Baume-Mercier Riviera Men's/Ladies Automatic/Quartz Watches Review
Baume Mercier Riviera
If Hampton and Classima recapitulate the achievements and traditions of the past, Riviera watches look towards the future, presenting an avant-guard bold design that breaks traditional moulds – and that already became a modern classic.
Riviera constitutes a master collection that offers ladies' and gents' timepieces suitable for formal, dressy, and outdoors settings; the twelve sided bezel proved to be a highly flexible feature that can act as a decorative exhibition part on the one hand, and as complementary sports utility on the other.
Angular design became popularized in the seventies of the 20th century, when Audemars Piguet launched their iconic octagonal Royal Oak (later to branch into Royal Oak Offshore); Baume&Mercier invented their own version of the concept, opting for a softer layout – after all, the more corners you have, the closer you get to the perfect circle.
The collection's diversity becomes especially evident upon a closer look at the materials used to build the watches: stainless steel forms the core, around which PVD coating, yellow and red gold, titanium, diamonds, vulcanized rubber and sailcloth straps aggregate.
Riviera men's watches come in L, XL, and XXL sizes (38, 40, and 43 mm in diameter respectively), and, depending on the design, can be categorized either as sports or dressy timepieces. The latter often include an analog dual time complication, and generally project a somewhat tense, even intense layout – both in black and white dial models.
The former type will usually feature a robust rubber strap that merges seamlessly with the case, creating a peculiar futuristic vision that seems to conceal retro elements. Here chronograph is the most common function; Baume&Mercier provide an unusual variety in subdial organization (Riviera Diver, Riviera Magnum), distributing the them according to several, quite different schemes – some markers being framed by metallic inlays.
Additional specs include sapphire crystal, water resistance up to 200 meters, and Superluminova.
Ladies Riviera dispenses with complication completely, and outfits most watches with quartz movements. Variety in sizes (XS 22 mm, S 28 mm, and L 38 mm) and visuals clearly plays a more prominent role in this division of the collection. Decoration consists of gold – interspersed with steel to create classic two-tone models – diamonds, and mother-of-pearl.
Dials display either indexes or Roman numerals, complimented by a guilloche that lends this line its own unique character: described by Baume&Mercier as “Phi tapestry” it spreads a carpet of brand logos right at the center of the watches' faces.
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