Baume Mercier Riviera watches are, without a doubt, very high in quality. Check out this full Riviera review for tons of information as I review the most note worthy Riviera watches, including the best Men’s Riviera, the best Women’s Riviera and much more!
The way that this review is going to work is that I’ll break it up into categories such as Best Selling, Best Men’s, Best Women’s, Most Underrated, etc etc. For each section I’ll have one watch that the section is about (For example the best selling Riviera is the 8755 Magnum model), and then I’ll also give you a runner up for each category. That way you can hear my best recommendations, but still have some options too.
Table of Contents
Just click where you wanna go and you’ll jump to that part of the page.
But before we begin, how about a quick introduction to the Riviera Collection from Baume and Mercier!
Baume et Mercier’s Riviera Collection features one of the most conceptual watch designs of the past 50 years. The dodecagonal design is unique and attractive and is acclaimed to be one of the most intuitive and elegant designs every created for a luxury watch.
In case you don’t know, a dodecagon has 12 sides for 12 hours, so the shape is perfect for a time keeping piece. Baume et Mercier realized this, and in 1973 they designed the first Riviera watch. Today this collection is respected for its extremely high quality time pieces and that trademark 12 sided design. Geometric in their simplicity, the Baume Mercier Riviera watches are timeless, attractive and of course, well made.
Best Selling Riviera Watch
The best selling and most popular Baume et Mercier Riviera watch is without a doubt the Baume Mercier 8755 Riviera, pictured below.
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8755 Riviera Automatic Chronograph Watch
As you can see, it’s a great looking watch to be sure. However, looks aren’t the only reason this XXL Titanium watch is so well liked. There are many reasons why people like this watch so much, but honestly it comes down to a few things:
Swiss Automatic Movement – The Riviera 8755 men’s watch is powered by a Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. ETA, one of the largest Swiss watch movement manufacturers in the world, makes the Valjoux 7750 and it’s been used most luxury brands still in existence; think Cartier, Frank Muller, Omega, Oris, TAG Heuer, IWC…These are all brands that have used the Valjoux 7750 in their watches, so as you can see it’s a movement to be respected.
It’s 25 jewel power house running at 28,800 vibrations per hour and it’s extremely accurate, extremely durable, and well respected across the entire watch community.
3-Dial Chronograph – Fully equipped with stop/start/reset functionality, this Riviera men’s watch has a chronograph that’s very appealing to the eye because of its unique design, and also very accurate, thanks to that Valjoux movement we were just talking about. With a minute subdial at the 12 position, an hour subdial at the 6 position and (I believe) a seconds subdial at the 9 o’clock position, there’s nothing wanting from the chronograph. There’s also a date window at 3.
XXL Titanium Case – At 43mm, the Baume Mercier 8755 Riviera is actually quite large. It’s classified by Baume et Mercier as an extra EXTRA large case, so don’t be fooled by the pictures on your computer screen…This is an enormous watch. It’s made from stainless steel and titanium so you definitely don’t have to worry about durability.
The finish is perfect, and very scratch resistant…You shouldn’t have to worry about any damage to your watch for quite some time.
Of course, it’s got that timeless 12 sided Riviera design; the watch looks great with its simple black and silver theme, and the case fits right into that.
Other Features – The other noteworthy features of the Riviera 8755 are the Sapphire crystal watch window, which is totally scratch resistant to everything but diamonds and should remain perfectly clear for a long time. The screw down crown is very solidly constructed. The watch is easy to adjust and even easier to read. The Superluminova coated indexes and hands allow you to read your watch at night time, provided you’ve charged the luminescent coating.
Oh, and the watch is water resistant to 200 Meters.
To conclude, I can see why the Baume Mercier 8755 Riviera Magnum watch is so sought after. It also helps that it’s one of Baume et Mercier’s newer watches, so it’s got that undiscovered appeal to it as well.
Alright, here’s the runner up for Bestselling Baume Mercier Riviera watch:
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8724 Riviera XXL Automatic Watch
I won’t go as into detail on the Baume Mercier 8724 Riviera as I did the 8755, but the watch is well liked for basically the same reasons. All I’ll say is that it’s well made, it’s durable and it’s accurate.
It features a 3 dial chronograph as well, though the dials are in different positions. I have to say, for some reason this watch doesn’t seem to sell as well on Amazon, but on most other major online watch retailers (WorldofWatches, TheWatchery, etc), the 8724 is probably actually equal to the 8755 in popularity.
