1. Baume et Mercier’s in-house mechanical movement has landed
Big news from Baume et Mercier. The time-honoured Swiss watch brand has just unveiled its first ever in-house mechanical movement, the Baumatic BM12-1975A caliber, or ‘Baumatic’ for short.
You might well ask why this is so significant? Quite simply, in fine watch terms, an in-house movement is entirely designed and built by a watch brand from scratch, and is unique to its timepieces. It’s a statement of manufacturing precision and prestige.
Developed in partnership with Richemont’s ValFleurier manufacture facility, the Baumatic has been designed as the group’s first mechanical movement that combines a silicon balance-spring and high-performance escapement (which in layman’s terms means it’s super-accurate) but also to remain affordable, in line with Baume et Mercier’s core tenets. The movement’s been fitted in a chic range of new Clifton Baumatic watches, unveiled earlier this month and available now. From a classic steel day watch with a white dial, to a mean-looking black dialled number, the five new timepieces are cool and clean in equal measure.
Our pick is this handsome bi-metal number. Bi-metal watches are set to enjoy a resurgence (see our 10 autumn/winter style must-buys for further evidence) and for less than £3,000, this piece is a smart investment. On a cognac leather strap, it’s elegant but versatile, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re wearing Baume’s first in-house movement when you strap it on – a remarkable moment in the brand’s long history.
£2,900, explore the Clifton Baumatic collection here
2. Panerai launches a London limited edition
When Panerai’s Bond Street Boutique opened last December, the watch world hoped it’d only be a matter of time till the Italian watchmaker introduced its first ever limited edition, and now our prayers have been answered. The Luminor Marina 8 Days Titanio 44mm has been produced to offer Panerai devotees a 100 piece limited edition that celebrates the company’s new home from home.
At first glance, it’s a classic Panerai – complete with brushed titanium case, locking lever and minimalistic black dial (with hands and digits in beige Super-LumiNova) but it features an engraving of two of London’s most iconic landmarks on the case back: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The case houses the P.5000, a hand-wound Panerai manufacture movement with a healthy eight day power reserve.
The final touch is a signature rugged Assolutamente dark brown leather strap. We think it’s an understated take on a limited edition piece, and a nice nod to the brand’s commitment to its British fans. Bravo Panerai.
£5,900, available at the London boutique, 30 New Bond St, London, W1S 2RW
3. Raymond Weil strikes a chord with Marshall
Raymond Weil’s ‘Music Icons’ series is an evolving range of limited edition watches that express the Swiss maison’s penchant for creativity in partnership with some of the most elevated musicians. It’s a clever concept, and allows the Maison to have fun with its designs, without compromising its core ‘DNA’.
Now, the latest edition of the Music Icons series is here, designed in partnership with Marshall Amplification, the iconic maker of amps and speaker cabinets that was founded in London in 1960 and used by every noteworthy musician in retro rock history, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton.
Slotting into Raymond Weil’s Tango collection, the watch itself plays with volume for rugged, masculine feel. The pumped-up 43mm case is rendered in black PVD, with the dial surface replicating the texture of an amp’s grille, and the white edging to the dial mirroring the finish of a Marshall amp. The gold panda chronograph sub-dials add an appropriate rock ’n’ roll edge to the design, and likewise mirror the volume buttons on a Marshall amp. Inside all this watch-shaped attitude beats Raymond Weil’s Tango quartz movement, ensuring reliability and ease of use day-to-day.
The watch is a 1,000 piece limited edition run, supplied with a numbered case back bearing Marshall’s logo, and it’s out now. Any music fanatics out there reading this, this could be the chrono for you.