A newly established specialist retailer in Dubai, Perpétuel is making its debut with the Baltic x Perpétuel HMS and Bicompax, a pair of watches conceived to mark the 49th National Day of the United Arab Emirates, which was formed in 1971, hence the 71-piece edition.
Both are variations of the signature timepieces of Baltic, a French brand that got its start on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and has since made accessibly priced, retro-style watches its specialty.
Baltic offers a strong value proposition with its vintage-inspired watches featuring stepped bezels and sector dials that are powered by Chinese movements, explaining the affordable pricing.
The Perpétuel editions are novel. Although their Eastern Arabic numerals on the dial are common in watches for the Middle East, they are not often found in entry-level watches, especially those with retro designs.
Combined with the forest-green dial colour, both models are very much catered to the culture of the Middle East. But they also have substantial appeal for anyone outside the region, thanks to the colour, smart design, and graceful style of the Eastern Arabic script.
But the Perpétuel are pricey, being notably more expensive than the standard models. However, they are still affordable in absolute terms, and considering the small, 71-piece run, remain fair value for money.
HMS and Bicompax
Both the HMS and Bicompax share the same case dimensions of 38 mm by 12 mm. Matched with a domed Hesalite crystal, the steel case is compact enough to give it a vintage flavour, particularly with the stepped bezel.
The dials have a two tone finish with a raised chapter ring for the hours that’s circular grained, while the recessed centre of the dial ha a granular finish. And for consistency, all of the text on the dial is in Eastern Arabic script, save for the Baltic logo, giving it a clean, refined style.
The two are also powered by movements made in China that are cost efficient but notably robust. The time-only HMS is powered by a Miyota automatic, while the Bicompax contains a hand-wind Seagull movement that’s actually a clone of the cal. 175 once produced by defunct Swiss movement maker Venus.
Coming soon to DIFC
Slated to open in early 2021 in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Perpétuel is the brainchild of Hamdan Al Hudaidi, an Emirati watch collector.
Conceived to be simultaneously a store, tastemaker, and educational platform, Perpétuel seeks to “change the regional perspective on collecting through educational and inspirational experiences” according to Mr Al Hudaidi. He adds the store will offer “unique timepieces, art, historical artefacts and rare objects”.
Key Facts and Price
Baltic x Perpétuel HMS and Bicompax
Diameter: 38 mm
Height: 12 mm
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: HMS – Miyota 821A; Bicompax – Seagull ST1901
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds; additional chronograph for Bicompax
Winding: HMS – automatic; Bicompax – Hand wind
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Limited edition: 71 pieces each
Availability: Now from Perpétuel
Price: HMS – US$ 1,300; Bicompax – US$ 1,500
For more, visit Perpétuel on Instagram.
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