BAUME & MERCIER HONORS RACING LEGEND BURT MUNRO
The Need for Speed
From the very beginning, the two men behind Indian Motorcycle were obsessed in the pursuit of speed. Founders, George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, initially sought their thrills in bicycle racing, but when the first gasoline engines appeared, the pair saw an opportunity to mount these to bicycle frames. As Indian rapidly grew, pioneering men took these “motorcycles” and pushed their limits on epic adventures or in motordrome racing. Indian soon became renowned as a brand that set and broke speed records. Even in those early days, motorcyclists were regarded as thrill seekers and daredevils and today, the excitement of riding or racing at high speed is still a great draw.
Spirit is something Indian has shown in all its efforts in motorcycling, just as Baume & Mercier has in its watchmaking. Out of all of Indian’s achievements, it is the spirit and legend of Burt Munro that has become a part of the fabric of not just Indian’s culture, but of motorcycling culture in general.
When Burt Munro bought the bike in 1920 it was only capable of doing 55mph, but after spending the next 55 years modifying it in his shed, the then 68-year-old grandfather took it to the Bonneville Salt flats in Utah, USA. Here he set an under 1000cc record speed of 183.59 mph (294.5 km/h). However, Munro’s son, John noticed that the average speed calculation on the original 1967 record certificate was inaccurate and that the speed reached was actually 184.087 mph (296.11 km/h). The official listing was therefore corrected 47 years later, and set the record that still stands today.
Paying tribute to this 50th anniversary, Baume & Mercier has designed a one-of-a-kind watch. Burt was a man of modest means and built his record-breaking Scout using basic tools and even made his own engine parts from salvaged metal over the course of 55 years. This official Indian Motorcycle watch can be proudly worn to remind the wearer that anything is possible with enough grit and determination and translates the enduring passion, a value conveyed by Baume & Mercier ever since.
CLIFTON CLUB INDIAN BURT MUNRO TRIBUTE – 1967-PIECE LIMITED EDITION
This limited self-winding chronograph edition features a number of special details designed to commemorate the extraordinary achievement of Burt Munro. Immediately apparent is the Munro’s lucky number, 35, in the second counter at 9 o’clock highlighted by a horizontal black line, recalling one of the noticeable decor featured on the shell. The dial itself is silver-colored with sandblasted finishes, meant to mimic the surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats, where the record was set. The counterweight of the chronograph seconds hand is the immediately recognizable Indian “I.” The 44mm polished stainless steel case has a tachymeter scale on the bezel, with the speed record, 184 mph, highlighted on it. Next, the “Indian Red” color of the calfskin strap evokes the deep vermillion shade that is identified with the Indian Motorcycle Company, and the color of the Munro Special. On the case back, housing the self-winding Valjoux 7750 caliber, the famous Indian Headdress logo of the Indian Motorcycle Company is engraved, as well as the number of the limited edition: “one out of 1967“.