This new model included in the Clifton collection, with its exclusive hand-wound caliber, gives a fair idea of the true measure of Baume & Mercier’s art, expressed in its motto since the Maison’s founding in 1830: «Accept only perfection and only manufacture watches of the highest quality.»
The name of this high precision watch, regulated by a flying tourbillon, refers to the history of the Maison that won 10 grand prix and seven gold medals at various international exhibitions during the nineteenth century, won prizes in chronometry competitions and shone throughout the twentieth century with the quality of its construction and the aesthetics of its creations. But this very exclusive model is also an example of Baume & Mercier’s excellence in the art of etablissage, an ancient watchmaking practice dating back to before the first manufactures.
This approach to designing and producing watches enabled the Swiss watchmaking house to create a keyless winding watch in 1892, with a caliber regulated by a tourbillon, an incredible rarity at the time. Complex to manufacture and delicate to regulate, tourbillons were the preserve of the best Maisons that saved them for their very best timepieces, usually destined to enter chronometry competitions.
Alcide Baume presented the Tourbillon watch in 1892 at the Kew Observatory in England, a country where the brand had established a branch run by Célestin Baume (brother of Louis-Victor). The watch won with a remarkable score of 91.9 percent. With this result, it remained the world’s most accurate watch for 10 years.
In tribute to this exceptionally accurate timepiece and in memory of its own glorious past, Baume & Mercier created the Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon watch in a limited edition of 30 copies.
The watch is driven by an exclusive manually wound mechanical caliber (P591) controlled by a flying tourbillon produced by the Val Fleurier manufacturer. Its finish of the highest quality, with a winding ratchet wheel inspired by those on traditional pocket watches, the «Côtes de Genève» decorations on the bridges, beading on the main plate as well as traditional finishes of the various components, all assembled by the same watchmaker, are all displayed through the wide transparent sapphire glass.
It has a power reserve of 50 hours. An opening at 9 o’clock in the silvered opaline dial, with its riveted 18K red gold numerals and indexes, offers a view of the flying tourbillon carriage rotating once a minute, unobstructed by any bridge.
This generously proportioned watch - 45.5 mm - fits perfectly on the wrist. The “chevé” shaped glass and curved lugs give a refined elegance to the studied style of the piece, matching the spirit of the collection. The watch comes in a limited edition of 30 with a hand-sewn alligator strap, closed by a buckle.