While we’re all avid followers of everything SIHH, very few of us reached for our wallets when we saw the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater (let’s take a collective sigh together and move on). Now, here’s a scenario: You or someone you know is due to break into the world of mechanical wrist-wear by buying a classically-oriented dress watch. Let’s also assume that you want to go Swiss, because of say…your penchant for national pedigree. You can spend quite a bit of time saving for an Ultra Thin Moonphase or, assuming that you’re at least 30 years old, for a Villeret (like the one that we covered a few days ago). A third option is that you can indulge sooner and spend your entry-level years actually wearing a watch instead of waiting to wear one. That’s where the new Baume & Mercier Classima 10214 comes into play.
First, the Classima 10214 has design cues that are classically oriented and that often find themselves amenable to the semi-casual wardrobe. Those cues begin with a 40 mm x 9 mm round case in stainless steel. That’s conservative and thin enough to slide under your cuff, but also polished so that it’s not completely discreet – it’s a dress watch after all.
The dial is opaline silver and it has several eye-catching design elements. The applied Roman numerals rest on the raised perimeter of the dial. The center is finished in vertical guilloché decor. Previous Classimas employed an outer edge with printed minute-markers slanted in an attempt to communicate depth. This new 10214 doesn’t go for the deep look but rather for the flat/curved look. It works because doing too much can distract from a clean dress design. Blue feuilles hands are just loud enough and the date window doesn’t stick out as if it were a last minute addition. It’s framed and balanced if anything.
Through the sapphire crystal back, you’ll find an automatic movement based on the SW200, a Sellita that’s a cousin of the ETA 2824. Baume & Mercier has modified it, decorated it and added its own details (such as that rotor), so rest assured that it’ll work hard with a power reserve of 38 hours at 4Hz (28,800 bph), which will give that seconds hand a smooth sweep. Additionally, this movement will be very easy and reasonable to service.
Overall, the Baume & Mercier Classima 10214 has gotten quite a few design cues right. It has the right dimensions, dial execution, and mechanical practicality for what we expect will be quite a lower price-tag than competitors inspired by the same motifs.
For more information, visit Baume & Mercier online.