INTRODUCING: The Baltic Tricompax Panda and Reverse Panda deliver retro-fuelled chronograph actionFergus Nash
As soon as Baltic unveiled their Tricompax collaboration with Peter Auto, we all held our breath for the standard model to drop and give the masses a taste of the retro-fuelled chronograph action. Now, the Baltic Tricompax Panda and Reverse Panda have been brought into non-limited production giving us two deliciously vintage colour options with perfected proportions throughout. Although they surpass the price level we usually associate with the budget-oriented Baltic, these chronographs still offer value through their quality, specifications, and impressive name recognition for a microbrand.
When it comes to a vintage-style watch, the dimensions are just as important as the design to capture the old-world spirit without sacrificing modern wrist presence or legibility. The Baltic Tricompax Panda and Reverse Panda are definitely larger than they would have been were they released in the early ‘70s, but their design package works both in terms of comfort and visual style. The diameter of both is 39.5mm with a lug-to-lug length of 47mm, ensuring that they can suit smaller wrists as well as larger ones. The total thickness is 13.5mm, which is already pretty good for a chronograph, but the Baltic Tricompax actually looks and feels thinner due to the generously domed crystal, the flanged bezel, and the slender mid-case section. The case finishing is also impressive from a side view, with horizontal brushing punctuated by polished strips on the bezel’s edge, the caseback, and the pushers and signed crown.
Although the Panda and Reverse Panda dials are indeed just inverted colour schemes, the effect is actually quite radical. The Baltic Tricompax Panda carries itself with sporty charm thanks to that parchment-toned dial and the unavoidable Daytona association that every panda chronograph carries, but still retains all of the sophisticated character that makes it a Baltic. The Reverse Panda version is still undeniably sporty, especially with those blackened subdial hands, except the matte black dial helps the watch feel overall a little more dressy and amps up the versatility. The other factor for contextualising these watches is whether you go for a leather strap or the flat-link bracelet with brushed centre links and polished outer links, as each have their own personalities too.
Powering the Baltic Tricompax Panda and Reverse Panda is the Sellita SW510-M, with a power reserve of 63 hours and a 4Hz beat rate. The Sellita SW510-M is a modified clone of the Valjoux 7750 with the day/date complication and automatic winding features removed, leaving you with a reliable and serviceable manual-winding chronograph. My only lament with these watches is their lack of display caseback as they are generally quite nice movements to look at, and their 50m of water resistance means they shouldn’t be getting too wet anyway.
The Baltic Tricompax Panda and Reverse Panda pricing and availability:
Although the Baltic Tricompax Panda and Reverse Panda watches aren’t limited editions, the first 200 pieces of each model will have its unique number engraved into the solid caseback. They will be available for pre-order on December 1 at 4pm, Paris time. Price: €1,585 (with leather strap) / €1,645 (with bracelet)
|Case Dimensions||39.5mm x 47mm x 13.5mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Dial||Panda or Reverse Panda|
|Strap||Leather strap or steel bracelet|
|Power Reserve||63 hours|
|Availability||Pre-order for the numbered edition (400pcs) opens on December 1st, then unlimited production.|
|Price||€1,585 (with leather strap) / €1,645 (with bracelet)|