Baltic is a brand to watch. The plucky small French outfit has been making what they describe as neo-vintage watches, since 2017. What they lack in decades of legacy and tradition, they make up for in style, smart design and sensible pricing.
While it’s their on-point retro diver, the Aquascaphe that has been getting the lion’s share of attention on Instagram, recently, their first releases were the mid-century inspired time-only HMS and Bicompax chronograph. It is with this in mind that today, Baltic has announced substantial stylistic upgrades to both models.
This new generation, sensibly called the Bicompax Mk2 and HMS Mk2 is a thoughtful evolution that doesn’t aim to mess with Baltic’s winning formula. Instead it the updates have simply added some extra awesomesauce into the mix. The cases are precisely the same — 38mm across and 12mm tall — fitted with solid or open backs and drilled lugs. The movements powering the watches are the manually wound Seagull ST19 or the Miyota 821A Automatic, depending on your flavor.
The real difference lies in the dials, which are — for now, at least — offered in silver, black and a blue dial with gilt print. These dials are a significant step up from the originals: slightly stepped, with a brushed chapter ring and a matte central dial section.
It’s the style of dial that Baltic debuted on the Worn & Wound collaborative limited edition with a distinctive salmon dial (two of which were donated by readers for Revolution and The Rake’s Odd Balls Auction and achieved a result of USD1,850 and USD 3,000, respectively). These dials elevate the overall impact of the watch and demonstrate the care the Baltic team put into their designs.
The other upgrade is the range of straps, with seven new leather options becoming available, in addition to their lovely beads of rice bracelet. These straps are made in France, near the French home of watchmaking in Besançon, where Baltic assemble their watches.
It’s heartening that a brand like Baltic, which is already doing quite well with the HMS and Bicompax models sees purpose in giving the three-year-old designs a meaningful upgrade, all while keeping the same, very reasonable price point.
Seagull ST 19 manual winding chronograph
Multi-textured blue gilt, black or white
316L ‘stepped’ steel, 38mm diameter, 12mm height, 47mm lug-to-lug, option of closed or open back
Various leather options, beads of rice bracelet
From € 540 (ex. VAT)