Bert E. Casal

Red is the Color of Speed

The Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition

Indian Motorcyle is America’s first motorcycle company, founded in 1898 by George Hendee. One of their most celebrated models was the Scout, a motorcycle with a top speed of 50 mph. Burt Munro was a carpenter who got addicted to speed at an early age. In 1920, at the age of 21, he bought the Scout. Wanting more speed out of it, he began to tinker with it in his spare time, often going all through the night then going to work the next day with hardly any sleep.

He worked on his Scout for years, trying to add more speed, creating his own engine parts from salvaged metal. Forty years later, in 1967, he set out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to go for the land speed record for a motorcycle under 1000cc. He set that record with a winning speed of 183.59 mph (or 294.5 km/h). However, Munro’s son noticed that the calculation of the speed was inaccurate, and that the speed attained was actually 184.087 mph (296.11 km/h). The official listing was corrected, and that record still stands today.

In honor of his achievement, Baume & Mercier pays tribute to Burt Munro with a watch from the Clifton Club collection: the Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition. This 1967-piece chronograph model comes in a 44mm stainless steel case. The bezel bears a tachymeter with the “184” mark highlighted in commemoration of Munro’s record-breaking speed.

On the dial, Munro’s lucky number 35 is printed on the chronograph seconds counter. The silver-colored dial with sandblasted finish pays homage to the Bonneville Salt Flats where he set the record. The counter balance of the central seconds hand is decorated with the letter “I” of the Indian Motorcycle logo. The calfskin strap bears the “Indian Red” color of the company and of the color of the motorcycle Munro used. Finally, the famous Indian headdress logo of the company is engraved on the case back.


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