The Baume & Mercier Riviera joins the green partyZach Blass
Recently we saw the return of the Baume & Mercier Riviera in the form of three configurations: the 42mm Baumatic, 42mm Automatic, and 36mm quartz. Amongst the Time+Tide team we unanimously welcomed the Riviera and lauded the line for creating a more affordable opportunity to get a quality integrated, stainless-steel sports watch. But the Riviera party isn’t over yet. Just in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer, the Richemont brand is introducing the Baume & Mercier Riviera Green models – a 42mm automatic with a lacquered green dial and a 36mm quartz model with a lighter mintier green dial.
For those not privy to the model’s upgrade, the Baume & Mercier Riviera green automatic is packaged in a 42mm stainless steel case that is a slender 10.7mm thick. The majority of the case is satin brushed, the front of the bezel sunray satin brushed, but the polished facets of the 12-sided bezel create elegant contrast. While the lugs are by no means short, they do slope down to create a better camber around the wrist – likely making the watch a more manageable 42mm on the wrist. Being a summer-inspired release, it is fitting that the Baume & Mercier Riviera Green 42mm automatic is water-resistant to 100 metres.
Green is, of course, the trending colour of the year. It is only fitting that Baume & Mercier bring green configurations just in time for summer fun. Like the previously introduced 42mm automatic models, the dial has a wave motif befitting of the Riviera name. The green lacquer is executed with a sunburst satin brush, creating darkened and lightened quadrants to the dial as the light hits it. The hours and minutes hands, applied rectangular hour markers, and applied riveted roman numerals at 12′ and 6′ are all filled with SuperLuminova® for visibility in darkness. Baume & Mercier strategically made the date complication at 3′ with a white on black date disc. The black disc does a great job of not detracting from the green dial, the black blending in just enough to not be a distraction.
The watch comes on a dial-matching rubber strap with Baume & Mercier’s quick interchangeable system that makes swapping between rubber straps or even the stainless-steel bracelet seen on other models, a total breeze. The green rubber strap offered on the watch has a grained finish to its outer shoulders and within the middle channel of the strap a vertical satin brush. Securing the watch and strap to the wrist is a tribute-folding, stainless-steel clasp with twin triggers to prevent accidental opening.
Inside the watch, beneath the sapphire caseback, is the Sellita SW-200 automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve. While not the most glamorous caliber, it is a tried and true reliable movement more than qualified for daily fun and wear.
The 36mm Baume & Mercier Riviera green is a lighter shade for both the dial and strap. The case, 9.5mm thick, shares the same framework of finishes as the larger 42mm model, but deviates with a solid closed caseback and decreased depth rating of 50 meters. I won’t lie, Baume & Mercier refers to the 36mm line as feminine at times and I feel, while still a quality watch, the 36mm line is a bit of a missed opportunity.
As someone who prefers more classically sized watches I would actually gravitate more towards 36mm than 42mm. I also would have preferred the SW-200 automatic movement instead of the Ronda quartz currently found inside of the watch, especially when there is an existing automatic 36mm configuration with the SW-200 inside. It would have been interesting if Baume & Mercier offered both colours in each of the two size and movement configurations, rather than shrinking and lightening the reference, subtly declaring it as feminine, and opting for it to be quartz only. To give credit where it is due, the 42mm is billed by Baume & Mercier as unisex, so regardless of marketing I recommend going with the size and colour you personally enjoy the most – whether the more foresty 42 or the minty fresh 36.
Baume & Mercier Riviera Green pricing and availability:
The Baume & Mercier Riviera Green watches will be available XYZ. Price: $2,700 AUD (36mm quartz) / $3,950 AUD (42mm automatic)