Angus Davies, on his Escapement watch blog, provides an in-depth “hands-on” review of the Baume & Mercier Capeland 10107, a watch featuring a worldtimer function, presented in a luxurious 18-carat red gold case.
I love my job.
I was 43 years of age when I chose to embark on a new career writing about wristwatches. It is a decision I have never regretted. Haute horlogerie has been an obsession all my life and to make a living from writing about incredible timepieces feels like a huge privilege. On the face of it, my occupation appears perfect.
However, seldom in life is anything free of fault or negative ramification. Indeed, there are two occupational hazards which sometimes mar my otherwise utopian profession.
Firstly, there is the on-going battle not to purchase every horological beauty that turns my head. I often describe my profound obsession for watch collecting as an addiction. I am always contemplating my next horological “fix”. Everyday, I find myself within the grasp of temptation’s persuasive powers, battling not to squander my wages on yet another “must-have” timepiece.
Secondly, I often receive press-loan watches to ascertain their advantages and disadvantages. Receiving a watch, even if for only a few days of temporary ownership, never ceases to excite me. At the end of said temporary ownership, the sad moment comes to part company with my new found love. The Baume & Mercier Capeland 10107 is a case in point.
Ordinarily, a press loan is provided for a few days. It is the best way of appraising the potential ownership proposition. The Capeland 10107, a relatively new member of the Baume & Mercier collection, has been in my care for a few weeks, but now I have to face the prospect of handing it back. I can’t pretend I don’t feel a pang of sadness with the thought of saying goodbye.
The gilt Breguet style hands impart the hour and minutes with a traditional air of grace.
A central sweep seconds hand, slim in profile, with a counterweight near its fulcrum, stretches across the dial, perfectly interfacing with the chapter ring.
The central area of the dial is delivered in an ashen shade. The worldtime disc combines brown text on a white background to denote the daylight hours, whereas the two shades are reversed to indicate the nocturnal hours. I found the subtle variation in shade between the juxtaposed white and ashen hues particularly attractive.
At 3 o’clock, an aperture reveals the date, presented in black text on a white background. The continuous manipulation with tinctures delivers a comely allure.
The dial features 24 time zones proving ideal for establishing the prevailing time in different locations. I have found this complication very useful of late, as I often phone the US to speak to business acquaintances, as well as liaising with numerous watch brands in Switzerland. The worldtime function is intuitive to use and stands testament to the genius of Louis Cottier, the Swiss watchmaker who invented the worldtimer in 1931.
While the Capeland has a slightly retro feel, courtesy of its chevé sapphire glass, it also appeals to modern tastes owing to its substantial 44 mm case diameter.
The Baume & Mercier design team, based in Geneva, has cleverly manipulated the deep curving profile of the glass and the polished bezel with its angled surface. In so doing, they have inculcated the watch with a vintage mien that is especially appealing. Yet, despite the nostalgia quotient being high, the watch remains very applicable to the modern era, especially for those with jet set lifestyles.
The caseband is brushed and its width remains uniform, except just near the tips of the horns where it gracefully arcs downwards. Indeed, it is the curved profile of the lugs which affords an incredibly comfortable fit.
Initially the strap affixed to my loan model was factory fresh with a stiffness to its form. However, after a few weeks of wear, it has bedded in, cosseting my wrist wonderfully.
An exhibition caseback reveals the self-winding movement within. I would suggest that the movement appears a tad undersized within the case and would look better if it were a few lignes wider. Nevertheless, it is only a small criticism and my comments are based on aesthetic preferences rather than any perceived functional deficiency.