Baltic Unveils the MR01 Micro-Rotor

Stylish, vintage vibes.

A French brand that specialises in affordable, vintage-inspired watches, Baltic is back with another affordable, vintage-inspired watch. Evidently modelled on gentlemen’s watches of the 1930s, notably the Patek Philippe ref. 96 Calatrava, the MR01 is the brand’s first dress watch.

Compact at just 36 mm in diameter, the MR01 is also thin at under 10 mm thanks to the micro-rotor automatic movement within, which is also the reason behind the unusually positioned seconds at seven o’clock.

Initial thoughts

Baltic has consistently released vintage-inspired watches that are the right combination of design, details, and affordability, which is exactly what the MR01 is all about.

It has an aesthetic that instantly brings to mind the Patek Philippe ref. 96, accented with overtly vintage details like the applied numerals and stepped bezel. But its most novel aspect is arguably the movement, which has a micro-rotor, an uncommon feature in watches at this price point, for now.

The fit and finish of Baltic’s offerings is good considering the price, which is an affordable US$600 or so for the MR01. That’s possible due to the fact that most of the watch is assembled using components made by Chinese suppliers.

Chinese watchmakers themselves produce watches of comparable quality for less money, but most have yet to offer the design and eye for details that Baltic possesses. And that is why Baltic’s watches are value propositions that enjoy with commercial success.

Effectively vintage

Like Baltic’s other watches, the MR01 is effectively straightforward in its design, which smartly combines vintage-inspired elements like Breguet-style numerals, leaf hands, and a railway minute track.

The dial also utilises texture to create a two-toned finish, with the central portion done in a stamped, grained finish that contrasts against the concentrically brushed minute track.

The hour numerals are polished and applied

The Hesalite crystal is domed as it would be on a vintage watch

The steel case replicates the look of a 1930s watch with its form and proportions. Details like the single-stepped bezel and widely-spaced lugs contribute to the vintage aesthetic.

The case is polished on top, but brushed on the side

Though Baltic watches are assembled in France, the constituent parts are imported, primarily from China, explaining the affordability.

The movement is courtesy of Hangzhou Watch Factory. It’s the ELA05MN, a slim movement with a micro-rotor and 40-hour power reserve. Being a relatively new calibre, the movement is rarely found in watches at this price point, though it’s like to grow in popularity given its novelty and size.

The movement is decorated in a rudimentary, industrial manner, but one that’s appropriate given the price

Key facts and price

Baltic MR01

Diameter: 36 mm
Height: 9.9 mm
Material: Steel
Crystal: Hesalite
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Hangzhou Watch Factory ELA05MN
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 42 hours

Strap: Leather with pin buckle

Limited edition: No but first 200 in each dial type will be numbered
Availability: Now at Baltic’s online shop and authorised retailers
€541.67 excluding tax

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