It isn't every day a Swiss watch brand in the affordable luxury category, such as Baume & Mercier, unveils a more expensive complicated watch. In fact, for this brand, it is only about once a year. To demonstrate its technical savior-faire and true watchmaking capabilities, once annually for the past five years, Baume & Mercier has released a specially made complicated piece in its much-loved Clifton collection. This year, that piece is a perpetual calendar watch.
The Clifton Perpetual Calendar features a silver opaline dial with day, date, month, leap year and moon phase indications. The perpetual calendar tracks day, date (taking into account different lengths of the months), month, year, leap year and moon phases via a mechanical memory of 1,461 days (four years).
Crafted in 18-karat 5N rose gold, the watch is powered by an automatic Vaucher 5401 base caliber that features a Dubois Depraz 5100 module for tracking the celestial factors, such as moon phase and perpetual timing.
Baume & Mercier designed and developed the concept in its Geneva headquarters, and the finishing and assembly in the its Les Brenets (Jura Mountains) workshops. The dial — harmoniously balanced with four sundials — is slightly domed, and its fine silver opaline finish gives it a vintage appeal. The watch deftly achieves what it set out to do: demonstrate the abilities of the Baume & Mercier designers and watch makers.
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