The sun is shining. There’s a nip in the air. You walk out to your driveway and there your Indian motorcycle sits, gleaming in the sun, the luxurious paint job sparkling as you throw your leg over the bike and sink into the soft brown leather seat. You insert the Indian-badged key, turn it to the proper position and thumb the starter… And the Thunderstroke engine roars to life, its throb shaking the pegs and thrilling your soul, speaking to something at the core of your being. You give one last check to the Baume & Mercier timepiece on your wrist, your companion for this and other adventures, and open the throttle. The open road awaits.
Two wheels move your soul
The promise of the road ahead is something powerful for motorcyclists. What lies around the next bend begs to be explored, the view from the top of that mountain needs to be seen, the dinner and drinks with your fellow riders after a long day of riding beckons. There is a definite spirit of adventure when you sit in the saddle and start that powerful engine. As you ride, you and your motorcycle become one, and together fuse with the road. The act of taking the time to ride through unique landscapes is an exhilarating experience and feeling.
Riding alone is like meditation, the concentration on actually operating the motorcycle reduces outside problems to specks and allows your unconscious mind to find solutions and see things in a “big picture” way. Riding a motorcycle opens your mind while demanding your full attention. The sights and smells are more vivid, more immediate, impossible to miss. Riding motorcycle with friends brings you closer together, sharing the experiences, hardships and triumphs. Crossing the country on two wheels, with friends around you is a complete different experience than any other. The adventure forges a connection on a deeper level.
In the wind
Riding a motorcycle is the essence of freedom. You are exposed to the world, with all its smells, changes in temperature and thrills. If you want to experience this big, wide world of ours, you need to do it from the saddle of an Iron Horse Like cowboys in the Wild West, riding a motorcycle is an adventure every time you start the engine and open the throttle. You don’t know what is around the next corner, and motorcyclists want it exactly that way.
Earlier this season, Baume et Mercier introduced its Clifton Club “hero” collection of sports watches in SIHH with its CEO, Alain Zimmerman, stating that they’re focusing on younger partners. If you haven’t noticed the motto “Gentle Sportsmen,” the demographic for this watch is your bike polo playing, big wave catching, classic car driving, alternative sports athlete that wears nicely tailored, slim-fitting suits to casual parties and club meetings. I use a suit pretty regularly, and never once did I feel like it was great attire to ride a bicycle, push a skateboard, or grab a wave. Although, when it comes to driving a car with its top down and feeling just like James Bond, well, I’d have to give them a gentlemanly nod.In my mind, Baume et Mercier did not have a client demographic that was young, adventurous, or sporty, and certainly not part of the counter culture that is cafe racers and classic customs. I always thought of them as a watch company for anniversary presents, a thank you present you buy for your own parents following your initial “real” paycheck, a style watch to get a girlfriend or spouse, possibly a graduation present. The cost point for a Baume et Mercier is around a couple million; just about the cost of a classic fixer upper. So, why buy a watch when you might be wrenching on a Harley, Norton, or even Ducati?The marketing relationship between “Soft Sportsmen” and collectible classic cars, such as the Shelby Cobra, makes sense, but to be linked to cafe racers, super hooligans, grassroots racers, dirt drifting maniacs, and leather clad club members was a theory I needed to receive my mind around. Sure, if they had been attempting to break in the MotoGP crowd having a less expensive timepiece, it would be a no brainer, but a Wheels and Waves motorcycling event full of kickstarts, bandanas, and antiques, sounded a little strange.
Mechanical watches and motorcycles go hand in hand. Tiny marvels, Baume & Mercier mechanical watches are engines on your wrist, engines that run 24/7 and are powered by your everyday movements. Knowing you have a mechanical watch on your wrist while riding with a Thunderstroke engine powering your Indian motorcycle just makes sense. Baume & Mercier’s Indian-themed timepieces are engineered for people who want more out of life – every time you mount your Indian motorcycle wearing your Baume & Mercier timepiece, you are creating an unforgettable memory. Live to Ride, Ride to Live No matter what you are doing on a motorcycle, whether you are commuting to work or starting a ride around the world, it’s about pleasure. Motorcycles are dream machines, capable of transporting you into a world of adventure, even on your commute to work.
