February 18, 2023
by David Bredan
Positioned as the all-rounder luxury sports watch of Baume & Mercier, it is only right that the Riviera collection received a GMT model which, for 2023, it has done. Available in two colors, the Riviera GMT also introduces a few notable differences from the collection’s best-seller equipped with the Baumatic movement.
Given their popularity and frequent occurrence among hot new watch releases, we talk a lot about GMTs here on aBlogtoWatch. If you are as hooked on this handy complication as we are, you are invited to browse all our articles on GMT watches here. Watches displaying a second time zone have been around since the 1950s, a revolution the Glycine Airman is often given credit for kickstarting, while worldtimers have been around since 1931, thanks to the brilliant inventor Louis Cottier. All this is to say that the concept of a watch simultaneously displaying two or more timezones is probably no news to anyone.
Appreciated not for their novelty factor but practicality, GMT watches have been on the rise across virtually every price segment in recent years, and the sub-$3,000 category is certainly no exception. The latest Baume & Mercier Riviera watch collection we covered in greater detail here, along with a brief look into its design and history so this time our focus will be on what’s new and what remains unchanged in the Riviera GMT.
The Baume & Mercier Riviera GMT watch has a steel case that measures 42mm-wide and 10.96mm-thick, not bad for a watch with an additional center-mounted hand and a 100m water resistance rating. It’s a shame that the brand only supplies head-on images that also appear to be computer-generated — the sunburst finishing on the heavily angled bezel contrasting against its polished edge is rather difficult to appreciate here, as is the neat integration between case and bracelet.
One of the coolest features of the Baume & Mercier Riviera was its wave pattern dial, not simply for the waves, but the way they were applied and finished. The Riviera GMT watch comes in lacquered blue on a rubber strap and in silver on a steel bracelet, and it is the former that appears to replicate the execution that we saw on the 2022 releases, namely a pattern of matt waves set against a sunburst backdrop. It marked one of those rare occasions where the real-world experience was better than the marketing presentation itself, and not the other way around: The sunburst background and the darker matt waves somehow captured the way sunlight simmers on top of tiny wind-ruffled waves. By contrast, the silver dial on this new GMT model appears to have recessed waves that will certainly provide a slightly different effect.
A notable difference is that these nw Baume & Mercier Riviera GMT watches are powered not by the in-house Baumatic movement but by a trusty ETA 2893-2. This entails a considerably shorter power reserve that extends not to 5 days, as it does with the Baumatic, but to just 42 hours. If there is one indicator of how antiquated these ETA movements are, it certainly is their power reserve. You will want to wear the Riviera GMT as it was intended — every day.
Thanks to its dependable water resistance, highly legible dial with faceted hands, applied hour markers and plenty of C1 Super-LumiNova, as well as the additional functionality of a GMT hand, the Baume & Mercier Riviera GMT is a well-made and strong contender in its segment. The Baume & Mercier Riviera GMT watch in blue on the rubber strap (reference M0A10659) is priced at 2,700 Swiss Francs, and the Baume & Mercier Riviera GMT watch in silver on the steel bracelet (reference M0A10658) is priced at 2,850 Swiss Francs. You can learn more on the brand’s website.