Best Men’s Riviera Watch
The best men’s watch from the Riviera Collection of watches is the Baume Mercier 8797 Riviera…It’s got a very distinct look that’s not replicated anywhere in the Riviera collection, much less any of Baume et Mercier’s watches.
Check it out below, I go over all the features you’ll want to know about before buying:
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8797 Riviera Chronograph Watch
Now, I know that on Amazon this watch is only rated as 3/5 stars. However, if you check out the ONE customer review that’s been left for this watch it says this:
“Good looking, great time keeper, no strap adjustment needed. At first I thought it was defective due to lack of luminescence. I have since discovered that if exposed to bright light it glows just fine.
raise this to four stars.”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that review, but you’ll notice that they didn’t actually say anything wrong with the watch. So…Why is it rated as only 3 stars?
I don’t know!
Honestly, this is by far my favorite men’s Riviera watch. It’s loaded with features, it stands out among the rest of the Riviera watches, AND it’s as accurate as I’d expect it to be.
Here’s why I love this watch so much:
Unique Design – Firstly, the thing that I like most about this Baume et Mercier watch is the design. Honestly, of the 36 Riviera watches currently in Baume et Mercier’s catalog, the 8797 has the most unique design by far. The orange colored indexes and hands combined with the orange stitching down the strap serve to accent the otherwise pure black and silver design of this Riviera diver watch.
It really is a testament to Baume and Mercier that they can take a collection like the Riviera collection, which has been around for almost 40 years now, and create a watch out of it that looks progressive and conceptual. I think it was a big risk to design a watch like this, but they pulled it off and this thing looks AWESOME!
Swiss Automatic Movement – Again, just like with the 8755 Riviera, the Baume et Mercier Riviera 8797 is powered by a Valjoux 7750. I could take the time to explain everything about that movement again, or you could scroll up the page a little bit and read what I had to say about the movement in the Best Selling Riviera watch, because it’s the exact same movement. It even has the same chronograph/date window configuration and everything.
If you REALLY don’t feel like scrolling up, I’ll just tell you that the watch is very accurate and leave it at that.
The Bezel – Some of the Riviera watches come with a rotating outer bezel, some don’t. The Baume Mercier Riviera 8797 DOES and I love it.
The bezel has a very solid and sturdy feel to it as you rotate it, and if you’re a diver than having that time-elapsed function is actually very helpful as an extra tool to use with the chronograph. Additionally, the 8797 features a tachyometer just inside the bezel, right around the outer edge of the dial. This is another handy feature that some men will love, and others won’t care about.
3 Dial Chronoraph – Again, just like with the 8755 model, the chronograph is accurate, well designed, and is equipped with full start/stop/reset functions. The functions are activated using the stainless steel pushers above and below the screw down crown.
SailCloth Satin Strap – Alright, now this is one feature where you’re either going to love it or hate it, and there probably won’t be anyone who just doesn’t care about it. Personally, I love the sailcloth. It’s totally functional, but not a material that you see very often in luxury watches.
Initially I didn’t like it, but as I’ve spent more time reviewing this watch I’ve really grown to like the look of the strap. Plus, it’s super comfortable and very durable, so…I guess I just don’t see anything wrong with it. And it looks great, it fits the rest of the watch’s theme perfectly.
XXL Stainless Steel Case – Again, just like the 8755, this men’s Riviera watch is very large (43mm) and will probably surprise you with its size the first time you see it.
Other Features – Well I should mention the Sapphire crystal watch window; industry standard and virtually bullet proof, so no surprises there. There’s also the sweeping second hand, but of course that’s expected with an automatic movement.
In the end, everything about the Baume Mercier 8797 Riviera feels really good, very high quality construction on every front. That plus an innovative design and a precise movement make this an excellent men’s luxury watch.
The Baume Mercier 8628 Riviera is the runner up for best men’s riviera. It’s very similar in design to the 8797, but with a completely different look.
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8628 Riviera Automatic Chronograph Watch
The Baume and Mercier Riviera 8628 is a much more subtle men’s watch. The white dial and the classic black Roman numerals make for a timeless and simple design that’s really what the Riviera collection is all about. Again, very accurate ETA movement coupled with a classic design make this watch a pleasure to wear and use.
