Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph Watch For 2011
This was something I didn't see coming - at least in this form. Baume & Mercier has pledged that their future will be in the past. What I mean is that for the brand to be something decent again, they are going to be making almost only vintage inspired timepieces for the foreseeable future. I actually hope I am wrong, but this seems to be the case. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is a shame that Richemont's entry level brand is only offering people watches of "vintage descent." Plus, many of their new pieces seem to be competing with Longines now more than ever. But that is a different story (Baume & Mercier hates when I talk about Longines!)
Baume & Mercier recovered the Capeland watch name - that was extremely big about 10 years ago. Though the previous generation of Capeland models were not themselves pieces that used a recovered name (as far as I can tell). The Capeland watches I am referring to were beautiful, modern, but also elegant. They were among the first "nice" timepieces I ever got into - and I wanted one so badly at the time. It was the Capeland that made me a Baume & Mercier fan (at the time it was still just "Baume et Mercier").
Now Baume & Mercier uses the Capeland name again for a watch that has nothing to do with the original Capeland. It is a nice looking "old timey" timepiece, but where is the redo of the watch collection that I loved? Rather than a more modern interpretation of a collection that was very popular, Baume & Mercier gives us the Capeland Flyback Chronograph that looks like a watch your uncle hid in his - you know what - during Vietnam to bring back to you.
The "new" Capeland comes in a 42mm wide case available in steel or 18k rose gold. The dial has a vintage looking dial with "railroad" Arabic numerals and pomme hands (in either gold or blued steel). Baume & Mercier knows the design is less than original, but wants to make up for that in design execution and its powerful distribution. Inside the watch is a La-Joux-Perret made automatic chronograph (with a bi-compax layout), that has a flyback function.
No word on price yet - which will be the real deal maker or killer. Though there is no watch precisely like this on the market right now. The new Capeland is fine. Nothing ultra exciting, but fine. I am frustrated that use of the name will mean that the Capeland I like will not get a redesign for a long while to come.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com.