Baume & Mercier caused a stir when they announced that their latest in-house movement, the BM12-1975A Baumatic, would ship in watches costing less than $3,000. How could they do that? Spending time with the Clifton Baumatic Ref. 10436 COSC hasn’t done much to answer that question. It’s an exceptional dress watch, and I’m convinced that it could legitimately sell for twice the asking price of $2,990.
The understated 40-millimeter 10436 has one overarching quality that sets it quite a distance apart from other watches in its price-range: unadulterated class. The 10436 approaches the level of finish and quality you’d find in IWC Portofinos and some dressy offerings from Grand Seiko. Sure, Baume & Mercier cut a couple corners to meet their price point, but it takes considerable fussing to see it and—given the price—to care.