At the SIHH in January, Baume & Mercier launched its Clifton Club collection on a stand that used the theme of “gentlesportsmen”. Even if you did not have chance to try out the surfing simulator on their stand, or admire the photos of some unusual sports on the walls surrounding the Daytona Cobra, you can guess from the name the universe that the brand was aiming at.
More recently, Baume & Mercier gave us a more detailed look at what it understands by the term, at an event organised on the banks of the Aare river on the outskirts of Bern in Switzerland. The particular sportsmen in question were Sacha Prost, son of the legendary Formula 1 driver, Morgan Hellen, world university rowing champion, Pat Burgener, snowboarder and musician, Paul Vergnaud, world bike polo champion and Gautier Fayolle, a freestyle footballer. It was a busy day, therefore, as I tried out some of these sports. Trying out bike polo on an uneven, sloping surface was not ideal. Furthermore, as a left-hander riding a bike configured for a right-hander (there is only one brake lever on the left, since you are holding the polo mallet in the other hand), I was clearly disadvantaged from the outset. Freestyle football was easier than it looks. With some patient explanations from Gautier Fayolle, who is one of the pioneers of the sport and manages to make a living from it through sponsorship and monetised YouTube videos, I was able to master some basic moves relatively easily.
The emphasis in the projection of the brand image for the new Clifton Club collection, which has earned widespread plaudits for its savvy mix of contemporary design, use of new materials such as a NATO-style rubber strap, and an attractive price point, is clearly on the younger generation. All of the “gentlesportsmen” attending the event were in their early twenties but had already demonstrated their ability as well as their future potential. This is an extension of a previous Baume & Mercier campaign that targeted young students, suggesting its timepieces as a graduation present. The idea is to accompany this generation at the most important points in their lives.
Alexandre Peraldi, design director at Baume & Mercier, who was on hand throughout the day with mood boards and technical drawings to explain how the Clifton Club collection came to life, dedicated the collection to the gentlesportsmen. “The collection is more than just for guys who play sport,” he said. “It’s for guys who enjoy sport and enjoy the time after sport.”
The McCall’s Annual Motorworks Revival serves to kick off the Monterey Car Week which sees tens of thousands of engine enthusiasts gather every year for classic automobile auctions and racing in the famed Laguna Seca Raceway. So what makes these models unique? Still current beneath the crystal, of course, is your tachymeter round the dial, and naturally there’s the cobra logo forged right into the moments hand’s counterweight to remind it means business. The small-seconds subdial on every one of these pieces has been outfitted with a number representative of drivers of the Shelby Cobra CSX2118: No. 15 (Dan Gurney), No. 50 (Ken Miles), No. 97 (Dave MacDonald), and No. 96 (Allen Grant), respectively. Along with this number, every one of the four bits have been dressed in similar aesthetics of their winning cars.No. 15 features a hot-yellow spin on the tachymeter dial with a yellow-lined black alligator-leather strap as well as the seconds hand is yellowish with this particular model. Additionally, like the No. 15, the No. 50 receives the ADLC-steel treatment that nonetheless retains a sporty edge. No. 97 also offers a yellowish cobra seconds pairs and hand the watch using a slick black rubber strap. No. 97 and 96 include the stainless steel casings using No. 96 getting the loudest of the straps, a vibrant yellow alligator leather strap with black lining and stitching. A little something for everybody’s tastes with these models.