Why Buy a Baume and Mercier Classima Executive Watch?
For as long as I can remember Baume & Mercier has been offering “boardroom style” suit watches at pretty reasonable prices. And the Classima Executive watch collection epitomizes that fact. Offered in a range of styles, I really like the “open heart” version for being classy, whilst also helping to remind me why I love mechanical watches.
Open heart watches are those that have a cut-away section on the dial opening up a view of the oscillating balance wheel. As this is the regulation system of the watch and literally ‘beats,’ it is often referred to as the heart of a mechanical watch. Open heart designs became popular as tourbillon watches began to wow the ultra high-end timepiece market. Open heart watches were a more reasonably priced way of seeing elements of a mechanical movement in action at all times.
In a number of the Classima Executives pieces, the open heart is placed near 12 o’clock and is not a totally open circle, but pretty close. There you can see some perlage polished bridges and the brass balance wheel spinning at 28,800 beats per hour. In order to offer the best view possible, the open heart window is actually open through the entire timepiece with another sapphire crystal on the rear of the case.
In some of the Classima Executive watches, the dial of the watch is black with applied polished steel baton-style hour markers and hands. I like this combination of legibility and style. The only thing I would ask for on the dial is the addition of a date window as well as perhaps some luminant on the hands for darkness viewing. Overall it is a conservative looking design, but in a good way.
Inside every Classima Executive watch is a Swiss ETA mechanical automatic movement. The case is polished steel and is 42mm wide. You should consider that to be a pretty good size for a modern suit watch. That means it is large enough to appear masculine, but not so large that it will be mistaken for a sport watch. A nice design touch is the placement of additional vertically textured lines on the rear of the case to mimic the design on the dial. The case is water resistant to 30 meters.
Anyone interested in Baume & Mercier’s Classic Executives collection will no doubt discover the many available models in the family. For me the open heart model has the best sense of character and horological appeal – and you can’t deny the price is right as well.