Introducing the Baltic X Worn & Wound Limited Editions

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Good things come to those who wait. Never before has this cliché felt as true as with the Baltic x Worn & Wound collaboration watches. What started as a conversation well over a year ago has turned into a duo of watches that we are truly ecstatic to release to the world today. The Baltic X Worn & Wound Limited Editions are a perfect marriage of Baltic’s highly tasteful vintage design aesthetic and above par execution with Worn & Wound’s enthusiast eye and obsession with leather goods. The result is a duo of watches, limited to 100 pieces per type, that we couldn’t be more proud of.

The Baltic X Worn & Wound Bi-Compax with Salmon Sector Dial

Some collaborations are a complex process with a lot of back and forth, but this project was remarkably simple. On a call with Etienne Malec, founder of Baltic Watches, to discuss what we might want to do, our request was very straightforward – salmon dials. Though a type of dial we’ve always been huge fans of, they rarely get used, especially on more affordable timepieces. The early ‘40s aesthetic of the Baltic Bi-Compax and HMS made them ripe for a copper-tone makeover. Etienne agreed quickly, as he put it “because we have quite the same tastes in watches, it was easy to find common ground.” What happened next was surprising…

But before getting into that, it’s worth a quick refresher on the Baltic Bi-Compax chronograph and three-hand HMS lines. Dual French-assembled and designed 38mm watches inspired by iconic ‘40s timepieces, they featured stepped bezels and large domed acrylic crystals giving them undeniable vintage appeal. Powering the Bi-Compax was the Seagull ST19 movement. A manually wound column-wheel chronograph, the ST19 is based on the Swiss Venus 175 caliber from the 1940’s, making it literally the perfect choice for this watch. The HMS is then powered by the more modern Miyota 821A automatic, making it a great everyday watch. Both were extremely popular on launch, and are a great example of micro-brand watches done right. Now, back to the collaboration –

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A perfectly balanced layout
Bi-Compax: Added function, not added complexity
Exceptional texturing
Bright, beautiful polished hands

After a little time had passed, Etienne shot over an email with a set of designs, rendered in luscious, warm copper. But rather than utilizing the original Bi-Compax and HMS dials, these were all new and very exciting. When asked, Etienne explained “we are launching a complete set of new dials on this range, which haven’t changed since the Kickstarter in early 2017. We feel this is the perfect moment for us to do so.” Sector-dial inspired, they featured a more complex layout with a variety of surface textures and a full set of hour numerals. Though continuing to utilize Baltic’s signature 38mm case, the result is two completely new watches, with a very different style and attitude. “We are going a bit deeper in the ’40s with this one, which paired with the step-case gives you a real feeling of a wrist-time-machine,” says Etienne. 

Rather than the minimal, vintage-sport look of the original, these have a formal, classic overall appearance. The dials are more fully utilized, which completely changes the feel of the design. Though the same size, they appear more compact, and more structured. They are also a touch more decadent and luxurious – yet still tasteful, handsome and ultimately reserved. The use of texture on the dial takes them to new heights, with a mix of rough graining and circular brushing on both, with the addition of circular graining on the sub-dials of the Bi-Compax. Polished leaf hands that perfectly glide along their respective indexes complete this master class in vintage-inspired design.

Dressed up or down, Salmon dials look exceptional
True, Timeless style

When we saw the first prototypes, the new dials took our breath away. They were, for lack of a better word, perfect. Of course, perfection takes work. “We found this Salmon tone after seven attempts. This one is not too pink, not too yellow, and has the right brightness in daylight or interior light.” according to Etienne. This anecdote also explains why Baltic was the right brand to work with, and why their watches are exemplary of what affordable watches can be. Taking the time to get something right is a discipline, not an expense.

Of course, watches like this need the right strap. It’s not just a matter of complementing the salmon color, it’s about capturing the luxurious feel it creates. Luckily, we knew exactly what we wanted, dark navy blue shell cordovan. Black would have been too formal, and brown might have clashed, but dark blue is just right. Made from a select muscle on the hip of a horse, shell cordovan is widely considered to be one of the finest leathers you can buy. It’s only made by a small handful of tanneries in the world, and takes several months of old-school-vegetable tanning to be prepared. So we sourced some from Italy, had the straps produced in Germany, the result is exactly what we wanted. They are supple, luxurious and make the dials sing.

Dark Navy Shell Cordovan

The Baltic X Worn & Wound collaboration watches are available now, and ready to ship. The Bi-Compax is $625, and the three-hand HMS is $399, all watches are numbered out of 100/style, however individual numbers cannot be chosen. As said before, we are very proud of this release and thrilled to be launching it today. It’s not only a duo of watches we know you’ll love but an exciting way for us to celebrate our work with Baltic. Etienne put it best, “doing this collaboration was our way to celebrate the last three years of collaboration we’ve already done together.” And we’re excited for many more. Windup Watch Shop 

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