Baume & Mercier threw its hat into the ring of watch manufacturers offering an integrated-bracelet steel sports watch with its revival of a 1970s stalwart, the Riviera, at the recently wrapped Watches & Wonders virtual fair. The new series, encompassing 10 references, seven distinct colorways and two different sizes, is inspired by the 1973 original and represents the fifth generation of designs since its debut. With it, Baume & Mercier hopes to simultaneously reference the era from which it sprang and also contextualize the design for the contemporary age.
The Riviera 42mm is the larger of the two case sizes, its geometric shape providing it a sturdy, sporty silhouette that indicates a watch seemingly ready for anything and well-equipped to transition from formal situations to casual. The case’s most noticeable element is its dodecagonal (12-sided) bezel, secured via four screws and reminiscent of various other luxury sports watches in whose footsteps it’s following.
On the case’s right side is a similarly geometric crown, signed with Baume & Mercier’s alternative logo. The watch is secured to the wrist by means of an integrated triple-link steel bracelet or a rubber strap. The finishing on each of the variations is primarily brushed, with some contrasting polishing, with the exception of a single reference, 10617, which opts for a black steel ADLC coating.
Another noteworthy factor of the newest Riviera models are the various dial options, five in all. The first three are decorated with a wavy-textured pattern in sunray silver, black, or blue; the other two opt for dials in semi-transparent sapphire, either blue- or black-tinted, to partially reveal the movement behind them.
Along the dial’s outer edge, applied indices mark each hour, with rectangles at most positions and Roman numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock. Beyond the hour markers, the dial is relatively spartan, with a subtle date window at 3 o’clock, two partially skeletonized, rounded Dauphine hands for the hour and minute and a simple stick counter for the passing seconds.
Inside the 42-mm watch is one of two different movements. The solid, textured-dial versions use a Sellita SW200, an automatic caliber with a 38-hour power reserve — a straightforward and fine movement for a watch in this price range. For the pricier sapphire-dial versions, Baume & Mercier uses the Baumatic BM13-1975A, its automatic in-house-developed movement in which the brand takes justifiable pride. The caliber boasts a five-day power reserve, an accuracy of -4 /+6 seconds per day with a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a magnetic resistance of 1,500 Gauss.
More conservative in its case dimensions, the Riviera 36mm also offers a reduced water resistance compared to that of its bigger siblings, 50 meters rather than 100 meters. Besides that, the lugs seem to be somewhat more tapered into the integrated bracelet, which along with the size decrease makes for a still sturdy but noticeably more elegant look on the wrist. This aesthetic is further bolstered by the use of diamonds, instead of the four bezel screws, on one of the models.
The dial texture of the 42-mm models is at play as well in these watches, with three colors including sunray silver, light blue, and black. Also echoing the 42-mm versions, these more compact timepieces are outfitted with one of two chosen movements — the previously discussed Sellita SW200 or the Ronda 714Li, a common Swiss-made quartz caliber. Baume & Mercier is clearly gearing the Riviera 36mm towards a less mechanically inclined audience, so the movement choice is appropriate.
Pricing and Availability
All of the models within the new Baume & Mercier Riviera collection are available now, via the brand’s authorized dealers. Pricing begins at $1,850 for a 36-mm quartz version, and tops out at $3,900 for the black cased 42-mm edition with the Baumatic caliber.
To learn more, visit Baume & Mercier, here.