Baume & Mercier announced its partnership with Indian Motorcycle back in August, and we knew it was only a matter of time before the collaboration produced its first co-designed timepiece. And not that much time at all, it turns out: the new Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition — a watch honoring the man who set the world’s land speed record on a modified Indian Scout motorcycle in 1967 — was launched today in Milan at EICMA, the world’s most important motorcycle show.
The watch, which is limited to 1,967 pieces (do the math), takes its inspiration from the eponymous Munro, a lifelong motorcycle racing enthusiast who bought his Indian bike in 1926 and spent 40 years modifying it for greater and greater speeds — until that pivotal day at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967, when the now 68-year-old grandfather took it to a top speed of 184.087 mph, a record that still stands today. (This feat, which was dramatized in the 2006 film The World’s Fastest Indian, was re-enacted at those selfsame Salt Flats 50 years later, by Munro’s great-nephew Lee, during the announcement of Baume’s partnership with “America’s First Motorcycle Company” back in August.)
Several elements of the new timepiece — which makes its debut within the recently launched, sporty Clifton Club collection, alongside another model born from a motorsports partnership, the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299 — allude to Munro and his legendary motorcycle. The most prominent include the large, yellow “number 35” badge in the chronograph seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, referencing Munro’s favorite color and the racing number on his iconic bike, and the “Indian red” color of the calfskin strap, a shade of vermillion that is readily identified with Indian motorcycles. Additionally, the cursive “I” of the Indian logo forms the counterweight to the red chronograph seconds hand, and the sandblasted finish on the silver-colored dial (with snailed subdials) is meant to evoke the surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats. The black tachymeter scale around the bezel not only channels the spirit of racing but highlights the number 184 in honor of Munro’s record-setting 184-mph ride.
The 44-mm-diameter steel case measures 44 mm in diameter and has a polished finish. The solid, screwed-down caseback features an engraved image of the motorcycle company’s Indian Headdress logo as well as the watch’s limited-edition number. Under a glareproofed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, the dial has black, rhodium-plated riveted hour indices and hour and minute hands treated with green-emission Super-LumiNova. A date window is tucked into the hour-counter subdial at 6 o’clock. The subdial hands and the inner edge of the riveted flange are also highlighted in red. The engine churning inside this racing bike for the wrist is an ETA Valjoux 7750, with automatic winding, 25 jewels, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement has an integrated chronograph that can be used in conjunction with the tachymeter scale to record speeds. The 50-meter water-resistant watch comes with an additional black calfksin strap, with cream stitching, alongside the Indian red calf strap.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition (Ref. M0A 10404) will retail for $3,750 and is available now for pre-order online. What do you think? Does this watch get your motor running? Let us know in the Comments section below.