again in gilt, points to faint brown integers on the chapter ring.
Applied gilt Arabic numerals feature at 6 o’clock and noon. The remaining hours are marked with simple applied tear-shaped batons. The sage use of restrained detail enhances the refined character of the watch.
A date aperture located at 3 o’clock, completes the limited number of available functions. This is not a criticism. The beauty of the watch is the effortless way it imparts time without extraneous details detracting from its seemly composition.
A sun-satin finish features on the dial, flirting with light with sublime results. There is a warmth to the character of this watch and prolonged acquaintance results in serendipitous joy as you find more subtle details.
Whilst I like oversized sports watches, I also admire the restraint of formal dress watches with smaller proportions. I am not alone in this opinion and there has been a move towards smaller case sizes of late. Indeed, this watch has a case diameter of 39mm.
The height of 9.41mm is relatively slim. Although this is not as lithe as some of the ultra-thin cases exampled by some brands, it still sits neatly on the wrist.
Short horns allow the strap to envelope narrow wrists. Furthermore, I like the way only small gaps are visible between the strap and the case. It is a small detail, but this is the kind of minutiae which keep designers awake at night.
The case back is screwed down and features a scratch resistant sapphire crystal to afford a view of the movement.
Baume & Mercier do not use smoke and mirrors to pass off third party movements as their own. They openly disclose the source of their calibres and I applaud their honesty.
The Sellita SW300 is a Swiss movement and features several instances of fine finishing. The self-winding rotor is decorated with a combination of Côtes de Genève motif and snailed decoration on its outer edge.
Circular graining is visible on the bridges.
The Sellita movement incorporates black and rhodium-plated screws. I must confess, I prefer the blued screws which feature on La Joux-Perret movements presented on the Capeland models. It is a small criticism and should not detract from what is a virtuous movement at this price point.
Marketing people will often talk about the USP, “Unique Selling Proposition”. They are referring to that special something which differentiates their product from others. I actually think Baume & Mercier have developed a model which offers several benefits and onehuge USP.
It is attractively designed, taking references from a former Baume & Mercier model of the 1950s. It is Swiss made, featuring a high quality movement and is presented in a gold case. However, the USP has to be the worldwide recommended price announced at the time of launch, 5500 CHF + VAT ( €4455 + VAT or $5,777 + VAT - at the time of writing).
The appeal of aspiring to own this watch is it does not necessitate years doing a job you abhor. Nor, does it require you to spend years wishing your life away waiting for retirement.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Automatic MOA 10059 is a gold watch which is handsome and accessible in equal measure.
- Model: Baume & Mercier Clifton Automatic in 18-carat red gold with sun satin-finished anthracite dial
- Reference: MOA 10059
- Case: 18-carat red gold; diameter 39.00mm; height 9.41 mm; Water resistant to 5bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; date.
- Movement: Sellita SW300 calibre; self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 25jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
- Strap: Dark brown alligator leather strap
This article was written by (c) Angus Davies (www.escapement.uk.com), exclusively for Watchuseek.
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