Baume & Mercier have come out of the gates in 2023 with two great travel pieces in the newly released Riviera GMT Travel Time collection. This is a modern take on their contemporary Riviera collection, just in time for those wanting to travel and enjoy the world again.
The Riviera was first developed in 1973 and has changed over the years, adapting to the style of the time. This year, 50 years on from the inception of the Riviera, its style is bold and contemporary yet still remaining true to the classic line. With its steel case and strong shape, the Riviera, in Baume & Mercier’s words, “embodies a desire for liberty, an offbeat elegance, and a taste for pleasure. It expresses the art of living on the French Riviera through both its look and its watchmaking genes.”
The new Riviera GMT Travel Time collection is an iteration of the 2021, fifth-generation Baume & Mercier Riviera, and with this, you do get a sense these are a perfect travel companion. With two distinct styles of GMT, you do get the essence of a European summer in the blue and white colour palette Baume & Mercier have chosen. They scream holidaying on the Mediterranean, sipping cocktails or whatever beverage you prefer to drink overlooking the Prom des Anglais in Nice, or just lazing about on a boat off the coast of Monaco. One can dream!
The first of the two releases is the stunning blue dial and rubber combination Riviera GMT M0A10659. The dial looks the part, with a beautiful blue hue and a three-dimensional sun-satin finished wave motif on the dial, which does embody the spirit of the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Paired nicely with a blue rubber strap on Baume & Mercier’s Fast Strap change system, it makes it easy to quickly go from a sporty, casual to a more elegant piece on the stainless steel. Baume & Mercier also have a range of colour straps that can be purchased for around UAD $200 should you wish to change the look.
The second of the two is the silver-dialled version Riviera GMT M0A10658 on a steel bracelet. The silver sun-satin motif on the dial is more reminiscent of white stucco walls that you would find in Greece or the Costa Blanca in Spain (not quite the Riviera, but hey, who’s complaining?) Again, the steel bracelet is on the Fast Strap System, so you can easily swap it out for another colour variation if you feel the need to.
Both versions share the same design cues, looks and styling of the case, hands, crown and movement. A dodecagonal bezel with twelve sides and four screws, a 42 mm steel case, and a self-winding Swiss Made movement. The red GMT hand contrasts nicely again both the blue and white dials and revolves around the dial face every 24hrs in true GMT fashion. Around the edge of the dial are subtle 24-hour markers at intervals between the 12 indices and the roman numerals at 12 and 6 O’clock, making it easy enough to distinguish between the home and destination time.
Each is 100m/10 bar water resistant, meaning it’s highly swimmable and perfectly acceptable for a sports watch, and the double-coated anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal means it will cut down any unwanted glare. The see-through caseback reveals the Swiss Made ETA 2893 movement with a 42hr power reserve and beating at 4Hz / 28,800 VPH, and is finished with several aesthetic features like Cotes de Genève on the rotor and spiral graining on the baseplate and several other pieces.
Baume & Mercier have delivered two solid GMT Travel Timepieces in two good-looking colour variants that do evoke the feel of the Riviera and, at under AUD 5,000, would seem to represent value in a highly competitive sub $5k Swiss Watch market.
Reference: M0A10659 (Blue dial/rubber strap) & M0A10658 (Silver dial/steel bracelet)
- Case: 42mm, 10.96mm thick
- Case: Polished and brushed finished stainless steel
- Dial: Sun satin-finished lacquered blue and silver dial with transparent wave decor
- Hands/Indices: Riveted and faceted applied Roman numerals and indices with Rhodium-plated hands
- Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
- Water resistance: 100m (10BAR)
- Movement: Swiss Made Automatic ETA 2893
- Power reserve: 42 hours
- Bracelet/Strap: Integrated and satin-finished blue rubber strap with triple folding buckle/integrated 3-link brushed and polished steel bracelet with triple folding stainless steel clasp