A relatively young brand (founded in 2017), Baltic has quickly become one of the rising stars of the microbrand scene. Now well established and offering a vast collection of vintage-inspired, accessible watches with an impressive sense of design, Baltic has gained traction thanks to its classic Aquascaphe dive watch. Retro-styled, well equipped and full of charm, this watch was the start of an aquatic collection that also comprises the Aquascaphe Dual-Crown, a compressor-style model with 1970s flair. The third member of the diver’s family has just been presented, and it’s a rugged, technical and lightweight watch that pushes the concept in a new direction. Here’s the Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium 41mm.
The story of Baltic, founded by Etienne Malec, is that of a family passion. Etienne inherited an extensive collection of watches from his father, which fuelled his own passion for watchmaking. With a certain talent for design, he launched his first collection through a crowdfunding campaign and the neo-vintage HMS and Bicompax became huge successes. Moving from Kickstarter to a proper brand, the next model to surface was a retro-styled dive watch with typical 1960s inspiration, the Aquascaphe Classic. Good looking, well built, reasonably priced and charming to wear, this would be the starting point for expansion, with the subsequent launch of a bronze version and a white dial edit. We’vewe’ve also seen a traveller’s take on the concept, the Aquascaphe GMT, or a watch with more contemporary inspiration, the Aquascaphe Dual-Crown. It is now time to go deeper and more technical.
You can consider the new Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium 41mm as the bigger brother of the collection, basically a beefed-up edition of the Aquascaphe Classic in steel. Slightly enlarged but not too much, with more resistant materials, a more instrumental look and upgraded specs, it doesn’t entirely change the original concept but just makes it even sportier, and more rugged. Design-wise, the codes of the original Aquascaphe have been kept, yet updated to bring more technicality.
The original Aquascaphe was a steel watch with 200m water-resistance, a 39mm diameter, a diving bezel with a sapphire insert (bakelite-inspired), a sandwich dial with small markers and thin hands, and overall a strong retro design. A capable aquatic watch overall (more than enough for a quick recreational dive, no doubt), but more a lifestyle sports watch. How do you move from this to a more rugged, more capable dive watch?
Well, the recipe is simple: more resistant materials, larger parts and stronger gaskets. So here you are with the beefed-up Baltic, the new Aquascaphe Titanium. As its name indicates, the first (and also major) evolution concerns the material chosen for the case, which is now grade 5 titanium with a fully brushed surface. This result in a watch that is both lighter and darker in tone, giving it an instrumental presence. The choice of titanium is undoubtedly wise, given this material’s resistance to corrosion and its lightness (about 30% lighter than steel). Overall, the watch head weighs 55 grams.
The second evolution concerns the design and the proportions. As you can see, the watch still feels like an Aquascaphe after a session at the gym. The case is now 41mm in diameter and 13.6mm in height, yet the lug-to-lug has been kept short at 47mm (the same as the 39mm steel version). All external parts feel bolder and stronger, such as the wider bezel. Also, the sides are now sharper and more angular and the crown is protected by an integral guard. The latter, together with the titanium caseback, screws down. The water-resistance is now rated at 300 metres. And sure, it’s now a more robust, more present watch on the wrist, but one that isn’t overly large due to a short L2L.
In the same vein, the bezel has been updated. It still has a typical vintage-style coin-edge profile, which is now deeper and more pronounced. The insert, which used to be glossy sapphire on the Aquascaphe Classic, in order to give it a retro bakelite style, is now made of ceramic with a brushed surface for a tool watch look and fewer reflections. The white 60-minute scale is filled with Super-LumiNova, and the bezel is a classic 120-click, unidirectional.
The dial is in line with the more instrumental case. Protected by a highly domed sapphire crystal is a familiar look, as the Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium relies on the streamlined design that was introduced on the Aquascaphe Dual-Crown. The dial, available in glossy blue or grained black, features oversized hour markers and a simple minute track. The hands, also directly taken from the compressor-style model, have been significantly increased in size, with an anti-reflective brushed surface and a large amount of lume. The display sticks to the essential, with a no-date layout. Depending on the version, the lume is either white (on the blue edition) or light cream (on the black model).
Inside the case, no surprises, as Baltic still relies on Japanese-sourced movements to keep the price reasonable. Here, it’s an automatic Miyota 9039, a 4Hz movement with a 42h power reserve and hacking seconds function. Reliable and easy to service, it’ll get the job done.
The Aquascaphe Titanium is only offered on tropic-like rubber straps for now – no bead-of-rice bracelet expected. Available in blue or black and in two different lengths to suit most wrists, it is closed by a titanium pin buckle.
Availability & price
The Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium 41mm is launched in an inaugural series of 600 watches (300 per colourway), all individually numbered on the caseback and is available now. The model will join the permanent collection later on. The price is EUR 710 (excl. taxes), which is 130 euros more than a classic steel Aquascaphe.
For more details and to place an order, please visit baltic-watches.com.