While we’re still waiting for the first glimpse of the new Baltic Experiments line, the French microbrand has announced the latest generation of their classic collection with the new Baltic HMS 003 and Bicompax 003 chronograph. Essentially, there are three new watches each available in time only and chronograph variants making for six references. If past launches like this are anything to go by, they’re going to be immensely popular.
Baltic HMS 003
Let’s start with the time only HMS 003 (HMS standing for hours, minutes, seconds). It has a 36.5mm diameter case in stainless steel giving it refined, vintage style proportions and a slim profile. It’s smaller than the previous HMS 002 which was 38mm. The use of hesalite glass also has a retro quality to it, although it might be even more so if it was box style rather than the high-domed design it actually has. The case itself has a combination of finishes with brushed flanks and a polished bezel.
Speaking of contrasting finishes, the dial also features a mix. The central disk has a sandy grain texture while the hour and minute scales have circular brushing. It suits the sector pattern of the dial well with its crosshair centre and appliqué hour markers. The three versions available are salmon, silver and blue gilt. The salmon and silver are very traditional classical colourways while the blue is a little bit flashier with its gold coloured accents.
Housed inside is the Miyota 8315 automatic movement with 60-hour power reserve. It’s the same movement that was used in the previous HMS 002 despite the case being notably smaller. The value for money that this movement offers is great considering that the whole piece is only €360 (approx. £310).
Baltic Bicompax 003 Chronograph
In addition to the three-hand models there are the Bicompax 003 editions too. They’re basically the same in every way except for the addition of the chronograph complications. Specifically, they have the same 36.5mm case and the same set of colours in salmon, silver and blue gilt. While I’d probably say the salmon HMS 003 is my favourite, I like the blue gilt version of the chrono. The small seconds and 30-minute timer subdials add more structure to the display and in gold and blue it almost feels like a naval officer’s uniform – golden buttons and all.
Naturally, the presence of a chronograph means it houses a different movement. It’s the Seagull Manufacture ST1901 manual calibre with 42-hour power reserve. Both versions of the watch, chrono and non-chrono, come with closed steel casebacks, although there is the option to have an exhibition caseback added.
As for the price of the Bicompax 003, it’s €540 (approx. £460) making it equally accessible as the HMS 003. With the new diameter they also lean into their retro vibe to a greater degree and are very unisex, making them suitable for wrists of all sizes. A welcome addition to the classical range to be sure.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Baltic HMS 003 & Bicompax 003
- Case/dial: 36.5mm diameter x 13mm thickness, stainless steel case, silver blue/salmon/blue gilt dial
- Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
- Movement: Miyota calibre 8315, automatic (HMS), Seagull calibre ST1901, manual winding (Bicompax)
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz) (HMS)
- Power reserve: 60h (HMS) and 42h (Bicompax)
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph (Bicompax)
- Strap: Italian calf leather, stainless steel beads of rice, flat link or beads of rice straight bracelet
- Price/availability: €360 (approx. £310) (HMS) and €540 (approx. £460) (Bicompax)