Watch Review: Baume & Mercier Riviera Automatic Chronograph

Watch Review: Baume & Mercier Riviera Automatic Chronograph
Watch Review: Baume & Mercier Riviera Automatic Chronograph

Riviera was first introduced in 1973. The timepiece was made of high-quality steel and featured a unique 12-sided bezel that stood out on the wrist. The watch became an instant hit, symbolizing the culture of leisure, the spirit of independence, and the desire for modernity. In 2021, the Swiss watchmakers unveiled all-new iterations that retain the collection’s essence while being decidedly modern.

Baume & Mercier, founded in 1830, is one of a few Swiss watchmakers who create timepieces that are well-crafted and affordable. Best known for their clean and aesthetically pleasing designs, the brand has also succeeded with their in-house movements, which they only recently began manufacturing. The Riviera, first released in 1973 and marked the watchmakers’ entry into the genre of steel sports watches with integrated bracelets, is one of their offerings.

The timepiece was high-quality steel and featured a 12-sided bezel, a bold silhouette, and charming elegance. It was the result of Baume & Mercier’s innovative technology and their desire to create something truly unique and modern. 

As a result, it was no surprise when Swiss watchmakers decided to reintroduce this series in 2021. 

The new Riviera is available in three dimensions (36mm, 42mm, and 43mm), and they come in a wide range of dial colors, paired with matching rubber straps or integrated steel bracelets. Baume & Mercier has also added three different chronograph iterations, with quartz and mechanical versions available. The mechanical models’ in-house automatic movement, known as the Baumatic caliber.

The Past And The Present Are Deeply Linked

Each timepiece is created with stainless steel and has a combination of polished and brushed surfaces, with two notable exceptions: one of the chronograph iterations and the Baumatic models, which have sandblasted ADLC-coating for a stealthy appearance.

Meanwhile, the ergonomically designed case is attached to an octagonal crown, emphasizing the timepieces’ overall angular silhouette. Thanks to the downturned, integrated curved lugs and center links, the stainless steel bracelet pairs seamlessly with the watches and exuded a sophisticated look. 

The bracelet has a diver-esque design and a strong presence on the wrist, which adds to the watch’s overall sporty vibe. Furthermore, all variants include a quick interchangeable system that allows the wearer to replace the bracelet with a super-comfortable and flexible rubber strap. The bracelet or rubber strap can be clipped in between the lugs without any tools or force. It’s simple and easy to do.

Sizes For Every Wrist

In an era when watches are increasingly appealing to both men and women, few people want their timepieces to be too big or too small. Even within that price range, it’s nice to have a few options, which Baume & Mercier has provided the new Riviera in three sizes—43, 42, and 36mm. 

All sizes are reasonably comfortable on the wrist and a joy to wear. The brand has decided to size all chronograph iterations at 43mm, quartz variants at 36mm, and the rest at 36mm and 42mm. The decision to release new models in various sizes appears to be nothing short of ideal for the watchmakers, who strive to cater to a diverse range of customers regardless of age or gender.

A Well-balanced And Enchanting Display

In this latest generation of Riviera, the timepieces are equipped with a wide array of movements. Options include the in-house Baumatic, the Sellita SW-200, Valjoux 7750, and Swiss-made quartz movements. The Baumatic movement, which runs at a frequency of 28,800vph and provides an impressive minimum power reserve of 120 hours, has been used in two iterations. Offering outstanding accuracy and flawless performance, the Baumatic is a technical marvel and an ideal choice for those who seek excellence and impeccable quality. 

The Baumatic iterations, on the other hand, have deep, rich sapphire crystal dials that are semi-transparent and reveal the inner workings of the movement, including the bridges, date wheel, and grain train. The translucent dials of the Baumatic models, available in deep blue or smoky grey, display the same chevron pattern as the variants above to maintain stylistic uniformity across the collection.

Trusted And Reliable Movements 

The timepieces in the latest Riviera generation are outfitted with a diverse range of movements. The Baumatic, the Sellita SW-200, the Valjoux 7750, and Swiss-made quartz movements are all options. The Baumatic is a technical marvel that provides exceptional accuracy and flawless performance. It is an ideal choice for those who seek excellence and unrivaled quality.

The watchmakers used the legendary Valjoux 7750 movement for their chronograph iterations, used in countless mechanical chronographs manufactured by brands such as IWC, TAG Heuer, Omega, and others. 

The Valjoux 7750, first introduced in 1973, uses a three-plane cam system instead of the traditional column-wheel, making it easier to manufacture in larger quantities and thus keeping the cost relatively low. The caliber, which has 25 jewels, beats at a frequency of 28,800vph and can run for 48 hours on its own. 

The SW-200 or a quartz movement is used in the rest of the Rivieras. The SW-200 is a dependable and trusted movement with a frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 38 hours. Meanwhile, the quartz movement, known as the Ronda 714Li, is entirely Swiss-made and promises exceptional longevity without the hassle of routine maintenance.

Versatile Timepieces For Everyone

Symbolizing the values of joy and carefree living of the free-spirited 1970s, the new Riviera stays true to its original design and philosophy but also captures the spirit of our times and reinterprets it. 

The brand-new iterations of the timepiece perfectly exhibit Baume & Mercier’s illustrious past and creative approach. Featuring integrated bracelets or high-quality rubber straps with a quick-change system, in addition to resilient and durable movements and a clean and handsome design, it seems to be a formidable contender in the genre of luxury sports casual.