Two years ago, Baume & Mercier reintroduced its Riviera collection. Since then, a few complications have been added, including a chronograph, a moonphase, and a GMT. But a dedicated dive watch was not part of the modern collection yet, despite its presence in the Riviera lineup in the ’80s. So now, 50 years after the first Riviera model’s debut, Baume & Mercier is launching the Baume & Mercier Riviera Azur 300m. It is a modern dive iteration of the brand’s steel sports watch, featuring an anodized aluminum ring set into the dodecagonal bezel.
Alongside this completely new version, Baume & Mercier is also introducing a new 39mm size for the regular Riviera. Until now, there was no middle-ground option between the smaller 36mm and the larger 42mm sizes. Both the Riviera Azur 300m and the 39mm Riviera house the Baumatic movement with an impressive 120-hour power reserve. Let’s take a closer look!
Just like the line’s original dive watch from the ’80s, the new Azur 300m is also heavily inspired by the non-dive version of the current Riviera. The streamlined 42mm case is roughly the same, apart from the dive bezel and the new crown guards, of course. To make the 12-sided steel bezel stand out a bit more, the designers have added an anodized aluminum insert and ring underneath. The color of the aluminum accents matches the gray or blue hue of the dial. This transparent sapphire dial with the wave pattern is also something we have already seen in the Riviera line. Here, however, the date aperture has moved from its standard position at three to four-thirty. That was probably so that Baume & Mercier could put a larger lumed marker at three to comply with the current ISO standards. Apart from the layout, the hands are also slightly different. Instead of the fairly simple sword hands on the regular Riviera, there’s a set of luminescent shovel hands on the Riviera Azur 300m. The seconds hand is in the same color as the dial with a lumed tip and a Phi logo for the counterweight.
The Riviera Azur 300m is just under 12mm thick, which should be comfortable for its 42mm diameter. Through the sapphire crystal on the 12-sided case back, you can see the very capable Baumatic movement. This 4Hz (28,800vph) automatic caliber was introduced in 2017 and co-developed with the help of ValFleurier and the Richemont Group’s innovation hub. As mentioned above, it has an impressive power reserve of 120 hours. It’s also resistant to magnetic fields of up to 1,500 gauss. Last but not least, it’s a COSC-certified chronometer, which means it’s accurate between +6 and -4 seconds per day. Add the case’s 300m water resistance rating into the mix, and we’re looking at a very capable dive watch here. That said, it is quite a bit pricier than the €2,900 Sellita-powered 42mm Riviera models.
Baume & Mercier is also introducing a new size for the regular Riviera. As I mentioned earlier, until now, there was nothing available between the smaller 36mm and the larger 42mm models, and 6mm is quite a big gap. Many brands have been releasing 39mm versions of existing models, and now there’s also a 39mm Riviera which measures 10.2mm thick. At first, it will be available with an all-steel case and bezel in combination with a gray or blue transparent sapphire dial. There’s also a third option with a steel case, a titanium bezel, and PVD gold-plated steel accents. Other than the size, nothing else about the Riviera changes on this smaller version. It’s also still powered by the Baumatic movement mentioned above. You can choose to purchase the watch on a matching rubber or leather strap.
The Baume & Mercier Riviera Azur 300m will be available in June, while the 39mm Riviera will be available in April. For more information, visit the official Baume & Mercier website.
What do you think of these new additions to Baume & Mercier’s Riviera collection? At around €4K, do you think they can compete against, for example, similarly priced but differently styled options from Tudor? Let us know in the comments below.