Baume & Mercier have been producing the Riviera since 1973, making this year the model’s 50th anniversary. Throughout those years there have been five generations of the Riviera with the latest being launched in 2021. But never before has there been a diver. So, on the occasion of the anniversary, Baume & Mercier are correcting that overdue missing archetype in the fifth generation Riviera in the form of the new Riviera Azur 300m.
One of the most characteristic elements of the Riviera Azur 300m is the new bezel. Stylistically, it still has the dodecagonal shape that dates back to the original 1970s model with its sports chic design, reminiscent of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with which it’s a contemporary. However, unlike the Royal Oak’s diving counterpart, the Offshore, which has an internal diving bezel, the Riviera uses its 12-sided bezel with a unidirectional rotation. Off the top of my head I can’t think of another sports luxe model with a thick, multi-facetted bezel in this style that has a rotation.
Logically, it makes sense that rotating bezels in this style are rare because most of them feature screws that make it literally impossible to rotate them. But that just makes the fact that the Riviera does rotate all the more novel. There are further diving bezel adaptations present in the form of its diving scale and additional grips. It makes me want to get hands on with the watch expressly for the purpose of fiddling with the bezel and the tactile elements.
The Riviera Azur 300m’s dial has also been given an update for life beneath the waves. The hour and minute hands in particular have been redesigned to be thicker and lume coated for easy legibility underwater. Although they’ve retained some of the traditional Riviera elements like the smoked sapphire glass dials common to the range, available in blue or black, with a rippled wave pattern.
That transparent dial has been included to showcase the movement housed beneath, which is their signature Baumatic calibre. It has a stellar 5-day power reserve and impressive accuracy of -4/+6 seconds per day, as well as being magnetic resistant to 1500 gauss. In terms of functions, it has hours, minutes, seconds and a date complication.
Considering that the collection is themed around the French Riviera, it makes sense for there to be a dive watch in the range, embracing the azure waters. Admittedly the Riviera Azur 300m isn’t the first Riviera dive watch in history, it’s just the first generation five Riviera diver, so it isn’t a total revelation. But priced at £3,600 (blue dial) and £3,750 (black dial) it’s certainly a watch you should consider for the coming summer.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Baume & Mercier Riviera Azur 300m
- Ref: M0A10716 (blue), M0A10717 (black)
- Case/dial: 42.1mm diameter, stainless steel case, smokey blue or grey sapphire dial
- Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
- Movement: Baumatic calibre BM13-1975A, automatic, COSC-certified
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 120h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, calendar aperture
- Strap: Rubber or stainless steel bracelet
- Price/availability: £3,600 (blue dial) and £3,750 (black dial)
More details at Baume & Mercier.