Baltic is a name that holds significant weight in the watchmaking community, symbolizing a microbrand that has established its unique space in the realm of horology. Stemming from a love for retro designs and contemporary artisanship, Baltic consistently offers timepieces that blend the classic with the modern. Their newest collection, the Baltic HERMÉTIQUE Tourer, showcases this finesse with four 37mm stainless steel watches designed for the everyday adventurer.
The Baltic Hermétique Tourer boasts a 37mm dial, with a lug-to-lug measurement of 46mm and a slim 10.8mm thickness.
This dimension encompasses its prominently domed sapphire crystal, which has an antireflective layer on its inner side. True to its name, the watch offers a strong water resistance of up to 150 meters. The back of the case is unadorned steel, featuring some specifications etched into it.
Each dial features a matte finish adorned with elevated Super-Luminova markers. The off-white markers beautifully complement the green and brown dials, while a purer white graces the beige and blue ones.
Through photographs, the brown dial seems to exhibit a gradient effect, transitioning from a warm reddish-brown to a deep black. However, upon closer inspection, there’s no gradient. Instead, an inner metallic circle intersects the luminous 5-minute markers, subtly reflecting the colors of its surroundings.
Surrounding the dial, a minute marker in the style of a railroad track is imprinted on a black chapter ring, enhancing the illusion of a gradient. This contrast is particularly pronounced on the beige dial.
Baltic Hermétique Tourer The verdant green dial and the blue one have their distinct appeals. The blue feels more conventional compared to its counterparts, but it’s anticipated to be a popular choice among buyers. The beige dial, however, exudes a unique charm, setting it apart from the rest.
The watch also boasts other exquisite details, such as the gleaming steel “syringe” hands that harmonize with the Super-Luminova markers. Reflecting on the luminous indices, their three-dimensional design is impressively intricate, especially considering the watch’s affordability. The luminescence, when exposed to UV rays, charges rapidly. A brief sunbath ensures its glow remains visible even in dimly lit areas. While luminescence should inherently function this way, it’s worth noting that the potency and quality of luminescence can differ significantly based on its application. The term “Super-LumiNova” doesn’t always promise a consistent experience.
Baltic provides an FKM rubber strap in the retro Tropic design, available in various hues. You can select one that complements your chosen dial or opt for a striking contrast. For those who favor stainless steel bracelets, there are two options: a beads-of-rice style or a flat-link design, both compatible with the watch.
The crown seamlessly integrates into the case, a deviation from the typical crown guards or the absence thereof. This design isn’t a mere innovation; it has historical roots.
This particular design element is reminiscent of the François Borgel cases from the 1950s, notably seen on the Mido Multifort Powerwind watches. One such watch was showcased in a shop previously and remains reasonably priced in the secondary market. Additionally, the IWC Hermet watches, available in various versions, are also competitively priced. Nick Kenyon from “Boss Hunting” highlighted that the “Hermétique” name might be a nod to Borgel.
Mido Multifort Powerwind Borgel Patent Borgel was deeply invested in enhancing the water resistance of watches. His screw-back cases, ranging from brands like Movado to Patek, are among the most sought-after vintage cases in the watch world. Predating these designs, Borgel introduced a patented three-piece case designed to enhance the water resistance of pocket watches, even though the concept of a completely waterproof watch remains elusive. This patent was labeled “Hermétiques de 3 pièces.” Kenyon proposed the idea that Baltic might have drawn inspiration for their name from this patent, a theory that seems plausible given the evidence.
The Tourer is equipped with the Miyota caliber 9039, a choice that contributes to its affordability. Baltic stands by this selection for its “robustness and reliability.” The movement specifications are as follows:
- Size: 11 1/2”’
- Height: 3.90mm
- Accuracy: -10 to +30 sec/day
- Function: Features a stop-second device, supports both automatic and hand winding, and displays 3 hands.
- Posture Difference: Under 30 seconds
- Running Time: 42 hours, which is suitable for daily wear.
- Vibration Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
- Jewels: 24 pieces
While it might not be the pinnacle of precision, it’s a caliber that many brands gravitate towards when aiming for cost-effectiveness. Given its features and the overall value proposition, it seems to be a well-considered compromise.
Regarding the price, the Tourer is priced at €550 when paired with the tropical strap. Alternatively, it is available for €630 with either a beads-of-rice or flat-link bracelet. The watch offers versatility, allowing for a matching tropical strap or a bracelet. Given its features and price point, it stands out as one of the best value-for-money watches released this year.