Think you have the perfect summer watch? Think again...
It’s all about new watches at the moment with Watches and Wonders 2021 in full swing, all people are talking about is the latest additions from their favourite watch brand. Away from the large digital shows, we have brands such as Baltic who have just announced the next instalment of their journey: the new Aquascaphe Dual Crown.
As the name suggests, this new model introduces a second crown to the case which controls the inner rotating bezel. The end result is a watch that visually looks similar to super compressor diving watches, one that is quite the change for the brand.
Be it the standard Aquascaphe diver, GMT or even their chronographs and three handers, Baltic historically have stuck with quite conservative visuals that rely on simplistic design approaches to connect with many watch fans. However, this latest model makes quite the statement moving away from the conventional and into the quirky niche.
At 39mm wide this Dual Crown is on the money when lined up with Baltic’s other models in their range but yet like always, that doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, taking into account the 46.8mm lug to lug measurement and the 12.2mm thickness we still don’t have a full picture of this watch because of one main feature. By inserting the rotating bezel within the dial rather than on the outside, this watch is almost super-sized on the wrist as the aperture to the dial increases by between 2 - 4mm over their other models. The result is a piece that surprisingly wears closer to 41mm on the wrist, something that will make some people very happy…
Designed to push the limits, the compressor case stands out thanks to its dual crowns. The first allows the internal bezel to be adjusted, thus avoiding any risk of inadvertent manipulation. It is not screwed onto the case to allow its adjustment underwater while maintaining the water resistance of 200m. On the wrist it certainly isn’t as easy to turn like a conventional crown is but then again if that’s what you’re after go for the standard Aquascaphe.
The second crown at 4 o’clock is used to wind the automatic Miyota 9038 movement and to set the time. An engraved grid finish completes the aesthetic of the two crowns.
Three things that are apparent when looking at the Dual Crown’s dial:
- And those huge hands...
A dark dial with white details is known to be one of the most legible dial configurations when diving so the Dual Crown gets bonus points here. Baltic have reverted back to their origins after it appeared on the GMT and decided to go no date. Another positive in my eyes as who cares what date it is when you’re underwater?
And finally those hands. This is where we see the Baltic language come into play as the handset is extremely similar to what we have seen in the past from the french microbrand. What they have done here is essentially increase the width of the hands, adopt a fully vertical brushed finish, flood them with lume and introduce a more noticeable point to the end.
Available in stainless steel with a blue sunburst dial as well as this stealthy option: PVD black with matching dial but with steel chamfered edges. Although very different watches, this look gives me such a vintage Zenith PVD Chronograph feel when on the wrist.
Of course, this isn't the first time we’ve seen a dual crown watch from brands. History aside for a moment, modern pieces that come to mind who also have gone this way include Alpina with their Seastrong Diver Heritage, Longines with the Legend Diver and most recently Christopher Ward joined the party with their C65 Super Compressor. Baltic are bang on trend here and I expect to see other brands joining the party soon...
Reference: Aquascaphe Dual Crown
Case width: 39mm
Movement: Miyota 9038 automatic movement
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: stainless steel, or stainless steel with PVD coating
Water-resistance: 20 atm (200m)
Dial: sunburst blue or gloss black
Strap: Made from recycled marine plastic found on the ocean floor and surface
Availability: now for pre-order via baltic-watches.com
This is one of those watches that is begging to see some water (preferably with some sun as well) and be used as it was intended for.
PVD isn’t normally my cup of tea, but this watch has enabled me to grow to love it. This is Baltic we’re talking about here so the quality is there, the attention to detail is spot on and there is no doubt it's a comfortable piece.
I don't feel I can really do the watch justice during the midst of a lockdown as I’m sitting behind my desk. It's a watch that needs to be in its natural habitat to be fully appreciated; which is no bad thing. It's a sign that Baltic has done something very right here and I’d advise those out there who are seriously considering this to fully use the watch as much as you can.
This is an unexpected release from the French watch creators that is tailored for the professional diving watch fan out there.
Available for pre-order via baltic-watches.com for €565, click here to find out more.
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