Best Women’s Riviera Watch
Finding the absolute best women’s Riviera watch was much more difficult than I thought it would be, but after spending hours looking over the Riviera collection for the best one, I decided that ultimately I had to choose to watches. So what I’ve done is outlined, in detail, my two choices below.
The Baume Mercier 8729 Riviera (pictured first and on the left) is a large-ish women’s luxury watch with a beautiful black theme that holds true to the values presented in the Riviera collection.
The Baume Mercier 8521 Riviera Mini (pictured second and on the right) is a stunning stainless steel ladies watch with a contemporary feminine appeal.
Ultimately I had to choose two watches because which one is better for you really depends on, well, YOU.
Baume & Mercier Women’s 8729 Riviera Swiss Quartz Watch
See, the Baume Mercier Riviera 8729 is a much larger, much bolder, and much more powerful feeling watch. The case is 38mm, so only about 6mm less than most of the men’s Riviera watches.
Now, I know that some women don’t care aobut this. And honestly, the size of the watch detracts nothing from the look, and in fact, I think that for the 8729 the large case actually adds to the overall feel of the design. I think that the watch stays true to the theme of Baume and Mercier’s Riviera collection and that if you’re looking for a real piece of time keeping art, you should go for the 8729 Riviera.
However, I also understand that most women probably could care less about the ‘theme’ of the Riviera collection and just want a good looking watch that’s not a workout to wear.
That’s where the Baume Mercier 8521 comes in; the case is only 22mm in diameter, so it’s much smaller and much more feminine both in appearance and feel. Check it out below:
Baume & Mercier Women’s 8521 Riviera Mini Bracelet Watch
So to put it simply, if you don’t care about how big the watch is then I would recommend the women’s Riviera MOA8729. If you’re a petite woman, or you just don’t really want a bold looking watch, then I would suggest the women’s MOA8521.
So, now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s go ahead and see what’s so great about these watches. I won’t go into quite as much detail for these as I did the other categories, simply because I’ve got two watches to cover instead of just 1.
Here’re the specs on the Riviera 8729:
Swiss Quartz Movement – Quarts movements are super precise, more so than automatics, however they do require battery changes every now and then. It’s recommended to change the battery once a year, whether it runs out or not, to avoid any leakage or damage to the watch. The upside is that you don’t have to wear the watch all the time to keep its power, and again, it’ll be more accurate than an automatic movement.
Shimmering Black Dial w/ Roman Numeral Indexes – This is really the highlight of the watch. The dial has a totally unique design and looks stunning. The size of the watch really makes the dial ‘pop’ and I can’t describe to you how much better this watch looks in person than it does in the pictures. Everything about the watch is simple and elegant; the only thing to distract you from the beauty of the dial is a subtle, but easy to read, date window at the 6 oclock position.
Diamond-Set Stainless Steel Case – Obviously, stainless steel is very durable. The diamonds are a subtle touch, but do a great job of distinguishing the 8729 Riviera as a women’s watch.
Other Features – Sapphire crystal watch window is super scratch resistant; vulcanized rubber strap is comfortable and brings the watch down to a more casual level; Luminescent hands and indexes are easy to read, night or day; water resistant to 50 meters.
That’s really about it. The watch is accurate, comfortable and attractive.
Let’s check out the women’s Riviera 8521:
Swiss Quartz Movement – Again, just like the Riviera 8729, the 8521 runs off a quartz movement. This means two things…First, it’s more accurate than an automatic watch. Two, it’s recommended to change the batteries once a year to avoid leakage or any wear to the watch.
Phi Tapestry Dial w/ Black Roman Numeral Indexes – A much more subtle design than that of the 8729, the 8521 none the less exudes nothing but elegance from it’s small frame. The Phi tapestry background really does look great and the roman numerals fit perfectly.
Slim Stainless Steel Case w/ Stainless Steel Bracelet – Well, there’s not a doubt in my mind about the quality and durability of the case and strap…The polishing job is absolutely seamless, and the watch feels secure and well constructed. The stainless steel strap is easy and cheap to adjust (either at your local jeweler or yourself, if you buy a watch adjustment kit). I think that the design of the dial and the all stainless steel construction are very fitting together. I don’t think I’d like this particular watch nearly as much with, say, a black rubber strap.
Other Features – Again, we’ve got the standard Sapphire crystal window, a triple folding clasp, 50 meters water resistance, stationary Riviera bezel…Not a whole lot different here than the other watch.
