Swiss maison of horological repute Baume & Mercier has long been a favourite for plenty of style-conscious guys (and gals), and for many very good reasons. Born of the same pedigree as some of Switzerland’s finest, Baume & Mercier has earned its reputation as a producer of serious timepieces which take the traditions of high-quality watchmaking and applies them to modern designs which boast both originality and relevance.
The Clifton Club range is a collection of watches which cleverly tread the line between elegant and sporty, and comprises a melange of signature pieces, as well as limited edition examples which pay homage to unexpected and important milestones in motorsports. Having previously celebrated the racing feats of Carroll Shelby, the company has gone out on a bold, creative limb and released a collection of three watches to commemorate Indian Motorcylces, which were immortalised in 1962 when Kiwi garage tinkerer set a land speed record on his heavily modified Indian Scout at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats.
Depicted in the 2005 film The World’s Fastest Indian, Burt Munro captured the hearts of many, and the attention of many more, when he turned over the engine on a 1920 motorbike and stunned the crowd by smashing previous records made on much more modern bikes.
Paying homage to this remarkable legacy, the design team at Baume & Mercier have included design elements from the Iconic Indian Motorcycle, which juxtapose classic lines, clever use of colour and distinctive motifs with the modern and angular features which make a Baume & Mercier watch instantly recognisable.
The three watches in total are deliberately different, catering to a range of tastes, though retain a few key consistencies each, as all Baume & Mercier pieces do; a reminder that despite the obvious and broad selection on offer, which suits varying individual styles, they are all a part of the same family. With the Valjoux 7750 automatic movement at the heart of each watch, clever use of design is what separates these three stunning timepieces; the same philosophy that makes everything Baume & Mercier produces tick.
The Clifton Club 10402
With black and brown at the core of its design, this modern looking piece appropriately nods at the metal and leather so commonly associated with an old bike. Created with the old-timey styling for which the company is known as a whole in mind, the Clifton Club 10402 features a more traditional, restrained style than its brethren below, yet has a few visual tricks up its sleeve.
The slate-gray and black dial reveals a peek into the inner-workings beneath the surface, while the tachymeter scale on the bezel, and the dash-inspired subdials are an appropriate reminder that an Indian is a machine that is most famous for its speed. Brown calf leather for the band gives a soft, classic look and the Indian logo is stamped on the stainless steel case back, as it is with the rest of the collection.
The Clifton Club 10403
With the fast-paced look of a proper racing watch, the Clifton Club 10403 is the sportiest in the range, thanks to its red detailing on the dial and second-hand, and the polished stainless steel bracelet.
The dark tones of the dial and tachymeter bezel are offset by the silver subdials, which match the case and band, creating a sleek and professional look. The second hand also features the Indian logo at the end; a feature consistent across the range, while the rhodium-plated hour and minute hand give the watch a stark brightness that makes the dial pop.
The Clifton Club 10404
Arguably the hero piece of the collection, the 10404 of the range is a show pony that displays both the intricate details for which Baume & Mercier are so renowned, and the modern, edgy design capabilities of their maison.
With a rich red calfskin band with pin buckle and ultra-contrasting dial, this piece has been designed to directly pay tribute to Burt Munro, with his lucky “35” proudly displayed at the nine o’clock marker, where the seconds dial lives. Tachymeter scales are on the bezel, as with the rest of the range, and as a tip of the hat to his distinguished pedigree, only 1,967 pieces of the 10404 have been produced: the year that Munro’s record was set; a record which still stands today.