At the recent Watches&Wonders exhibition held in Hong Kong in September 2013, the key highlight presented by Baume & Mercier was its Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon wristwatch in 18K red gold.
The main question for those not too familiar with the brand is probably “why?” The answer is basically related back to Baume & Mercier’s watchmaking history.
In 1892, Baume & Co’s Tourbillon Chronometer keyless pocket watch which was the company’s entry submission for the rating contest at the Kew Teddington Observatory’s chronometer competition in England scored 91.9 points out of the maximum of 100 possible.
The win meant that Baume’s Tourbillon Chronometer pocket watch was then the most accurate in the world. What was even more amazing was that this record was to remain unbeaten for a decade.
The Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon wristwatch is therefore an important statement piece, and as highlighted by the brand, pays tribute to its glorious past. Moreover, it serves as a reminder that Baume & Mercier is still actively involved in the watchmaking industry with its offering of “accurate and complicated watches.”
The Calibre P951 manual-winding movement powering the Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon is produced by the Val Fleurier Manufacture which is ultimately owned by Baume & Mercier’s parent company, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA.
Limited to 30 pieces, we agree that this flying tourbillon wristwatch embodies Baume & Mercier’s “values of fine watchmaking” and it is a fitting model positioned at the top end of its Clifton Collection.
What’s more, the tourbillon positioned at the nine o’clock position is symbolic for us. Recall that Baume’s Tourbillon Chronometer pocket watch achieved 91.9 points?
Well, the tourbillon at the nine o’clock position reminds us of this record which stood for 10 years. Therefore, the numbers 9 and 10 are important and based on our own interpretation, having the tourbillon at around 10 is symbolic of Baume & Mercier’s storied past.