In 2017, the focus for Baume & Mercier, the entry-level stalwart of the Richemont Group, was almost entirely on the build-out of the Clifton Club line. Straddling the line between a sporty aesthetic and being an urbane wrist companion, the five timepieces were a solid, attractive, and affordable offering that identified perfectly within the ethos of Baume & Mercier.
Since then, a lot has changed.
This year, Baume & Mercier introduced the Baumatic, a new headlining timepiece with a five-day power reserve that not only pushes the brand identity forward but is also a signaler of change for the rest of Richemont due to the usage of silicon. And, only a short few weeks ago, we heard about a new face within the Richemont catalog, a brand called Baume that is expected to compete in the sub-$1000, fashion watch range. While separate from Baume & Mercier as a whole, the young brand, which is concentrated on sustainability and customization, borrows the first name and some of the management team from its older sibling.
With all that has been happening inside what has typically been one of the more consistent marques at Richemont, it would be easy to let the Clifton Club line slip through the cracks. However, last month, the brand quietly released four new quartz additions that not only borrow the original model’s aesthetic appeal but enhance the overall accessibility that the Clifton Club was prized for.
The goal of these watches is to provide an easy and guilt-free way of telling the time. There’s no extraneous complications or superfluous design ideas at work, rather the dial is clean and free from anything to distract from the watch’s guiding principle. There are quartz watches that slash and burn the idea of traditional watchmaking to the ground and offer nothing more than simply being design-friendly. Baume & Mercier eschews that idea through the use of quartz movements from Swiss-based Ronda and a level of quality control that is rare in the quartz range.
The design codes at work in these four new models are consistent with last year’s original release. Black, orange, blue, and white are the operating colors that vary between the bezel, dial, and indexes. Two models come on a steel bracelet while the other two on a nubuck calfskin strap. All the watches are 42 mm by 9.55 mm, feature the Baume & Mercier logo at 12 o’clock, and a date window at 3 o’clock.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club quartz models are priced at $1,290 on strap and $1,490 on bracelet.