INTRODUCING: The Baltic Aquascaphe BronzeNick Kenyon
As far as micro brands go, Baltic is one of the most popular. We got our own taste of the hype around this brand during this year’s Time+Tide “Watch & Act” Auction, when the founder Etienne donated a prototype Aquascaphe to the cause. We knew it had been a successfully released debut dive watch from Baltic, but we never expected the prototype to hammer for more than six times the retail price of a regular production Aquascaphe, selling for USD $4100. Today, another member is being added to the tool watch family of the French brand, the Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze.
When the Aquascaphe collection was first launched, it was available in three different steel references: black with white details, black with cream details, and blue with cream details. In the Aquascaphe Bronze we see a merging of different elements of each piece, including the prototype we sold at auction, to create a quite charming looking blue dial watch cased in bronze.
And while you might think, “Not another bronze watch, hasn’t that trend died yet?”, the bronze in this watch is not your typical affordable coloured metal. The bronze used in the 39mm Aquascaphe case is an aluminium copper alloy, compared to the tin copper alloy that is more commonly used. The different ingredients in this alloy blend mean it is more resistant to corrosion, developing its natural patina more slowly, and not leaving you with a completely different looking watch after six months of wear. From the press images, the case appears to lose its bright gold lustre over time, transitioning to a darker and more muted bronze tone, which is much more low-key.
The other difference in the case is the addition of crown guards and a full bronze bezel. Additionally, the engraved caseback looks to be made in stainless steel, a welcome sight for anyone who enjoys the warm toned metal but not the irritation that the copper alloy can sometimes cause. Despite the change in metal for this Aquascaphe reference, it is still water resistant to 200m.
Arriving at the gilt dial, we see that it’s a slightly more royal blue colour than the blue dial steel Aquascaphe, and features the same stylised Arabic numerals at the cardinal points as the prototype Aquascaphe, and their first watch, the HMS 001. The bronze “maxi-hands” are more prominent than the previous Aquascaphe hands, and the seconds hand is a contrasting white that pops against the blue dial. The dial and hands feature the same creamy lume as the previous generation of the Aquascaphe, however they match much more nicely with the tone of the metal, appearing less like fauxtina as a result.
The new Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze will arrive on a soft royal blue rubber strap, meaning you can take it diving if you so desire. The brand is also working on a leather strap in the same colour to dress the watch up, though, at the time of writing, there is no timeline for its launch.
Pricing and availability:
The Baltic Aquascaphe Bronze is €625 without taxes, and will be produced in a run of 300 pieces initially, each of which will be numbered on the caseback. It will be sold on the Baltic site from today, which you can check out right here.