All in all the main difference between the Baume et Mercier women’s Riviera 8729 and the Baume Mercier Riviera 8521 is that the MOA8729 is meant to be worn as a watch, and the MOA8521 is meant to be worn as a bracelet. So whichever of those options you find most appealing is probably the best one for you.
My Favorite Riviera Watch
I think, that after looking through the entire collection from start to finish, and then taking a look at these watches in a jeweler, that for my favorite Riviera watch I have to go with the Baume Mercier 8758 Riviera men’s watch. You can check it out below; I go over all the stats and specs you’d want to know before buying the watch
Take a look:
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8758 Riviera Automatic Chronograph Watch
This is honestly just my preference for design, so it’s nothing against any of the other watches…I still stand by what I said for the best men’s Riviera watch, it’s just that the subtle two-tone design really does it for me. I love it!
XXL PVD Steel and 18k Red Gold Case – Do you know what PVD steel is? My guess is that you probably don’t, cause I didn’t and I’m a pretty smart guy. PVD, or Physical Vapor Deposition, is the process of combining reactive gases with a thin, pliable layer of metal alloy that can then be used to coat many different types of metals.
PVD is totally 100% environmentally friendly (the entire process takes place in a vacuum); It’s also very resistant to abrasion, has much more depth and color to it than a traditional finish AND it eliminates the clear top coat that often scratches off of a conventional finish. It’s one of the newest breakthroughs in metal finishing techniques, and Baume et Mercier employs it in this watch to create a BEAUTIFUL finish.
Now, combine the black PVD steel finish and combine it with beautiful 18 karat red gold. And not just a little bit of red gold, the entire watch contains over 13 grams of gold. The inner bezel is gold, as well as the roman numeral indexes and the main dial and chronograph dial hands.
All in all, this makes for a great lookin’ watch! The case diameter is 43mm, so it’s classified as an XXL watch by Baume et Mercier.
Other than the finish, this watch is identical to the Riviera 8755 (Best Selling Riviera Watch, reviewed above).
ETAValjoux 7750 Swiss Automatic Movement – Just like the rest of Baume & Mercier’s automatic Riviera watches, the 8758 is powered by the Valjoux 7750. This is a classic movement which has been used (in some variation) by just about every major watch brand currently in production. TAG, Cartier, Omega, IWC and tons of others have all used the ETA made Valjoux automatic movements in many of their watches.
What does that mean for you? Well, mostly it means that this is a time tested and well respected example of what an automatic movement should be like. It’s both accurate and reliable. 25 jewels…28,800 vibrations per hour…I guess there’s not much more to it than that. I don’t think anyone is going to complain about the automatic movement in this watch.
3 Dial Chronograph – The chronograph on the Baume et Mercier Riviera 8758 is what you would expect from a high end men’s luxury watch. It’s got start/stop/reset functions via the 2 pushers above and below the screw down crown. The chronograph moves seamlessly, and it has minute, second and hour subdials. I believe (don’t write this in stone) that the 12 sub dial is the minutes, the 9 dial is the seconds and the 6 dial is the hours.
Again, the chronograph is accurate and works perfectly, so there’s not much to say about it.
Other Features – Sapphire crystal watch window is perfect. The date window is easily visible. The vulcanized black rubber strap is comfortable and secure. The case is XXL sized, which means 43mm diameter.
All in all the main reason that I like this watch is the design. I love the black PVD steel! Solid construction all around, a great design and a time tested automatic movement are what make the Baume et Mercier Riviera 8758 my favorite Riviera watch.
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8797 Riviera Watch
If I had to pick a second favorite, it would have to be the 8797 Riviera (best men’s Riviera watch) that I reviewed above:
As you can probably tell, I tend to go for the more unique designs…Don’t get me wrong, I love a classic looking watch, but being a younger guy I tend to gravitate towards those more progressive and conceptual looking watches. The Baume Mercier 8797 Riviera is another example of the conceptual design I look for in a time piece.
Most Underrated Riviera Watch
In my mind there’s a single Baume et Mercier Riviera watch that really sticks out above the rest as not getting the attention it deserves. That watch is the…DRUM ROLL…Baume Mercier 8781 Riviera!
Here, check it out:
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8781 Riviera Two-Tone Automatic Watch
I think that the design of the watch speaks for itself, so I won’t spend a lot of time talking about that.
So, why don’t we talk about some of the important things you should know before you buy.