Imagine the sensation when you are heading out for a trip, your saddlebags packed, your goodbyes said, now all you have to do is ride. It’s just you and the road, the undulations of the tarmac touching you where you live, your soul singing as you ride through the mountains, carve the canyons, cruise the coastline. Riding a motorcycle connects you to the land you are riding through. You are feeling the vibrancy of their lives as you ride through. People turn their heads as you ride through, the tires thrumming with every bump and dip in the road. The Indian Scout model, which inspired one of the Baume & Mercier limited edition timepiece, delivers a consistently outstanding riding experience, whether you are having an epic and adventurous journey, or an urban cruise.
Clifton Club Indian Legend Tribute Scout © Baume & Mercier
On a motorcycle, the everyday world almost ceases to exist. You can’t answer your phone, you can’t drink a cup of coffee, you can’t afford to be distracted by every day cares and woes – you have to be mindful while riding, paying attention to everything happening around you.
And what journey it is from the saddle of an Indian. A heritage brand of motorcycle with more than 100 years of history, the Indian head logo has seen just about everything, from racetracks to “Wall of Death,” wars to endurance races, land speed records and Toys for Tots runs, and everything in between. Indian motorcycle today share that heritage and are committed to taking it even further, making lives memorable and worth living. Whether you are riding an Indian Scout or a full-dress Chieftain tourer, you are part of the lifestyle and part of the adventure.
“Riding a motorcycle gives a feeling of freedom and excitement that you just can’t find anywhere else. When you’re on a motorcycle, you certainly live in the moment and create special memories on even the shortest of rides.” – Grant Bester, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle EMEA Wheels & Watches
Baume & Mercier has partnered with Indian Motorcycle to produce timepieces that capture the spirit of these two great brands, and the feeling of the open road. Baume & Mercier uses subtle design cues, like the open-worked dial inspired by the Indian’s Scout midsize bikes and the shape of the cylinder heads of the famous V-twin engine to distinguish the watches and capture that spirit of freedom and ultimate pleasure.
“Our partnership is about the spirit of Indian motorcycle and the culture surrounding it. We designed these watches to honor the legacy of Indian, but at the same time to be a companion on the journeys of our customers’ lives. We wanted to capture the freedom of motorcycling and the adventure inherent in the lives of Indian riders. Baume & Mercier is celebrating the motorcycling lifestyle with the Indian Motorcycle Company, whetFger that’s in the saddle of your favorite motorcycle or enjoying the company of your friends after a ride. Both motorcycles and watches are messengers of emotion.” – Alain Zimmermann, CEO of Baume & Mercier
Now, being that it is a mechanical watch, I can listen to the chatter of watch enthusiasts commenting about how mechanical watches shouldn’t be subjected to continuous vibration and G forces regardless of the specs. The effects of continuous and brief powerful vibrations to mechanical movements continues to be widely debated on many forums and coated by several articles, a few of these by aBlogtoWatch, but it’s generally agreed upon that any strenuous physical activity is best performed together with your mechanical watch spectating in the sidelines. Fixing of mechanical watches through these types of activities could harm the self-winding mechanism along with inducing premature wear on the balance wheel.As an ideal testing ground I would be riding a skillet, vibey V-twin Indian Scout Bobber, more than three times, to test all these early wear theories including the extra benefit of it being shock resistant and rated to withstand 550 G, which can be more than 10 times the shock exerted onto a body through a fatal automobile collision. With all those specs, I had been feeling quite confident about the watch withstanding the vibrations.The other mechanical equipment I would be reviewing are the aforementioned Indian Scout Bobber, a recently not-yet-released model, and I would be riding one for the upcoming few times at arguably one of the most coveted, covert, two-wheeled parties in the motorcycle community. The Bobber was a great compliment to the Clifton Club watch because they taken an edgier feel against their counterparts in their various collections, which, as the weekend progressed, shown to be a really free relationship with similar street maps.
The Indian Motorcycle Company is a heritage brand with more than 100 years of experience making some of the finest motorcycles on the face of the earth, and Baume & Mercier predates Indian by 71 years. Both companies are committed to transmitting their traditional codes – high quality, attention to detail, innovation and passion – while pushing the lifestyle to fullest.
© Baume & Mercier