Following the launch of the Bicompax 001 chronograph and time-only HMS 001 last year, French startup Baltic has just launched its first dive watch, the Aquascaphe.
Like many successful “microbrand” watches, the Aquascaphe combines retro design and solid specs at an affordable price.
In keeping with the retro styling, the Aquascaphe has a 39mm stainless steel case featuring a screw-down crown and 200m depth rating. It’s also fitted with a domed sapphire crystal that has an anti-reflective coating on its underside.
While the watch is vintage-inspired, the design has also been modestly streamlined compared to the 1950s originals that inspire it.
The sapphire-covered bezel, which is meant to evoke Bakelite bezels of old, is a five-minute interval bezel. Notably, all of the bezel markings are luminous, a simple but useful feature that is surprisingly lacking on most modern dive watches.
The Aquascaphe is available in three iterations: black dial with white markers, as well as black or blue dials with “gilt” print and faux vintage ivory Super-Luminova.
Reminiscent of more famous dive watches, the dial has a “semi-sandwich” construction. The triangle quarter hour markers are cut-outs on the upper dial plate that show the luminous paint on the lower dial plate, while the other hour markers are printed. It’s matched with pencil-shaped hands and a “lollipop” sweep seconds.
Hidden behind the solid caseback is the automatic Miyota 9039 with a 42-hour power reserve. While made in Japan, the movement is tested and adjusted in Besançon, the historical centre of French watch manufacturing and chronometer testing, and now also home to Baltic.
To complete the retro styling, the Aquascaphe is fitted to a “beads-of-rice” bracelet with an integrated quick-release mechanism (two tabs retract the spring bars that hold it in place), or a Tropic-style rubber strap.
Price and Availability
At the pre-order stage, the Baltic Aquascaphe is priced at €485 on the Tropic-style rubber strap, and €550 with both the bracelet and rubber strap.
In future, the Aquascaphe will retail for €579 on a rubber strap and €659 on just the bracelet. They are available for pre-order direct from Baltic, with the first watches slated to ship in early June 2019.
Edit November 21, 2018: Punctuation and spelling errors corrected.Back to top.