Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Moon Phase, Day and Date 10548
When posting our Christmas Guide to buying your ultimate holiday gift, you should have noticed a Baume & Mercier Baumatic was standing on the top photo's right-hand side. Perpetual Calendar apart, that Clifton is the most complicated yet accessible Baumatic money can buy. The 2020 brand's first quarter's talking piece was the Art-Decò inspired new Hampton; nonetheless, the brand never stops adding new options to the top-selling Clifton Baumatic's offering, this time around being the Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Moon Phase Day and Date 10548. If we exclude a Baumatic chronograph, which we do not foresee to appear anytime soon, the new Moon Phase makes the offering even more compelling.
The case has grown 2 millimeters either in width and height compared to a standard Baumatic, measuring 42 millimeters across, and 13,2mm in thickness (gold version excluded whose thickness, interestingly, stops at 12,95, according to the brand). We guess the new case size has to do with the scaled-up BM caliber, which is somehow affecting Baumatic's most admired touchpoint; it usually slides under the tightest shirt's cuff.
The 10548 is not the only Baumatic moon phase you can get; check the brand's catalog, and you'll discover the 2020-introduced reference 10549, a more classic and slightly less complicated take on the moon-phase theme. The Baumatic 10548 includes the day-of-the-week display at twelve, offering in one go day, date, and moon phase display, the latter half-covered by a smoked sapphire crystal. Consequently, I don't get the point of including two similar Baumatic Moon Phase in the catalog.
The moon phase complication makes the Baumatic look less mainstream and industrially manufactured as it usually feels. Adding a black smoked disc and a gray-in-the-middle yet black-on-the-outer-ring enameled dial contrasts with the fully machined mechanical movement (visible through the sapphire glass), whose specs are performance-driven rather than conceived to please a connoisseur's eye. However, you can't avoid praising the flawless execution as you get as close as possible to the dial; printed wordings are top-notch quality, and the font is pleasant and gives any Baumatic a contemporary touch to it. Thumbs up to how the brand's designers combined gray dial and midnight blue's starry sky, placed beneath the moon discs.
The reference 10548, offered on a blue leather strap, is an exquisite modern classic timepiece to live with every day. I often think the Baumatic was the cornerstone of the brand from a design perspective when it originally came out; it is far less classic-looking but more tech-savvy-oriented than its super-classic forerunners (e.g., the Clifton Hand-Wound). The increased case thickness is a bit of a letdown; at 13,2mm in height and with a curved sapphire crystal atop, it looks a bit chunky for a Moon Phase timepiece this engineered, which is geared towards an enthusiast's eyes, too.
The Clifton Baumatic Moon Phases Day and Date also comes as the rose gold reference 10547 (not pictured here). Again, the gold to gray and blue combo works, and rose gold adds a kind of classic appeal. The Clifton Baumatic is form and function, where function always plays a leading role. The steel option pictured here is the one to pick if you're eager to purchase a moon phase on a budget, priced and it's priced at 4,350 Euros. The gold option's anti-magnetic properties and 120 hours of power reserve are less relevant in the class of product it belongs, despite Baume & Mercier making things right by adopting a gold winding rotor and gold moon phases.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®