The new Baltic Hermétique Tourer is an excellent round-out for the brand’s collection The new Baltic Hermétique Tourer is an excellent round-out for the brand’s collection

The new Baltic Hermétique Tourer is an excellent round-out for the brand’s collection

Borna Bošnjak

Just last week, Baltic launched their brand-new Hermétique to oodles of positive online fanfare. With an ever-growing collection of divers (now comprising steel, titanium and bronze), GMTs, chronographs, and everyday watches, the Hermétique offers specifications that will be just right for many. A 37mm case, 150 metres of water resistance, and a sapphire crystal suggest it to be a bit of an everyday champion, though one not afraid to take on some tougher challenges. I spent some time with two of the new Baltic Hermétique Tourer models, attempting to find out whether my initial take was, in fact, correct.

Lots going on with the dial

baltic hermetique tourer green dial beads of rice bracelet dial close up

The Hermétique may appear quite simple at first glance, so here are some close-up shots to help you truly appreciate the amount of detail. Going from the outside in, the black background of the simple railroad-style minute track is circularly brushed, separated from the main dial with a shiny polished rehaut that matches the stepped bezel in shine. The inner portion of the dial contains the numerals against a matte, mildly textured backdrop, while the elongated, rounded-off rectangular indices bridge the three surfaces. I’m also quite fond of the syringe hands, the tips of which extend perfectly to the edge of the hour indices and edge of the minute track.

baltic hermetique tourer blue dial flat link bracelet 3

And just how cool are those indices? Well, some of the coolest I’ve seen in a while, for lack of a better word, both for their design and functionality. Executed in a vintage, sans-serif font, the blocky Arabics and indices are made of lume blocks, casting a neat shadow when looked at off-angle. Since they’re not rimmed in shiny metal, it gives them the appearance of puffy vintage lume that’s often sought-after by collectors. The only way they could’ve potentially been cooler is with an open 6 and 9.

The sans-serif font continues to the Hermétique 150M printing, while the Baltic logo goes for a more modern, slender font. Even though they’re different, this didn’t bother me much as all of the printing kind of takes a back seat when compared to the indices.

baltic hermetique tourer lume comparison

Remember how I said those indices are made of lume blocks? Well, not only do they look swell, the material choice pays dividends in low-light situations with some amazing brightness. No joke, these spent a few minutes basking in a sun ray on my desk as I wrote this review, and as soon as I moved them into the shadow, the lume began to glow.

Proportions are spot-on, if you like smaller watches

baltic hermetique tourer green dial beads of rice bracelet wrist

The dimensions play a huge role in why the Hermétique works so well. Had this watch been sized any differently, I feel that it would lose some of its charm. With a 37mm diameter and a lug-to-lug of 46mm, it captures the charm of a vintage watch, just like the Bicompax 003 does. The most important measurement here is the height, however, sitting at only 10.8mm overall, and an even thinner 8.3mm without the box-domed crystal. I concur that this might put off folks with very large wrists, though I have to say the Hermétique doesn’t wear dainty by any means, as the long, straight lugs give it some presence.

baltic hermetique tourer blue dial flat link bracelet dial close up

It’s not just the case size, but the overall proportions of the watch, extending to the Hermétique’s dial. With most watches out there, I find myself wishing for less printing, different numeral design or slightly re-jigged hands, but with the Hermétique, I honestly thought it’s pretty much spot-on. Having said that, I am of the opinion that no watch is perfect, but I’m struggling to support that thesis as far as the Hermétique’s design goes.

baltic hermetique tourer beads of rice flat link bracelets

Another great design choice is the 20mm lug width, consistent across the entirety of Baltic’s range. This means that you can swap the two curved-end-link bracelets onto any Baltic watch. The Hermétique is available with a new FKM rubber tropic with quick-release spring bars, or the two bracelet styles you see above which I tested. Just like in the case of the Bicompax, I spent most of the time wearing the beads-of-rice one, namely for its superior articulation and seven levels of micro-adjust which came in handy whenever my wrists swelled thanks to Melbourne’s current climate. That’s not to say that the flat-link isn’t a great option to consider, as it sports a less intrusive clasp, and has a 4mm taper at the clasp (as opposed to 2mm on the BOR), which fits the vintage aesthetic of the Hermétique better. The final excellent addition is drilled lugs, which will make even the most stubborn aftermarket straps easy to swap.

Naught but a one complaint

baltic hermetique tourer blue dial flat link bracelet

I felt like this remark deserved its own section, as I see it being a great point of contention with potential buyers, and it concerns the crown. It’s an integral design choice for the Hermétique, and, in my opinion, one that hugely helps set it apart from other field(ish) watches. Without it, the strong connotations to the quirky designs of the 1960s wouldn’t be as clear. Having said that, the crown is very slender, making it basically impossible to grip in its resting position for hand-winding thanks to its integrated design. This is also a warning to the soft-nailed among you when pulling out the crown, as it shows no mercy to us vitamin B-deficient folks.

Closing thoughts

baltic hermetique tourer green dial blue dial

The Hermétique is a great example of a microbrand evolving in the right direction. All too often we see smaller brands simply reusing existing parts, designing a new-ish dial and calling it a day, but Baltic have shown that they’re not afraid to do something new. The look is totally new, but it perfectly slots into Baltic’s existing collection, filling a gap between the HMS and Aquascaphe. Remember, Baltic do have a 36mm case that the Bicompax and HMS share, so I could understand if the thought of just repurposing it crossed their mind – but they didn’t. All these points are already huge pluses, and they’re only backed by the 150-metre water resistance rating and choice of Miyota 9039 over a lower-grade 8000 series. Granted, the crown is quite difficult to use, especially so in the hand-winding, pressed-in position, but it’s a worthy sacrifice for the funky look and protection benefits in my eyes.

Baltic Hermétique Tourer pricing and availability

The Baltic Hermétique Tourer is now available for pre-orders from the Time+Tide Shop, with deliveries starting in November 2023. The first 200 pieces of this non-limited edition will be numbered on the caseback. Price: A$1,050 (FKM rubber strap)

Brand Baltic
Model Hermétique Tourer
Case Dimensions 37mm (D) x 10.8mm (T) x 46mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 150 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Green, blue, beige or brown
Lug Width 20mm
Strap FKM rubber tropic
Beads of rice or flat-link steel bracelets
Movement Miyota 9039, automatic
Power Reserve 42 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds
Availability For pre-orders
Price A$1,050 (FKM rubber)