There is not many Kickstarter watches that attract my attention nowadays but BALTIC Watches’ campaign definitely got me. They managed to pull up two vintage looking timepieces (yet again…) at affordable price point. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that one of them is a mechanical chronograph!
It wasn’t long enough that I posted my small rant article concluding this year’s Baselworld bashing watch companies for overusing this retro/vintage style trend. Well, they do that all the time because vintage looking watches are so freaking awesome! Guys from BALTIC Watches also know this and that’s why they brought us their two watches: BICOMPAX 001 and HMS 001.
BALTIC Watches is a France based microbrand, which as many of them starts their journey on Kickstarer platform. However, unlike other Kickstarter brands BALTIC Watches seems to be very well prepared as they have an amazing detailed campaign with plenty of information, beautiful photos of their prototype watches, and extensive array of options to choose from for the bakers. One thing I love about their campaign is their honesty about production details. They tell you straight ahead that the parts for their watches come from China but the actual assembly takes plance in France. Big thumbs up for that. While talking about transparency in their work, you can even book an appointment and see the watches in steel before you support their campaign!
As for the actual watches, both BICOMPAX 001 (manual chronograph) and HMS 001 (three-hander), use a quite small for today’s standards 38 mm case. The height of the case is 12 mm, and that’s including domed plexi glass, a material often used for vintage inspired timepieces. The lug width is 20 mm. Personally, I would love to see a slightly bigger version as well, perhaps 40-42 m case would be ideal. Personal preferences aside, there are two different case finishing available: stainless steel or gold DLC.
BALTIC Watches BICOMPAX 001 uses a Seagull ST1901 manual column wheel chronograph movement, the same as the latest watch from G. Gerlach – PZL P23 Karaś. It’s worth noting that Seagull ST1901 is based on Swiss Venus 175 movement from 1950’s. On the other hand, HMS 001 uses an automatic Miyota 821A movement with 42 hours of power reserve. If you would like to admire movement in your BALTIC watch you can buy purchasing an additional see-through caseback. This option is quite appealing if you opt for Seagull ST1901, at it’s quite a handsome movement to look at.
Both watches by BALTIC Watches share similar characteristics when it comes to aesthetics. The dials draw a lot from vintage timepieces from the 1940’s era. The minimalistic printing is paired with leaf-shaped hands. The plexi crystal adds another dimension to this neo-vintage timepieces. To make your choice even harder, BALTIC Watches offers a variety of different dial colours: Slate Gray, Black/Gilt, Blue/Gilt, Black & Silver, and Cream.
The Kickstarter campaign for BALTIC Watches is already going. It’s just started today – 12.04 and it already gathered more than 230 000 Euro of 65 000 Euro asked! Don’t worry though, you still have plenty of time to book you piece; although, early bird’s options are long gone. The price for HMS001 starts at 299 Euro and for BICOMPAX 001 starts at 479 Euro. If you elect to become a baker for BALTIC Watches, you can expect to receive your timepiece in November 2017.