Baltic Watch's First Diving Watch - The Aquascaphe

11 December 2019

Review: the Aquascaphe diving watch

A Retro Timepiece by Baltic Watch

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If you are a watch enthusiast, you are likely familiar with the french microbrand Baltic Watch. Like many new microbrands, Baltic Watch sprouted with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. In 2018, the team behind this young watch brand launched two vintage-styled watches on Kickstarter. The HMS 001 and the BICOMPAX 001. Within 30 days, Baltic Watch raised EUR 514,806 from 1,044 backers. A true success story.

HMS 0001 and BICOMPAX 001 by Baltic Watch

Thanks to the retro look of their watches, Baltic rallied a large community of watch aficionados to back their product. This allowed them to successfully launch the Aquascaphe on their website without using Kickstarter. Thus allowing them to avoid Kickstarter fees.

The Aquascaphe; a 38mm dive watch.

Going vintage with the Aquascaphe

When looking at the Aquascaphe, you will quickly recognize the design features of the Fifty Fantom by Blancpain. With its first diving watch, Baltic created a timepiece inspired by the style of a legendary timepiece.

This french hommage watch is available in three color variations

Aquascaphe Black Cream, Blue Gilt, , Black & Silver

  • Blue Gilt - a blue bezel with a sunrays dial
  • Black & Silver - silvered markers on the dial and bezel, together with a grainy dial
  • Black Cream - creme colored markers on the dial and bezel as well as a grainy dial

The watch is featuring eye-pleasing details. We appreciate the sandwich-style markers 3, 6 and 9 shaped like triangles. You will notice that the printed marker 12 is the only numeral on the Aquascaphe dial. This creates a unique combination of markers.

If you like to wear your diver with a stainless steel bracelet, you will have the possibility to purchase the Aquasquaphe diving watch with a BOR (beads-of-rice) bracelet for an extra US$87.

The absence of a date window brings simplicity and harmony to the dial.

38 mm of elegance

The Aquascaphe comes with all the features you can expect from a quality dive watch. Baltic Watch opted for a Japanese automatic movement from Miyota to keep the price attractive. With its thickness of 12 mm and a case size of 38mm, the Aquascaphe will be a discrete dive watch on your writs. Some might argue that a 38mm case is too small for a dive watch. A 42mm would have given a more manly look to this watch.

• Stainless steel 316L
• Case size: 38mm diameter (39mm with the bezel) and a 47mm distance lug to lug
• Case thickness: 12mm
• Movement: automatic movement Miyota 9039 (Japan)
• Dial: sandwich dial for the triangle markers 3, 6 and 9
• Crystal: double domed sapphire glass
• Bezel: unidirectional sapphire bezel
• Crown: screw-down crown
• Strap: stainless steel and rubber
• Water resistance: 200 meters (200 ATM)

Colors: Blue Gilt, Black & Silver, Black Cream

Manufacturing the Aquascaphe

The Aquascaphe, like the first two watches from Baltic, is assembled in France. What does it exactly mean?

All parts are made in Asia, shipped to France, where the final assembly is done.

Baltic is not the only brand doing so. Well established watch brands are outsourcing the production of their parts in China before putting all the pieces together in Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy or the USA.

Cost of the Aquascaphe diving watch

Compared to other microbrands’ dive watches, the Aquascaphe value proposition is not ‘‘being an affordable watch’’. You will have to spend US$637 when buying this timepiece with a rubber strap or US$724 if you prefer your Aquascaphe with a BOR stainless steel bracelet.

If wearing a small case dive watch is your jam, this 38mm diver could be for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for more affordable options buying your diver on Kickstarter could be a good way to get a quality watch at an affordable price.

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To sum up

Thanks to the success of the HMS 001 and the BICOMPAX 001, Baltic Watch didn’t encounter a strong resistance when presenting the Aquascaphe to the watch community. With its classic design paying homage to the Fifty Fantom (Blancpain), this dive watch is a head-turner.

Sold between US$637 and US$724 (depending on the selected strap), some consumers might argue that the price is too high for a Miyota movement.

We would love to see this watch with a bigger dial. But, if you are looking for a discrete diving watch, this you could be the right one for you.

Note: images showcased in this article have been taken from the Baltic Watch Instagram account.