The sporting gentleman was the wearer Baume & Mercier had in mind when it designed its first modern sports watch, shown at SIHH. The watchmaker’s Clifton Club watch comes in five versions, and is an offshoot of the manufacture’s Clifton Collection, introduced four years ago. All five versions are driven by a Swiss-made mechanical self-winding movement with a 38-hour power reserve.
The appearance of the watch is understated. A date aperture at 3 o’clock is the sole extravagance that accompanies the hour, minute and seconds hands. The result is a clean-looking dial, easily legible even in darkness because the hour markers, the hour and minute hands, and the tip of the seconds hand are picked out in Super-LumiNova. The engraved and knurled steel bezel turns only one way to prevent false readings caused by turning it the wrong way. Setting the time and date is simple.
The Clifton Club is housed in a 42mm case made of stainless steel, which is water-resistant to 100 metres. The buyer can choose one of three colours for the face. The blue dial is matched with the All Road calfskin strap exclusive to Baume & Mercier. The white dial is matched with a stainless steel bracelet. The black dial can be matched with a stainless steel bracelet, an All Road calfskin strap or a black vulcanised rubber strap.
Motorsport is the theme followed by the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299. The watch is the third to come out of the watchmaker’s tie-up with the maker of Shelby Cobra cars. The first was the Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 Limited Edition and the second was the Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 Legendary Drivers Edition.
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The design of the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299 takes after the legendary Shelby Daytona Coupé, and was drawn up by Baume & Mercier in collaboration with the designer of the bodywork of the car, Peter Brock. The most distinctive feature of the watch is its dial, which is silvery on the left side and blue on the right, reflecting the racing stripes on a Daytona Coupé. The push buttons are shaped like the pedals of the car. The red second hand of the chronograph carries the Cobra logo created by Brock. The two chronograph counters resemble instruments on the Daytona Coupé dashboard. An oscillating weight visible in the movement is reminiscent of the rim of a Daytona Coupé wheel.
The 44mm case of the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299 is made of sandblasted titanium and polished stainless steel. It is water-resistant to 50 metres. The watch has the self-winding La Joux-Perret 8147-2 movement, which is partly visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. The power reserve lasts 42 hours.
Sandrine Donguy, Director of Marketing and Communications at Baume & Mercier, explains the brand's direction this year:
Baume & Mercier is offering for sale only 196 examples of the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299. The number echoes the speed record of 196mph that the Daytona Coupé set at Le Mans in 1964. The speed is inscribed in red on the tachymeter scale of the watch. The number of each example of the watch is inscribed on the back. Two other versions of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra watch are available. One has a blue dial and the other has a silvery dial. Neither has the flyback function. The production run of each version is limited to 1,964 watches.
Watch aficionados that have to watch what they spend will welcome the latest additions to the Baume & Mercier Classima Collection. The collection is inspired by a timepiece of the 1940s. Each of the seven new additions is driven by a Swiss quartz movement. The prices range from HK$7,200 to HK$9,200. All have an understated appearance and subtle elegance. They look good on a gentleman’s wrist or a lady’s. They come in three sizes: 31mm, 36.5mm and 40mm. Each has a steel case.
The buyer can choose from among a steel bracelet suitable for almost any occasion, a black alligator strap and a navy blue alligator strap, which are both suitable for formal occasions. Six of the watches have matte white satin-look dials and the seventh has a blue dial. Like the other watches in the Baume & Mercier Classima Collection, the new timepieces have Roman numerals at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock, and the hour and minute hands are shaped like leaves.