UNVIELING: The Baume & Mercier Riviera Squellete

by Sameera Gamage

This latest model of the Riviera pays tribute to the streamlined architecture of the modern villas on the Riviera!

The French Riviera, or “Côte d’Azur” as the French know it, is famous for its Mediterranean beaches, beautiful landscapes nestled between the sea and mountains, well-known luxury stays at lavish hotels, and, of course, the stunning villas that reside in the mountains.

The latest Riviera Squellete by Baume & Mercier is a timepiece that has been inspired by the minimalist lines and bold shapes of the beautiful villas that cling to the rocks sculpted by the Mediterranean elements. The design of this timepiece is a tribute to Baume & Mercier’s passion for creating timepieces that evoke beauty and elegance through simplicity.

Villa in French Riviera

The Baume & Mercier Riviera Squellete is a skeletonised model with a large, prominent display of black architecture composed of mainly orderly solids and airy voids. It is supposed to represent the architecture of the modern villa designs found throughout the French Riviera. In the image above, we can see one of these modern villas, with some parts of the architecture being done in black for the outdoor shaded areas (columns/posts, roofing etc.). This is what has transpired onto the dial of this latest Riviera timepiece, showcased in a balanced and artistic way.

Baume & Mercier Riviera Squellete

Baume & Mercier keeps the signature design of the Riviera unchanged, with the brand offering the Squellete in a 42mm x 11.1mm thick satin-polished stainless steel case. The dodecagonal bezel is beautifully displayed through the polished and sun-satin finish on the stainless steel material. The four symmetrical steel screws have been sandblasted and ADLC-coated, which incidentally also matches with the black architecture of the dial nicely.  The free octagonal crown is also adorned with the Phi logo that Baume & Mercier chose as an emblem in 1964, embossed and delineated in black.  

Baume & Mercier Riviera Squellete – Wrist Shot

The faceted open-worked black dial is complemented nicely through the open-worked hour and minute hands, in which their tips have been coated in Superlumi-Nova to give off a blue glow in low light conditions. A subtle reference to the Mediterranean waters of the French Riviera at night time. Sections of the movement can be seen underneath the skeletonised architecture of the dial, with the balance wheel at 6 o’clock being the main feature.

Baume & Mercier Riviera Squellete – Wrist Shot 2

While no clear hour indices are displayed on the dial as it will obstruct the artistic display of the dial architecture, the minute track that runs on the outer edge of the dial has increments that can also be used as hour indicators. Dial readability is the biggest issue when designing skeletonised timepieces. While the contrast between the hands and the black framework of the dial isn’t clear-cut, it’s still noticeable to the wearer, with the white tips of Superlumi-Nova helping to fix this issue.

Inside this new Riviera Squellete is Baume & Mercier’s self-winding semi-skeleton calibre movement. The movement operates at a high frequency of 4Hz (28,800 VpH), which delivers a high level of accuracy. It also has a power reserve of 38 hours. The case back is open, and through the sapphire crystal, the wearer is able to see the movement and the specially crafted open-worked black oscillating weight, which nicely matches the black dial architecture.

Final Thoughts

While the design of the Riviera Squellete isn’t immediately recognisable to its ties to the French Riviera, when you look at some of the modern villas along the Riviera coast, and its black architecture, this reference timepiece’s design becomes clearer.

Baume & Mercier Riviera Squellete – Wrist Shot 3

The dial’s black architecture design allows the wearer to see glimpses of the movement sitting underneath. The balance wheel is the centrepiece, an element that is nicely integrated with the design. What I do feel needs to be improved is the movement and it’s power-reserve. While only a minor issue, 38 hours for an automatic in modern-day watchmaking seems too little!

The timepiece’s monochromatic colour theme gives it a great wrist presence, and this is aided further by a black rubber strap with its own canvas pattern. While the strap’s aesthetic complements the dial’s design nicely, the rubber material also provides a comfortable fit on the wrist.

Reference: M0A10721


  • Case: 42mm x 11.1mm thickness
  • Case Material: Satin-polished stainless steel dodecagonal case.
  • Dial:  Caceted black open-worked dial. Its decoration, composed of orderly solids and airy voids, is topped with faceted, open-worked oxidized hands.
  • Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-glare coating on both sides
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 Bar)
  • Movement: Swiss-made automatic self-winding movement was made specifically for Baume & Mercier.
  • Movement Frequency: 4hz (28,800 VpH)
  • Power reserve: 38 hours.
  • Bracelet: Built-in black rubber strap canvas pattern with triple folding buckle crafted in stainless steel, features security push-pieces and an easy adjustment feature. 

Australian Recommended Retail Price: $6,900 AUD

Availability: Non-limited. Available for purchase through Baume & Mercier boutiques and online at baume-et-mercier.com

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