ReviewBaume & Mercier And The Legendary Indian Motorcycle Ignite Passion In All Motor Watch Enthusiasts
Celebrating the legendary heritage of Indian Motorcycle, Baume & Mercier’s latest Clifton Club limited edition chronographs exemplify the association between fine watchmaking and motor vehicles
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When two legendary companies, both pioneers in their bailiwick, partner together, there are no brownie points for guessing that the result will be epic. Baume & Mercier has been riding high on the raging success of their 2017 highlight – the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona. Emulating an equally great partnership, the brand has joined hands with the pride of America, Indian Motorcycle – the premium motorcycle manufacturers celebrating a legacy of over 100 years.
The Swiss watch brand reckons to scale greater heights as it launches an armada of three watches, each with distinctive details that capture the spirit of Indian motorcycle and ignite passion in watch connoisseurs who are also ardent motorsport enthusiasts. “These three exceptional limited edition timepieces, imbued with Indian’s spirit, translate this idea of freedom, adventure, tenacity and visionary thinking,” adds Alain Zimmermann, CEO of Baume & Mercier. Sharing the same stringent credo for quality and precision, the limited edition watches are a testimony to chronographs that harbour a rich legacy.
‘A Devotee of The God of Speed’ – The Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro
The flagship piece among the three watches and also the first to be launched in the trilogy is a watch that serves as an ode to one of the most famed motorcyclists of all time, Burt Munro. He was known as ‘The world’s fastest Indian’, which was also the name of the 2005 movie based on his achievements, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Munro.
The watch is limited to 1,967 pieces, and the number is not a stroke of serendipity, but rather a figure that intentionally coincides with the year 1967, when the racing legend had blazed on land, setting a new record for the highest under-1,000cc speed, at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats.
The new watch with a 44mm stainless steel case celebrates intricate hand workmanship, which defines both Burt and the Clifton Club watch. The dial is the crux of the watch, which embodies analogies to the racer and his machine, such as his lucky number 35, embedded in a bright yellow circle, which is also the seconds counter. The silver dial reflects a snailed pattern echoing the Bonneville surface. The counters on the dial are done exactly like the speedometers, and the record-breaking speed of ‘184mph’ makes a prominent appearance on the bezel tachymeter.
The dial also features luminous hour makers and a horizontal black line like the one across Munro’s 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle. A major cue that ties Munro and Indian together is the Indian logo, stylishly denoted as the cursive ‘I’, which serves as a counterweight on the red central chronograph hand.
The calfskin leather strap of the watch is in deep red, which is exactly the same hue as on Munro’s heavily customised ride. The screwed-down caseback includes Indian Motorcycle’s Native American headdress emblem, and the unique serial number of the limited edition. With an ETA Valjoux 7750 revving under the hood, offering a power reserve of 48 hours, this is a virtually indestructible and mighty automatic chronograph.
Two Legends Designed To Tell A Story: The Clifton Club Indian Legends
With a zeal to strengthen their involvement in the masculine sport segment, Baume & Mercier extends its portfolio with two more watches dedicated to the motorcycle marquis, Indian, namely the Clifton Club Scout and the Clifton Club Chief. Alexandre Peraldi, Design Director of Baume & Mercier, and the design team at Indian worked as allies and spectacularly captured the DNA of Indian Motorcycle. Both the chronographs collectively form the ‘Indian Legends’ under the Clifton Club Indian collection and have an individualistic charisma.
Of the two, one watch is modelled after the lightweight Indian Scout motorcycle, while the other reflects elements of the Chief, which was known for its mighty power. Like the Burt Munro, Baume & Mercier limits these two chronographs too, to 1,901 units, based on the year 1901, when Indian Motorcycle was established.
Clifton Club Indian Legend Tribute Scout Limited Edition
It is safe to tout the Scout as the most handsome of the three. The chronograph is housed with a 44mm polished and satin-finished, smooth stainless steel case complemented by ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon) details on the tachymeter bezel and the pushers. The über-cool watch evokes a striking image of the mid-sized Indian Scout in its open-worked grey dial, with black snailed counters that bear a resemblance to the V-twin engine machine, and the yellow chronograph seconds hand has the ‘I’, Indian’s signature script, on its counterweight.
The best features of the watch are its nuanced details that reflect the motor company. For instance ‘the date disc displays “1901” at the 19th day of the month to recall Indian Motorcycle’s foundation date’. The classic leather strap has a rich brown tone and, to get the look and feel of the strap right, Baume & Mercier assigned the task to the renowned Horween Leather Company. The leather house aces the creation of leather straps that develop character and patina as they age. The watch is powered by the self-winding Valjoux 7750 calibre.
Clifton Club Indian Legend Tribute Chief Limited Edition
The most stark watch of the three, this chronograph is tailored after the robust Indian Chief. This timepiece shares most of its specifications with the Scout and has green SuperLuminova infused in the riveted indexes, and hour and minute hands. The highlight on the Chief is the polished, satin finished stainless steel bracelet with a three-link row, inspired by the Thunderstroke 111 engine’s lines, and is secured by a triple-folding clasp.
The spirit of Indian Motorcycle is conveyed even through the packaging of these watches, as each piece is presented in a unique box wrapped in Indian’s hues.
Which of the three Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian watches do you have your eye on? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.