Late last August, Swiss watchmakers Baume & Mercier announced that it was teaming up with the iconic American brand Indian Motorcycle to produce a chronograph that paid tribute to land racing legend Burt Munro.
The watch hasn’t even hit the stores yet, but the limited-edition Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro Tribute — has gained a lot of traction amongst watch collectors for many reasons: It’s attainable, it’s got a great backstory and its sporty look is at the vanguard of this current vintage vibes style.
History in the Making
Burt Munro was a motorcycle racing trailblazer from New Zealand. On August 26, 1967 Munro set the land-speed record for an under-1,000 cc bike, riding a modified Indian Scout Streamliner across the Bonneville Salt Flats. He was 68-years-old at the time. When they made a movie about Munro’s exploits (“The Fastest Indian in the World”), they got the equally bad ass Anthony Hopkins to play him.
The design of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro Tribute is just as likely to go down in history. The Clifton Club collection was conceived with the “gentle sportsman” in mind. The round 44 mm polished stainless-steel case with its free crown and fixed bezel has an easy elegance. The dial of the Indian Burt Munro Tribute is what really sells the watch. For example, the yellow number 35 (Munro’s lucky number), in the chronograph seconds counter gives it a sporty feel that recalls other classic racing chronos such as the Chopard Jacky Ickx or the Tag Heuer Autavia Jochen Rindt.
Equally attractive is the sandblasted and snailed silver-colored dial, black rhodium-plated riveted indexes, green Superluminova hour and minute hands and a bright red chronograph seconds hand with the Indian Motorcycle logo.
Of course, Baume & Mercier itself has a long tradition of making precision machines.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro Tribute runs on a 25 jewel, self-winding automatic (Valjoux 7750) movement with a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement has an integrated chronograph that can be used with the tachymeter scale to record speeds.
So many other details abound: The black tachymeter scale highlights the number 184 in honor of Munro’s record-setting 184-mph ride. The date window is subtly tucked into the hour-counter sub dial at 6 o’clock (for those who dislike date windows). The watch is also water resistant to 50-meter and comes with two calfskin straps (red and black) with cream stitching, so you can quickly switch up your style.
The Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro Tribute is also alluring because it is attainable. While it’s limited to 1967 pieces, if you preorder now, you can pick up a future classic at a great price ($3,750 USD). To preorder, call 1 (800) MERCIER in the US or 1 (800) 637-2437 in Canada for details.