One of two new Baume & Mercier Riviera GMT models.

With its full-throttled release of new Riviera designs within the past few years, Baume & Mercier continues in 2023 to update one of its most-loved designs.

While the most recent Riviera update includes good-looking time-only, moon phase and skeleton models, this new GMT edition turned my head the quickest. Granted, the steel and titanium design came in a close second, but the new 42mm steel Riviera GMT model, offered in two color options, topped my list.

With its twelve-sided bezel and accompanying four screws, Riviera has managed to retain its casual elegance since its 1973 debut. When Baume & Mercier presented a fifth-generation Riviera collection in 2021, I was impressed.

But the new GMT upholds Riviera’s tacit invitation to travel (yes, to the French Riviera) with an actual dual-time function. Its central fourth hand rotates around the dial every 24 hours to indicate the time in the travel destination on the peripheral hour scale.

The GMT hand on the new design is as red as a sunburn on its namesake beach, and on either dial the second time zone is always highly visible. But this is especially true on the silver-dial edition, which also displays the 24-hour markers in matching red.

As noted, the two new Riviera GMT watches are available in two versions: one with a blue dial and a blue rubber strap and one with a silver dial and a steel bracelet. Both offer a tone-on-tone sun-satin finish and wave dial decor under a sapphire sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both sides. The GMT movement here is powered by an ETA-based caliber.

The watch’s octagonal crown of course displays Baume & Mercier’s Phi logo engraving in relief with a red line. Baume & Mercier’s own “Fast Strap” interchangeability system makes it a simple task to change from one strap style to another with no need for tools.

Prices: $3,200 (silver dial and steel bracelet) and $3,100 (blue dial with blue rubber strap). 

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