Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.
Baume & Mercier serves as the Richemont Group’s entryway into luxury watchmaking at (relatively) affordable prices. Though the brand offers complicated watches priced well under $5,000, even their über-complicated offerings are a bargain compared to their counterparts from legacy, blue-chip brands such as Vacheron & Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre. 2019’s Baumatic Perpetual Calendar, a solid gold-cased perpetual calendar for $24,500, is a case in point.
The new Day-Date Moon Phase, available in both steel and gold, affords a pathway into complicated watchmaking two distinct price points: one at $4,400 in steel, and the other, $12,200 in pink gold. For those searching for a modern moon phase watch that makes use of the latest movement technology for just a few thousand dollars, the steel version is an exciting proposition. And if you’re hearkening for a moon phase but don’t need the day of the week, you’re in luck: the Clifton Baumatic Moon Phase Date, available for $4,050 in steel on a leather bracelet or $4,200 on steel, is even more affordable.
Clifton Baumatic Day-Date Moon Phase
This new watch provides an interesting combination of calendar information, with a combined moon phase/date display at 6 o’clock and a day indicator in the form of a sub-dial at 12 o’clock. Featuring an in-house automatic movement with 5 days of power reserve housed in a 42mm case with a gradient grey lacquered dial, the Baumatic Day-Date Moon Phase is a ton of watch for the money — at least in its steel incarnation.
Key Specs: $4,400-$12,200; 42mm steel or rose gold case; day, date, moon phase complications
Clifton Baumatic Moon Phase Date
Maybe you don’t need the day of the week on your watch, or maybe the configuration of the Day-Date Moon Phase throws you for a loop. In that case, there’s the Moon Phase Date. You still get an in-house movement with 5-day power reserve housed in a 42mm case, but this time it’s only available in steel and comes with a white dial. However, the watch is available both on an alligator leather strap or on a steel bracelet.
Key Specs: $4,050-$4,200; 42mm steel case; date and moon phase complications
Baume & Mercier has a fairly wide catalog, and it’s tough to point to any one aesthetic direction taken by the maison. Of course, the Clifton Baumatic includes some historical complications, but many are reimagined in a more contemporary way, with even the COSC-certified time-and-date using the latest materials in its chronometer-certified movement. Taken as a whole, B&M may be one of the brands with the greatest breadth of design and price within the Richemont Group.
We’re big fans of what Baume & Mercier is doing with the Clifton Baumatic collection. Relatively affordable watches constitute the great majority of the line, and even the most complicated pieces in precious metals are bargains compared to similar offerings from elsewhere within the Richemont Group. Having access to a moon phase/day-date watch for $4,400 is exciting to many watch lovers, and will undoubtedly draw them further into the horological landscape. This is a win-win for brands and watch lovers alike.
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