Gisbert L. Brunner was born in 1947 and has worked with every sort of precision timepiece, though mainly wristwatches, since the 1960s. He has now published more than 15 books on the subject. He is also in demand the world over as a public speaker.
Sure, the price of gold has fallen considerably in recent months. But you won’t always find that reflected in the price of watches with solid gold casing. Here to prove that classic elegance, clarity of design, a golden façade and a thoroughly attractive price aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive is the “Classima” line from Baume & Mercier. CEO Alain Zimmermann showed off the two new models during a product presentation as part of SIHH.
The 40 millimetre variant is naturally targeted at the man who wants to flash some wrist-wrapped precious metal on special occasions.
For 5,400 euros he can take home the “Classima” with discreet design encased in pink gold (shade 4N). Behind the transparent sapphire crystal base is the flat and naturally embellished automatic calibre Eta 2892-A2 with 42 hours’ power reserve and bi-directional rotor winding. I would suggest the menfolk take a good look at the watch face, particularly the hands. Their ends reach, as they should, right to the indexation. The raised index markers, colour-matched to the hands and the case, are stuck on. Also included is a date window.
For the lady there is a version with a diameter of 31 millimetres. Keeping track of her particularly valuable time is a mechanical clockwork of the same calibre. As you can see, it completely fills the gold case. The price for this model is 4,800 euros.
Both the feminine or masculine versions are consistently waterproof to five bar, which equates to 50 metres’ diving depth. And you can get that in writing on the glass edge of the transparent back.
If you can do without gold, the simple “Classima”comes in at 2,100 euros. In this case, however, the case is a little higher on the wrist. That’s because inside you’ll find the simpler but no less reliable SW 200 from Sellita, which in terms of construction corresponds with the Eta 2824-A2.
SHELBY MEETS BAUME & MERCIER
Baume & Mercier, meanwhile, are targeting sporty individuals with a weakness for American racers with its cooperation with Shelby which started in 2015.
“Don’t let anyone talk you out of your dreams,” Carroll Shelby once said. And he was talking, specifically, about the automotive legend “Shelby Cobra.” In 1963 he left his Cobras in the hands of three courageous drivers for the twelve-hour stint from Sebring – Dan Gurney, Lew Spencer and Dave MacDonald. In 1964 they were joined by Ken Miles and Allen Grant, among others. In total no less than eight American driving legends pushed the Cobra CSX2128 to the limit.
Now two “Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963” chronographs with automatic calibre Eta 7750 are evoking memories of the number 15 car. Both versions have black watch faces with yellow accents, colour-matched with the hands. The yellow is assigned to the stopwatch function, while the silver represents the ineffable progress of time.
The difference is in the case material. For 4,100 you get a steel case, waterproof to five bar, whose transparent sapphire crystal base bears the unmistakable number 15. For 300 euros more there’s the black DLC hard-coated steel case variant. The box for each watch contains, logically enough, a scale model of the ultra-sporty vehicle. And naturally it comes in a limited edition. There are just 1963 specimens of each before they bring the chequered flag down. We have Alain Zimmermann’s word for that.