Valjoux 7750 Swiss Automatic Movement – Just like the rest of the automatic watches in the Riviera collection, the 8781 runs off of one of the sturdiest and most respected movements of our time.
Stainless Steel/18k Gold Two-Tone Case and Strap – Seamlessly polished and very durable, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the case or the strap. Secured by a triple folding security buckle, the only downside is that it’ll probably take you a couple times putting on the watch to figure out the best adjustment for your wrist.
There’s a total of 11 grams of 18k gold throughout the watch.
The XL case is 40mm in diameter, so a little bit smaller than some of the more recent XXL Riviera watches.
PVD Black Rotating Bezel – My Favorite Riviera also featured PVD steel, and that’s when I got to learn exactly what PVD steel was. I have to tell you I was very impressed. Basically you combine metal and reactive gases in a vacuum and, long story short, it makes a thin alloy which can be used to finish a variety of metals.
It’s much more durable than a traditional finish, and the color is much deeper too.
Other Features – Let’s see, well you should know about the Sapphire crystal watch window…That’s important. Sapphire crystal should be virtually immune to any scratches, which means the 8781 will be perfectly clear for a long time.
The dial features a black satin finish with a nice deep black color. This complements the golden hands perfectly, as well as the simple round luminescent indexes.
There’s a date window at the 6 oclock position; it’s not overbearing and obvious, but it’s still easy to read.
Baume & Mercier also made the 8781 Riviera water resistant to 200 meters.
Now, I understand that the Baume Mercier 8781 Riviera is not only a little too pricey for some, but that it’s also a little too flashy. The Best Budget Riviera Watch is also the second most underrated Riviera, so keep reading for more information on this much more subtle alternative.
Best Budget Riviera Watch
If you’re really not into the whole two tone thing, but you really like the rest of the watch then consider the Baume Mercier 8780 Riviera, as it’s the same watch with the same features as the Riviera 8781 but with a much subtler design.
Oh, and it’s also the Best Budget Riviera Watch, coming in at just a little over $1,100. Not only does it have more features than most of the other Riviera watches, it’s also pretty close to the cheapest, if not the cheapest, Riviera watch.
Baume & Mercier Men’s 8780 Riviera Automatic Diver’s Watch
Again, there are a couple differences between this and the 8781, so I’ll go over those below, but the main thing is that this watch still looks great, but it’s a little more subtle and not as ‘blingy’ feeling as the gold and bold 8781.
Oh, and it’s like $1,500 cheaper than the Baume Mercier 8781 Riviera, which also probably makes it much more appealing to
Whichever one you like better is fine, they’re both great watches that deserve more attention than they’re getting. Here are the noteworthy features of the 8780 that distinguish it from the Riviera 8781:
Black Dial w/ Date Window – The biggest difference between the two watches is, obviously, the color scheme. The 8781 is a very bold feeling watch because the all gold/stainless steel design is extremely eye catching.
This men’s Riviera watchaims to be a little more subtle; featuring a simple black and silver theme, the dial is all black with Superluminova coated hands and 5-minute indexes. These look great at night, and the uncomplicated dial is easy to read.
Additionally, there’s a date window at 6 o’clock, just like the 8781.
Riviera 12-Sided Rotating Bezel – Here’s another difference that you probably didn’t spot upon first inspection…The 8781′s bezel features numbering up to 24 instead of 60, like the Baume Mercier Riviera 8780. Also, the rotating bezel of the 8781 is the Black PVD finish, whereas this Riviera is simple stainless steel. Both bezels work essentially the same though.
Black Vulcanized Rubber Strap – This is just like the black rubber strap that Baume Mercier uses in many of their other watches. It features a triple folding clasp which makes it easy to size the watch from your own home, and it’s extremely comfortable and durable.
I think that the black rubber is much more fitting than the stainless steel in this watch for two reasons. First, I think that the Baume Mercier 8780 would look much too flashy for what the goal of this watch is with a stainless steel bracelet. As it is the watch can easily be worn with a suit, but it fits just as well with jeans and a t-shirt. Secondly, the black rubber strap just fits the black and silver theme of the watch better. It gives it more contrast, which keeps the design interesting.
Overall a great watch, the Baume Mercier 8780 Riviera is not only loaded with great features, but it’s extremely affordable. You won’t find a better value on a Baume et Mercier Riviera watch than this one.
Well, that about wraps things up…
Next Watch Review: Baume Mercier Hampton Collection
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