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Baltic MR Roulette Watch Review

Baltic MR Roulette Watch Black

One of the collections that really put French watch brand Baltic on the map was the MR01 in 2021. It really launched the brand into the mainstream as it helped to expand their collections beyond the sporty Aquascaphe and prove that they could tackle alternative styles. Now they are revisiting the collection with a redesigned dial for a new series called the Baltic MR Roulette, which I have here for a hands-on review.

The case is identical to that of the MR01. Meaning it measures a svelte 36mm in diameter with a thickness of just 9.9mm, perfectly in keeping with the current popularity of smaller, vintage size timepieces. In fact, you could argue that Baltic were ahead of the times with the original launch in 2021 as it took a few years for the rest of the industry to catch up. Presented on an Italian calf leather strap, it wears incredibly well on the wrist.

Baltic MR Roulette Watch Black

My wrists are by no means the largest, so the smaller size works very well for me. But even when my colleagues with thicker wrists (the kind built for tool watches) try it on, it doesn’t look out of place. A large part of which is probably the flat, brushed bezel giving the watch plenty of surface area to admire.

Baltic MR Roulette Watch Black

Focusing in on the dial, this is where all of Baltic’s development has gone. Instead of the old Breguet style numerals and grained finish, we now have a sector dial. Each of the hour numerals are housed within their own section forming an inner ring on the dial while the minute scale is presented as a rail track around the perimeter of the display. This is what gives the watch its Roulette moniker because it very much looks like a classic roulette wheel. The small seconds subdial at 8 o’clock is the perfect surrogate roulette ball too.

Baltic MR Roulette Watch Black

Baltic MR Roulette Watch Black

The overall impression feels cool and Art Deco, although the game of roulette actually pre-dates the Art Deco movement by more than a century. However, the game became popular in trendy French casinos in the 19th century meaning both roulette and Art Deco design are French exports, as are Baltic watches. I definitely prefer the Baltic MR Roulette’s display compared to the MR01. There’s just a bit more going on, more structure. It’s also nice to see this style graduate to the core collection after a limited edition in 2022.

There are four colours available: black, blue, silver and salmon. The edition I have here is the black, which features steel coloured hands and white numerals. A solid monochromatic display that feels suitable classy. Time to put everything on black?

Baltic MR Roulette Watch Black

Turning the watch over to view the caseback reveals an exhibition window displaying the inner workings of the movement. It’s the Hangzhou CAL5000a Micro-Rotor calibre, an accessible Chinese movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Seeing that it is a Chinese movement often raises the question of quality, due to long held manufacturing biases, however the vast majority of reviews are positive. You do hear the occasional story about poor build quality but Baltic perform their own quality control and cover you with a 24-month warranty.

In terms of price, the Baltic MR Roulette is priced exactly the same as the MR01, at €545 on leather strap (approx. £460). It’s also available on steel bracelet for €605 (approx. £515). Considering that the MR01 sold out incredibly quickly, the MR Roulette is likely to do the same. The perfect combination of style and accessibility.

Price and Specs:

Model: Baltic MR Roulette
Case: 36mm diameter (44mm lug to lug) x 9.9mm thickness (8mm without glass), 20mm lug width, stainless steel
Dial: Black, grained or glossy, brushed sectors, guilloché seconds sub-dial, faceted and polished dauphine hands
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Hangzhou CAL5000a with micro-rotor, automatic, 33 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Strap: Italian calf leather or stainless steel bracelet
Price: €545 (approx. £460) - leather strap, €605 (approx. £515) - steel bracelet

More details at Baltic Watches.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.