January 14, 2013

Baume et Mercier Capeland S XXL 8319 Review

Baume et Mercier Capeland S XXL 8319
Baume et Mercier Capeland S XXL 8319 Review

A Little History And Perspective
   The Baume & Mercier Capeland S XXL (model #8319) mens dive watch has been discontinued since 2006 AND is quite possibly one of the best dive watches ever made. The Capeland S XXL 8319 can be hunted down in the secondary market and is rare find, more on this later. What Baume & Mercier was able to do was make an extremely functional, aesthetically cool looking, affordable dive watch. Watch enthusiast love a great dive watch, so why did this one not survive? One reason I believe, that being the dial color made of a yellow woven kevlar. This gives the dial a very unique look, but being yellow it is not as versatile. There have been a very limited number of black dialed versions spotted. I’ve only every seen one and that was on a watch forum. The black dial is so limited, there is basically zero information on this version and it was not a Limited Edition piece. Why not have a yellow and black dial in regular production we will never know. This simple fact alone could have possibly kept the watch in production, black will almost always out sell any other color option. 
   If you venture out into the various different watch forums and do a search you find only high regards for the 8319 and unlimited proud owners. Along with many whom hope to be owners since the online gray market sales are out of stock permanently. Not long ago the B&M Capeland S XXL retailed for about 3.5K and could be found readily available on sale for about half MSRP into the year 2008. In a strange twist of fate now that the 8319 can not be found a cultish following has developed. When a S XXL 8319 pops up for sale on one of the watch forums, it usually sells or has offers within one hour. Even the “auction site” will only see maybe one per month up for sale. Fueling those looking for this increasingly rare diver.
The Information
   The Baume & Mercier Capeland S XXL 8319 Yellow Dive watch is supported by a titanium case and features a stainless steal bezel. The case is 45mm and has a lug width of 22mm, this lug width helps balance the watch very well. The dial is made of yellow woven kevlar with applied indices, date at 3 o’clock, and lume that will rival the best. Baume & Mercier uses their onion crown (one of my favorites) on the right side of the case at 3 o’clock and a helium release valve on the opposite side at 9 o’clock. The movement is an ETA 2892-A2, with a 42 hour power reserve. The domed sapphire crystal is amazing, gives the dial an incredible visual depth. The thick domed sapphire and the helium release valve give the 8319 a water resistance of 1000m. The Capeland S XXL comes with two straps, one rubber, one black sailcloth strap, and a changing tool.  
   To think at one point you could get this watch brand new, with the upgraded ETA 2892-A2, HEV, 1000m WR, two straps, strap changing tool, domed sapphire, kevlar dial, applied indices, insane lume, all for around $1,500! It was actually a fantastic price point at 3.5k. This makes it the best dive watch pound for pound money could buy AND still can today if you are lucky and fast enough to find one. Good luck hunting!

Case: Titanium
Case Diameter: 45mm
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black 
Bracelet: Sailcloth And Rubber
Movement: Automatic 
Power Reserve: 40 hrs
Water Resistant: 1000m
HEV: Yes

5 comments:

I actually own one of the rare black-face models. I bought it in 2007 from an authorized dealer in Mexico. It did not cost $1,500 however. The price at the time was close to $3,000. I love the watch and have recently ordered replacement bracelets.

Towards the end of production and once discontinued you could find them all over the internet in the 1.5K range. The actual MSRP was around 3.5K, noted in the 2nd & 4th paragraph. Then it became the watch to have by WIS's and they all disappeared. When one comes up for sale it is gone within minutes literally on the forums. YOU are so lucky to have a black dial, many do not even know it exist! Congrats to you, never let that one go!

Thanks. I plan to hold onto it and continue enjoying it. As you said, it was not a limited edition, but very few were made. At the time I was travelling often to Mexico on business. I saw the watch with the black dial but doubted its authenticity since I and only ever seen the yellow one, which I thought was much less versatile and attractive. Once back home I e-mailed Baume & Mercier to inquire as to whether the black dial version really existed. They told me that yes it was authentic. They had simply made very few models in that color and only for a small number of markets, including Mexico. On my next trip I then purchased the watch.

The one thing I did not mention is I actually owned the yellow dial. I knew the day I sold it, not to, but I did anyway. I enjoyed the yellow as a change of pace from my black dials (little heavy in that color). I will tell you a little known secret if you do not already know. You can contact B&M and purchase back up bezels. As you know the edge of that bezel catches knicks easily. Being discontinued, a back up or two is nice. NEVER let it go or you will feel like the rest of us!

Whent it went out for sale, I wanted to buy a Pofessional and a nice divers watch,I choose to go for a Panerai Titanium Luminor Marina Power Reserve. But the BM XXL was always in my mind. and guess? I was walking in a Mall in Cuernavaca, Mexico last december, and a big smile came to my face... I found one new!!!, imagine new, yes new, incredible, maybe it was the last new in the whole world... Of course I bought it and now is my most valued watch in my collection. Lucky guy I'm.

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