The new Clifton Perpetual Calendar from Baume & Mercier is a familiar one, given the popularity of accessibly priced perpetual calendars from the likes Frederique Constant, Montblanc and even Chopard L.U.C.
Priced at the equivalent of US$21,000, the Clifton Perpetual Calendar is red gold and a largish 41mm in diameter. With four sub-dials and a symmetrical layout, the dial is typical of watches featuring the common Dubois-Depraz 5100 perpetual calendar module. That’s the same module used by dozens of other perpetual calendar watches, including both the Montblanc mentioned earlier.
Odds are that any perpetual calendar wristwatch with a lowish price will have the Dubois-Depraz module inside; the inverse is also true: the proliferation of affordable perpetual calendars is thanks to the readily available and well-priced Dubois-Depraz module.
More unusual is the base movement, which is the Vaucher 5401. Visually distinctive with its bridge layout, the 5401 is a relatively slim and large automatic calibre with a micro-rotor from a movement maker that also supplies the likes of Richard Mille, Hermes and Parmigiani. Vaucher movements are respected, well executed, and pricey, consequently not usually found in gold watches at this price point – a big plus for this watch.
That makes the Clifton Perpetual Calendar an unusual proposition. Though Baume & Mercier has been working hard at moving upmarket with watches like the Clifton Flying Tourbillon and 8-Day Power Reserve – both powered by IWC movements no less – it is still a brand associated with more affordable watches.
Price and availability
Offered only in red gold for now – a stainless steel version surely can’t be far off – the Clifton Perpetual Calendar (ref. M0A10306)is priced at SFr20,800, equivalent to US$21,000. It’s available at Baume & Mercier retailers.
Correction October 14, 2016: The Frederique Constant perpetual calendar does not use the Dubois-Depraz 5100 calendar module as previously stated. Thanks to Frank Geelen of Monochrome for pointing it out.
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