The classic field watch has served as a blank canvas of sorts over the years for all kinds of brands in the microbrand space. It’s a sneakily challenging format to iterate on. Like the dive watch, it’s one of those platforms that was, arguably, perfected right out of the gate. And, like the dive watch, those new iterations tend to work best when a brand doesn’t try to reinvent something that isn’t broken, but simply puts their own unique stamp on a traditional design. That’s what Baltic seems to be going for with their new collection, introduced today, which they’ve dubbed the Hermétique. These first four “Tourer Edition” variants take classic field watch tropes but spin them through Baltic’s own sensibility, which itself has become only more clearly refined in recent years as the brand has continued to mature.
What I’ve always liked about field watches is that they are relentlessly unfussy. They are the objectification of the idea of “neutral” in watch design. Simple to wear, simple to read, unobtrusive, but always good looking in their purest form, a simple arrangement of Arabic numerals against a high contrast dial. Baltic has taken the approach with the Hermétique leaning into those things that make field watches field watches, but have added tasteful accents that tweak the formula just a hair. First and foremost, these watches seem to be designed to disappear. The stainless steel cases come in at a very traditional 37mm diamater, and Baltic has taken the additional step of designing the crown to be recessed into the case flank. This is not a traditional field watch attribute, but it’s right in line with the idea of this type of watch being easy to manage on the wrist, particularly with a case height of just 10.8mm (including the domed sapphire crystal).
The dial layout sees Arabic numerals at the cardinal positions with applied hour markers (made of luminescent material) filling in the gaps. The outer perimeter of the dial is a black railroad minute track, and hour markers cross the barrier between this track and the dial’s interior portion, which Baltic says adds a sense of depth to the dial as a whole. The hands are in a syringe style, and dial text is kept to a relative minimum, with only the brand’s wordmark, along with “Hermétique” and the water resistance rating of 150 meters.
Baltic is offering the Hermétique in four dial variants at launch: green, blue, beige, and brown. All of the dials have matte finishes in the interior section. Notably, there’s no black option, which is historically the dial color most often associated with a field watch, but that’s another way Baltic is simply putting their own spin on the format. The dial color on these watches alterls their personality considerably, with the blue appearing like a watch we could have sworn Baltic has been making for years, and the beige variant coming in as, surprisingly, the most adventurous and contemporary. Each version is paired with a color matched Tropic style strap (they can also be purchased with Baltic’s beads of rice or flat link bracelets).
Powering the Hermétique Tourer Edition is the tried and true Miyota 9039 automatic caliber, with 42 hours of power reserve. Baltic has been using movements in the Miyota family for years, and it has allowed the brand to keep their watches at a compelling price point even as the price of, well, everything, seems to only go up and up. The new Hermétique watches carry a retail price of 550 € on a rubber strap, and will be available to order via the Baltic website on October 10, with delivery anticipated in early November. We’ll have hands-on impressions of the new collection soon, so stay tuned. Baltic