Exactly five years ago, Baltic Watches launched its Kickstarter with a modest range of vintage-inspired timepieces, which paid homage to the clean lines of watches from the middle of the last century. Half a decade later, the French-founded brand has a legion of followers, as well as shelves of awards, and is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a limited edition Baltic Aquascaphe Dual-Crown.
Baltic Aquascaphe Dual-Crown: What Is it?
(Almost) exactly one year ago, Baltic introduced its second distinct dive watch design, following on from the hugely successful Aquascaphe model from 2018. As with all Baltic Watches designs, the 2021 Aquascaphe Dual-Crown was inspired by the past, taking design cues from the super-compressor dive watches that rose to popularity in the 1970s. This 5th-anniversary limited edition maintains most of the specifications of the original Aquascaphe Dual-Crown, but adds a little ’90s nostalgia to the colour palate.
As with the standard spec Aquascaphe Dual-Crown, this special edition features a 39mm stainless steel case (316L to be precise), which measures a svelte 11.9mm thick. As with all Baltic Watches timepieces, the attention to detail is charmingly precise, with concentrically brushed finishing on the flat surfaces of the lugs, while the bezel receives a spirally brushed treatment.
Featuring two screw-down crowns, one is used for setting the time, while the other is for rotating the inner diving bezel, which sits beneath the sapphire crystal covering the dial. The caseback is closed, helping to guarantee the watch 200m of water resistance, as well as displaying a special engraving for the 5th-anniversary and your numbered piece out of 200 units.
The glossy black dial is where you’ll notice the pops of colour, boasting a green minute hand, as well as a special treatment on the hour and bezel markings. The hour markers feature green-tinted luminous paint (that actually glows blue), while the first 20-minutes of the bezel markings are purple-tinted (and actually glow green). It’s a fun retro colour scheme, which immediately reminds me of the iconic green and purple Mighty Ducks hockey jerseys from the mid-90s.
The limited-edition Aquascaphe Dual-Crown is powered by an automatic Miyota 9039, which is bullet-proof, easy to service and goes a long way to keeping the price of the watch as affordable as possible.
In line with the dial colours, the watch arrives with a pair of brightly coloured tropic rubber diving straps, in green and purple of course. They’re soft without being flimsy, and as comfortable as rubber straps come.
Verdict & Price
This is a cool release, not just as a slightly more fun and lighthearted alternative to the non-limited version, but also because speaks to the success story of Baltic Watches and the community who has supported them along the way. The watch business is very different to the way it was half a decade ago, and Etienne Malec, the founder of Baltic Watches, has navigated all pitfalls with deft confidence in his product that only comes from understanding the collecting community.
So congratulations to Baltic Watches for coming so far, and I’m looking forward to writing about the 10th-anniversary special edition. The Baltic Aquascaphe Dual-Crown limited edition has an RRP of €780 (AU$1,136) and is limited to 200 pieces.