Though they exist in very different parts of the contemporary watches world, watch brand Baltic and watch retailer A Collected Man have charted similar trajectories. In five short years, Paris-based Baltic has developed a clear sense of style and taste and distilled them into a series of watches that are shockingly good value. Over in London, A Collected Man has, over a similar amount of time, become one of the major players in high-end secondary watch sales. But more than a marketplace, A Collected Man is the sort of place you visit even when you’re not shopping for an early Roger Dubuis or the latest Akrivia. The blend of in-depth editorial, relaxed lifestyle aesthetic and fine watches is always worthwhile.
It makes perfect sense for the two names to team up, and it should surprise absolutely no one that they’re collaborating in style.
Taking the dressy MR01 – with its micro-rotor powered Hangzhou CAL5000A and distinctive offset small seconds – as the basis for their new creation, the Blue Roulette draws inspiration from the sort of mid-century dress watches that are the bread and butter for A Collected Man — specifically the Patek Philippe Calatrava reference 96. But more than this, the Blue Roulette is a modern watch for all-day wear, with a slim (9.9mm) 36mm case in brushed and polished finishes. The dial is where this watch truly shines through. Baltic has used an historically interesting ‘roulette’ pattern but realised it in a very up-to-date blue, creating a watch that feels fresh and classic, all at once.
Speaking of this very particular dial, Baltic Creative Director Jas Rewkiewicz notes: “A lot of modern watches have very flat dials. We were inspired by the old, multi-layered sector dials that play with different textures. These seem to be having a bit of a resurgence in popularity, even with some modern reinterpretations, but they mainly stay on one level. So we wanted to approach this roulette design in a more authentic way. Not only is the roulette-style more hidden on Instagram, it feels like something you discover once you’ve grown an appreciation for sector dials.”
This is a sophisticated dial, make no mistake, and one that wouldn’t look out of place on a watch with a much greater sticker price. But its par for the course on the sort of detail and care we’ve come to expect from Baltic. For example, the typeface, which is completely custom to this watch — to develop a new font for 300 watches retailing at £500 is quite remarkable. Baltic has always done exceptional work evoking historical designs, and the MR01 Blue Roulette is no exception
As mentioned, only 300 of these watches are being made, and I suspect they will be snapped up as quickly as everything else on A Collected Man. The watch is available from September 21 and more information on the The Blue Roulette can be found here.
Movement: Hangzhou CAL5000A, micro-rotor, 42 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: Stainless steel, 36 x 9.9mm, water-resistant to 30M
Strap: Italian calf leather, 20mm
Price and availability: GBP 500, limited to 300 pieces