It might be slightly unfair to see a watch brand as the gateway drug to greater indulgences but the recent slump in the global market found many top-tier brands and holding companies clambering for fresh ideas. Ladies and young gentlemen may I introduce you to ‘accessible’ or ‘affordable’ luxury.
In the pecking order of things, Baume & Mercier have no illusions of sitting on the top perch with some of their Richemont stablemates but they are making some damn fine and affordable new pieces, which are shifting at least some of the attention away from smart devices to the smart, mechanical gadgets of the luxury watchmaking world.
An example is the Clifton Club range of contemporary classic, sports watches from Baume & Mercier. Appealing to Millennials in the hope of regenerating the brand, the company emphasises that the positioning is not about the competitive aspect of sport but rather the more fun, lifestyle side and the spirit of gathering around sports.
The brand has been around since 1830 and associations have generally been more classic and a little more traditional. However, one only has to look back a few decades to their Riviera and Formula S models to see that sport has been part of the brand’s heritage.
For what the company describes as the “gentlesportsman”, this collection will appeal to the young, active urbanite and also to the pocket — the five core models launching at between R25000 and R30000 — with their pared-down, function-first aesthetic expresses the notion of ‘mens sana in corpore sano’, Latin for ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’.