Synonymous with freedom and creativity, the Cosmos is the flagship model of the new trio. Directly inspired by the Coma Berenices constellation, it reveals the Promesse moon phase dial against a deeply romantic swathe of midnight blue raw silk. Embroidered with Akoya pearls and silver thread, the fabric evokes the stardust of this celestial myth.
I actually wanted to wear this watch after viewing it as it would have flawlessly looked the part in my wrist, riding down the sunset-lit California shore’s HWY 101. “Regrettably,” the best I could do was the Limited Edition Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 1964. Surprisingly, the bigger watch felt better on my dainty wrists and the clasp was quite comfortable, which got me more excited about the Burt Munro Tribute slice since it would feel more or less the same. Even with its slightly bigger lug dimensions, grip, and pushers, it was relatively simple to slide under my riding gloves when gearing up, which makes me believe the Tribute bit could make it in the daily watch rotation. Again, I hear the chatter of watch fans… “a limited edition mechanical watch at the daily rotation?” Talking of limited editions, this entire weekend was filled with vintage, rare, and custom motorcycles, which were built in household garages, custom paths, and collectors’ warehouses. One of the numerous names repeated over the course of the event would be RSD, Roland Sands Designs. Roland Sands is motorcycling’s equivalent to George Bamford from the watch world, but more badass and winning an AMA national tournament. This bicycle build would be something equal to taking a Rolex 116610 Submariner Case and squeezing in the newer Calibre 3255, slapping some DLC on the case, screwing on a display caseback, coating the palms in yellow stone, and yanking off the dial an Air-King, finished off by stringing it onto a hand stitched, custom perforated, humanely treated, organically tanned young calfskin strap.
The Cosmos © Baume & Mercier
With its midnight blue lambskin, accentuated with a row of natural pearls, Insolence represents glam-rock. The association of these two sensual materials brings a “Haute Couture” touch to the Promesse 30mm which features a midnight blue sunray guilloché dial. Both chic and rebellious, its presence imposes with character and insolence and symbolizes powerful women and the absence of conventions.
Before this year, Baume et Mercier released its Clifton Club “hero” collection of sports watches at SIHH using its CEO, Alain Zimmerman, saying that they’re focusing on younger clientele. In case you haven’t noticed the slogan “Gentle Sportsmen,” the demographic for this watch is the bicycle polo playing, large wave grabbing, vintage vehicle driving, alternative sports athlete who wears nicely tailored, slim-fitting suits to casual parties and club meetings. I use a suit fairly frequently, and never once did I feel like it was great attire to ride a bike, push a skateboard, or grab a wave. Although, when it comes to driving a car with its top down and feeling like James Bond, well, I’d need to provide them a gentlemanly nod.In my head, Baume et Mercier didn’t have a customer demographic that was young, daring, or sporty, and certainly not part of the counter culture that’s cafe racers and classic customs. I always thought of them as a watch companion for anniversary gifts, a thank you present you buy for your own parents following your first “real” pay check, a fashion watch for a girlfriend or spouse, maybe a graduation present. The price point for a Baume et Mercier is about a few thousand; just about the cost of a vintage fixer upper. Sure, even if they were trying to break into the MotoGP crowd with a more affordable timepiece, it would be a no brainer, but a Wheels and Waves motorcycling event filled with kickstarts, bandanas, and antiques, sounded a little odd.
A 1920s spirit infuses Petite Promesse. Its chainmail fringed with Akoya pearls is like a miniature Milky Way, the fine craftsmanship highlighting its delicate format. Mounted on a white lambskin bracelet with Akoya pearls, the case is entirely set with diamonds, offering a refined touch to this poetic cuff with a very “couture” feel. An ultra feminine and fashion creation.