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Baume & Mercier Capeland MOA 10068
Flyback to 1948
Baume & Mercier have looked to it's past and one of it's historic chronographs from 1948, when they conceived the modern-day Capeland range of models.
The year, 1948, seems very distant from life as we know it today. It was a wholesome era, where family values were palpable. A gentle ambience pervaded society, far removed from the pixel blasting, Playstation obsessed youth of today.
Despite the cessation of conflict on 8th May 1945, rationing continued for many years in post-war Britain. Sweets, sugar and meat were the last items to be subject to rationing until 1953/54.
Across the Atlantic, life in post-war America was a little more prosperous and the, “Land of the free and home of the brave”, enjoyed rapid economic growth. Food was plentiful and those who sought work could readily find employment. Manufacturing capacity used for the production of armaments during the war was subsequently employed for the creation of consumer goods and automobiles.
Later the 1960’s led to an idealised image of the Kennedy’s enjoying glamorous leisure time at Hyannis Port. The Swiss brand, Baume & Mercier, remind me of this graceful era with the naming of its retro-looking range of timepieces.
The talk of the 20th century should not distract from the history of Baume & Mercier which can trace it’s origins to 1830. It has been a name synonymous with accessible luxury. Their watches proffer elegance, quality and attractive pricing.
I have written about the Capeland 10007 in 18-carat red gold and the Capeland 10063 in stainless steel previously on ESCAPEMENT. On this occasion, I have been kindly loaned the Capleland 10068 for a few weeks which combines the flyback complication of the former, whilst sharing the steel case of the latter.
This is not the only model to play this role, the Capeland 10006 offers a flyback in combination with a virgin-like white dial and steel case. However, this model, the Capeland 10068, launched at SIHH in 2012, has a black dial with tobacco brown detail. It confers a different character, slightly less innocent and all the better for me, a seasoned father of two.
The black dial sits in pleasing contrast with the brown leather strap supplied with the watch.
Three tachymeter scales, presented in a sienna brown hue, are arranged concentrically at the centre of the dial. They are less legible than the scales featured on the Capeland 10006, but that does not spoil my enjoyment of the watch.
Hours are imparted with Arabic numerals, presented in a traditional font avec serifs, reinforcing the retro feel.
A subdial for the 30-minute chrono counter is located at 3 o’clock. Subsidiary seconds are presented on a sub-dial at 9 o’clock. Both subdials bestow balance to the dial.
A date aperture resides between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock.
The pièce de résistance are the hour and minute hands. They are gilt Breguet-type hands, fit for nobility and decadently luxurious. I accept they lack the lucidity of the blued hands of the Capeland 10006, but they still supply saliency in spades.
A telemeter scale, presented in white, circumnavigates the dial. The telemeter scale allows the measurement of distance between a visible event and an audible event.
The 44 mm case, sits cozily on my wrist. This was surprising as the caseback is convex in profile and I expected it sit proudly, like a parent at the school prize giving ceremony. But, it nuzzles my wrist like a purring cat on its proverbial mat.
The dome like shape of the caseback is mirrored to the front. The profile of the domed crystal is sometimes referred to as chevé. This, together with the contour of the caseback enhances the galet shape or pebble-like form.
Light lustrously glints on the highly polished bezel. Meanwhile, the satin brushed surfaces of the caseband, shine with greater restraint. The blend of character traits, bestows a captivating personality which continues to engage long after the purchasing exuberance has subsided.
Capstan like pushers confer top-notch tactility. This virtue is repeated by the crown with knurled detail and spaced-off location, aiding adjustment and encouraging friendly fondling.
I particularly love the short lugs which arc sharply downwards. They grasp the caramel brown strap in welcoming embrace, snuggling it close like an affectionate friend.
Baume & Mercier have not shortchanged those who like to ogle a finely finished movement. All aspects are beautifully presented, indulging mechanically inquiring minds courtesy of the sapphire crystal caseback.
To paraphrase an advert for a well-known food retailer in the UK, “This is not just a chronograph, this is a flyback chronograph”.
In common with regular chronographs, pressing the pusher at 2 o’clock stops and starts the stopwatch function. Press the pusher at 4 o’clock, whilst the stopwatch is idle and the chrono hands reset.
However, with a flyback, the wearer can press the pusher at 4 o’clock, whilst the stopwatch is operational and in one stage stop, reset and restart the chrono function. This is particularly helpful for pilots and navigators.
Baume & Mercier are masterful at procuring quality components and blending them with synergistically sublime results. The movement is made by La Joux-Perret and harnesses magnificent finissage.
The self-winding movement features a skeletonised rotor adorned with Côtes de Genève motif. Circular graining is visible on the bridges and mainplate. Blued screws reinforce the upper-class breeding of this handsome movement.
The La Joux-Perret 8147-2 movement has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and has a power reserve of 48 hours. A few of the 27 jewels are visible offering further titilation for lovers of horology.
Baume & Mercier are a Genevan institution. They understand their market and have created a worthy timepiece eclipsing the quality of costlier offerings from alternative brands.
This watch creates a dilemma for me. I love the angelic character of the Capeland 10006 with its dial so pure and pleasing. This model would make the perfect potential bride, worthy of sipping tea from mother’s finest bone China cups.
However, I also like the sultry hue of the Capeland 10068. It shares the same mechanical prowess of the aforementioned 10006, but has a mistress-like quality. It is slightly mysterious, but you know she would provide endless hours of fun.
This watch may hark back to 1940’s and 50’s with its design codes but think Jane Russell and you now understand the allure this watch has for me.
- Model: Baume & Mercier Capeland MOA 10068
- Reference: MOA 10068
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 44.00 mm; height 16.5 mm ; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; date; chronograph with flyback.
- Movement: La Joux-Perret 8147-2, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve 48 hours
- Strap: Brown leather strap on stainless steel pin buckle.