Baume & Mercier has just released a new collection of sports watches for the “gentlesportsmen” of the world on 2017 SIHH. 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 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.