Resistance is useless: Why I simply had to buy the Baltic Bicompax 002 Resistance is useless: Why I simply had to buy the Baltic Bicompax 002

Resistance is useless: Why I simply had to buy the Baltic Bicompax 002

Shane Hegarty

You know how it is. You spend ages thinking about your next watch – planning, saving, researching, deciding, changing your mind, procrastinating … And then a new release wanders by, flashes its bright shiny dial and you pick it up with hardly a thought. That’s how the sector dial Baltic Bicompax 002 ended up on my wrist. 

Baltic first revealed its sector dial earlier this year with the limited-edition salmon dial three-hander and chronograph. An immediate hit, it was no surprise when they recently returned with silver, black and blue gilt variants (alongside the time-only HMS 002).

Baltic Bicomapx 002

It immediately ticked a few boxes for me. Here was a sector dial, manually wound chronograph (with a clear caseback option) in 38mm, from a brand I’d heard good things about. And – at €649 (inc. VAT) – it was priced to tempt.

I had previously looked at higher-end sector dials such as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s briefly produced but increasingly sought-after Master Control line and the more recent, pristine Longines Heritage Classic. But while the latter was especially well-priced, I still hadn’t reached for the wallet.

That combination of design and price was enough to make the silver dial Bicompax 002 an impulse buy for me, but how has it fared after a month on the wrist?

Baltic Bicomapx 002

For starters, the 38mm case is a welcome example of a vintage-inspired watch that doesn’t spoil things by bumping up the size to modern standards. And yet, thanks to jutting lugs, at 47mm lug-to-lug it doesn’t wear nearly as small as you might assume. That presence is further enhanced by a mirror-polished stepped bezel, which catches the light on top of brushed sides and lugs.

Baltic Bicomapx 002

Working away inside is the reliable Seagull ST1901, based on the mid-century Venus 175 caliber, with Baltic regulating and testing each one. The movement isn’t shy of letting you know it’s there. “Daddy, I can hear your watch,” my daughter said at one stage. I guess it’s up to you whether you find that charming or irritating. I felt it worth paying extra for a clear caseback and its unobstructed view of the column wheel movement. There’s a lot of fun to be had in clicking the pushers and just watching everything go into action.

Baltic Bicomapx 002

But the Baltic Bicompax 002 is ultimately about the dial – and it has not disappointed. Under a domed hesalite crystal, there is warmth, depth and nuance in the silver dial Bicompax. Its brushed chapter ring can be either the shiniest aspect of the dial or the darkest, depending on the light, and as it’s set higher than the matte dial it sometimes appears to almost float there.

Baltic Bicomapx 002

The sandy texture of that main dial adds so much to the watch’s personality, as do the contrasting sub-dials with crosshairs in the seconds register compared to a blank 30 minutes counter. (That can be a little tricky to read, to be honest. Don’t rely on it when boiling your eggs.)

There is a lot going on here and yet it somehow never feels too busy. Telling the time at a glance is easy thanks to perfectly proportioned, dark leaf hands against that crisp dial and excellent printing. While it would have been nice to have the same blued hands as the HMS 002, the comfortable blue calf leather strap does a good job in adding colour to the overall package.

Baltic Bicomapx 002

So, a month on, and after plenty of wrist time, how has that impulse buy worked out? There are no regrets. In fact, the Baltic Bicompax 002 is proving to be a bit of a keeper.

Baltic Bicompax 002 price and availability: 

The Baltic Bicompax 002 is $873 AU and is now available from Baltic. For more details, visit Baltic right here.