Baltic skillfully rides the nostalgia wave, mastering the art of making vintage-inspired watches with enviable success. How many watches do you know that sell at a premium in the secondary market? We all know about certain references from Rolex, AP and Patek Philippe, but I bet you did not imagine a small French kickstart-startup of only five years of age would be included in this list. Nevertheless, the cool Baltic x Peter Auto Tricompax Chronograph Special Edition watches are offered with a 25% markup. Baltic, no bull. The overall concept of this limited edition is now back, with new classic editions of the Baltic Tricompax.
Launched in 2017, five years later, Baltic enjoys the reputation of a brand with a solid offering. It creates affordable, thought-through and excellently executed watches that recall the iconic designs of time instruments of the past. Baltic certainly raised stakes in 2021-22 with some landmark events, the 1/1 Pulsometer Monopusher Chronograph for the Only Watch for one, and the launch of the MR01 collection, with the Tricompax Peter Auto Special Edition that followed. The two new chronograph references, like the aforementioned Baltic x Peter Auto Tricompax, are 1960-70s-inspired, stunning, and will satisfy the vintage urge.
The new Baltic Tricompax Panda And Reverse Panda chronographs are equipped with a hand-wound Sellita movement with 63 hours of power reserve. We start with this mention because it is an important step up for the brand, which relies on the Miyota calibres to bring life to its creations (only the Aquascaphe GMT line uses a Soprod). Mind you, the inaugural Baltic collection chronograph featured a “Made in China” Seagull ST-1901, so putting in a highly reliable, robust Swiss-made SW510-M will add more credibility, which of course, is reflected in the price. The Tricompax watches will be the first Baltic standard collection to retail well over 1k euros. However, the asking price in the area of EUR 2,000 is not terrible since other SW510-M equipped chronographs command similar or much higher prices. Take Massena LAB Uni-racer, for example…
Baltic knows the rules of the vintage game, which is all about details. Look at the delicate texture of the base dial, matte beige or semi-gloss black, and the clean layout of the chronograph. Eight applied hour baton-shaped indexes and the “12” are polished and shine just as the dauphine hands. The hours and minutes hands are filled with Super-Luminova BGW9 pigment. Excellent choice, as in the daylight, it is white and not light green, and it is ranked second in brightness across the complete range of Super-Luminova colours. The black or light beige sub-dials have a nicely done radial pattern. The running seconds counter at 9 o’clock has a cross-hairs, a retro detail. The 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock has a design different from the one we saw in the Peter Auto edition, an improvement, in my opinion. Still, that one had a bright automotive colour scheme, while the new references are very monochrome. The minutes and seconds chapter ring is black, with white print to support the concept.
The dial design is in harmony with the double-dome sapphire crystal (AR coated inside) and the steel 39,5mm diameter case, measuring 47mm lug to lug and 13,5mm thick. The dome provides distortion on a very comfortable level, quite nicely. The aluminium bezel has a tachymeter scale that begins at 200 at the 4 o’clock mark and ends with 50 at about 2, a lovely touch. The bezel has an edge sticking out; it is polished, as the mushroom-style pushers and the crown with an engraved “B”. The caseback is solid, the company will mark the first 200 Tricompax Pandas and Reverse Pandas with engraved large numbers in the middle, and after that, the space will be free for you to inscribe your version of “drive carefully me”.
Availability & Price
The Baltic Tricompax chronograph will be sold on a flat-link stainless steel bracelet with brushed and polished surfaces or a grey calf leather strap with a pin buckle. The bracelet comes with a folding clasp and micro-adjustments, and quick-release making it simple to interchange. On December 1, 2022, at 16:00 Paris time, Baltic will start taking pre-orders and close this window of opportunity in 240 hours on December 11. The first orders will be delivered in April next year; everybody else will have to wait till September. Prices will be EUR 1,585 (excl. VAT) on leather strap and EUR 1,645 (excl. VAT) on steel bracelet.
Is this watch worth waiting for? I find both references extremely attractive for several reasons. I very much like the absence of the date window and thank god Baltic did not opt for the useless print claiming water resistance (50m, by the way) or Tricompax. I love how the 1960s and 1970s were interpreted, with the Baltic Tricompax not being a copy or a revival of any particular model. The recognisable vintage-retro design elements were brought together to an astonishing result, making these Baltic Tricompax chronographs exemplary timepieces. Complaints? I have none, apart from the waiting period, and the misuse of “tricompax” and “panda”, but who cares?
For more details and orders, please visit baltic-watches.com.