Baume and Mercier Clifton Club

This year’s SIHH sees Baume and Mercier Clifton Club release a new, sportier take on the Clifton – the Clifton Club. This collection of robust, three-handed timepieces is made for ‘gentle sportsmen’ – which, if I’m interpreting the PR video full of people on boards (surf and skate) and bikes (mountain and motorised) means it’s a sporty go-anywhere-do-anything watch that would still fit quite neatly into your daily life.
Presented in a range of dial and strap options, at its core this collection is a 42mm steel case, with a diver’s bezel and legible dial design, applied indices, a bold ‘Phi’ logo at 12 and contemporary hands. As far as things go, it’s a fairly conservative package, which works with a range of colours. It looks summery in sunburst blue, and far more stealthy when realised in black and paired with the matching black ADLC case. The strap options are good too – including a traditional three-link bracelet, a sailcloth textured ‘All Road’ calfskin number with contrasting orange details, and an unusual vulcanised rubber option with a central grille of vents.With 100m of water resistance across the board, a fairly slender 10.2mm profile, screw-down crown and amply applied Luminova, the Clifton Club plays it by the book. It must be said that I found the slender bezel a little hard to grip and turn – but then again this isn’t a professional dive watch per se.
All told, the Baume and Mercier Clifton Club represents quite a dramatic (and I suspect commercially driven) change of direction for the brand. The Clifton always stood apart from the pack as a well-executed, heritage-inspired dress watch, but the Clifton Club with its casual sports-chic plays in much more crowded waters, but rather than a high-powered jetski, it presents as a tanned, fit gent in Raybans – handsome, but breaking no barriers.
Baume & Mercier has just released a new collection of sports watches for the “gentlesportsmen” of the world. I give to you the Clifton Club. The Clifton Club is a nice addition to one of the more affordable Richemont brands’ portfolios, offering up a sporty, casual vibe with some pops of color. The Clifton Club is available in five versions at launch and here’s a first look at them all.
At first glance, the Baume and Mercier Clifton Club might all look similar, but there are a few things that set them apart. First there’s a pair with stainless steel cases and bracelets, one with black dial and bezel and another with blue dial and bezel. Then there are two steel Clifton Clubs on “all-road straps,” one with a black dial and steel bezel and another with a white dial and black bezel. Finally, there’s a black ADLC-coated steel case with a black dial and matching black bezel and rubber strap. All the models have orange accents, both at the top of the bezels and the seconds hands. The 12 o’clock marker on all the dials is also a large Phi, just above the brand’s signature.
All five models are powered by the Sellita SW200 movement, showing hours, minutes, and center seconds, plus the date at three o’clock. The caliber is, of course, automatic, and has a 48-hour power reserve too. It’s not a groundbreaking movement, but it more than gets the job done and is an appropriate choice for a watch like this. The performance to cost ratio is high, which is exactly what you want here.