Baume & Mercier is a brand out there in the tough arena of entry-level watches, along with Longines, Hamilton and others, and they recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Clifton range with a tango competition in Dubai. Clifton includes a wide range of models, classic and accessible, and the reference 10149 is one of the most recent, presented at SIHH in January 2014.
It’s an interesting dial layout, a bit like a chronograph, but with day of the week on the 9 o’clock subdial, retrograde date on the 3 o’clock display, and power reserve at the bottom. Hands and hour markers are in bright gold finish, while the subdial hands are blued. The 43 millimetre steel case fits an automatic movement, with parts visible through the sapphire caseback. Brown alligator strap.
The Clifton Retrograde date is powered by a Soprod 9094 calibre movement, basically an ETA 2892 with an additional calendar movement by Soprod. It has a power reserve of 42 hours. Though Swiss-made, it’s not an in-house movement, and so you can find similar layouts by other brands. The actual movement is just under 26 millimetres in diameter, much less than the size of the case, and so the sapphire window on the caseback is relatively small, a characteristic common to all models in the Clifton series. But the dial design of the Clifton Retrograde Date is good, both classical and modern, and it compares well with its competitors. Price about $5,700, making it one of the most expensive Baume & Mercier watches.