Baume&Mercier Classima, Executives Automatic/Quartz Watches Review
Classima watches exhibit a minimalist design typical of traditionally built complicated collections (analogous to Longines Master, Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars, Breguet Classique, Patek Philippe Complications, and others) – its orthodox appearance belies the exuberant variety of complications present inside the movements.
Still, as in any Swiss luxury brand, design plays an important part, and Baume&Mercier injected Classima with a unique and clever twist that reaffirms the company's essence. The contours of the Greek letter “Phi,” which constitutes the brand's logo, can be traced on the case and the lugs: the frame of the watch in effect repeats the sign appearing on the twelve o'clock mark of many of the timepieces. Resulting is a powerful unifying visual effect.
In a way, the title Classima already hints at the character of this collection; the suggestion bears itself out to the fullest extent, as these watches consistently embody the ideas of classic watchmaking and design.
Movements and Complications
Featuring watches with both quartz and automatic calibers, Classima Executives eschews purity for its own sake. It's the automatic pieces, however, that pose the most interest for mechanical movements enthusiasts: complications include GMT, power reserve, date, calendar, chronograph, moon phase indicator, and analog dual time.
Furthermore, in some models Baume&Mercier leave a part of the dial open, allowing an inside view of the moving parts (a kind of a semi-openworked design).
William Baume collection goes even further (or back in time), incorporating manual wound movements and a tourbillon – this line can be viewed as a high-end branch of Classima.
Design and Materials
Watches of all sizes rely on a perfect round shape, and come in steel, or yellow or red gold. Depending on the complications, dial grid can be quite complex, but never overcrowded. Similar to Hampton Classic, automatic timepieces generally carry a pair of blued leaf-shaped hands, while quartz timers opt for regular toned ones.
Though both leather straps and metal bracelets appear in the selection, we tend to think that the former, more supple material accords better visually with the overall aesthetic of this collection.
A rare sports pitch black chronograph – vulcanized rubber band, 200 meter water resistance – could be pointing towards a new direction Classima will be taking. For now, the sports and diving category is dominated by Riviera watches.