The Manuel arrived fairly quick via DHL in 2 days from France - in a nice Cork style box which flips open to a light velvet blue interior. It immediately reminded me of the old Rolex boxes from the 80s and 90s, which is quite warming :-).
The Baltic Manuel Chronograph is comprised of solid 316L stainless steel which is entirely brushed besides the polished smooth bezel. I do love the vintage styled case which contains drilled lug holes and a very reasonable diameter of 38MM x 12.8MM. This watch truly wears like a dream, and many watch enthusiasts are demanding smaller case sizes - so it seems Baltic is paying attention to the market. In terms of the wingspan we get 47MM long which sits just perfectly across my 6.5” wrist with no hangover at all. There are also small piston head pushers for the chronograph stop/start/reset which work just fine and are grippy at pretty much any given angle. A nice detail is the signed Baltic crown which is pull/push - with the case being rated at 50M. This is most definitely not something to play in the water with though, so keep that in mind. Although, with daily hand washing and downpours I do not see an issue here. Lastly, the caseback has a beautiful exhibition window which really displays the column wheel chronograph in full, which is a delight.
My iteration uses the Cream/white dial which is a great aesthetic when going for a vintage inspired timepiece as it truly does look vintage. Some small details I found that I liked is the Blued chronograph hand which contrasts nicely with the black hour and minutes hands. Another thing to mention is the proportions here. Some brands simply fail when it comes to text to subdial ratio...but they honestly did a very good job here and everything looks in place. Lastly, the beauty of a vintage watch such as the old Speedmasters is the domed Hesalite crystal which Baltic proudly boasts on this model. I truthfully do not think the watch would have looked true to the age it mimics without this small detail.
Now, inside the Manuel is the Seagull ST1901. This movement originated from the older V175 column wheel chronograph movements created by France ebauche in the mid 1940s - later sold to China for the patent and use of creating an affordable, yet beautiful column wheel
chronograph movement. If you think about it, Baltic is a French company and does assemble their timepieces in France - so I do not see a better match. You can expect 45 hours of power reserve with this one while it beats away at 21,600 BPH.
My piece came standard with a 20MM french calf leather band ( tapers to 18MM ). I think the strap suits the timepiece and is indeed flexible, requiring no break in period. One thing I did notice is the signed brushed buckle - which is proportioned perfectly to the case and strap dimensions. I see so many brands using rather large oversized buckles lately, its refreshing to see it done right.
Furthermore, the Baltic Bicompax definitely surprised
me in a few ways. First of all, the Seagull ST1901 is a beautifully decorated and functional movement - which I happen to adore. Secondly, some great thought and effort really went into producing and assembling these chronographs - which definitely shows in the final product. I mean, what’s not to love about a well made vintage inspired chronograph? I admit, they are not suitable for everyone nor is any watch. However, if you are a true watch enthusiast and realize how classic and timeless those designs are - you will definitely appreciate slapping the Manuel on your wrist.
The first Rolex watches were not manufactured in-house, but instead were made by other watchmakers and then branded with the Rolex name. However, Wilsdorf had a vision of creating a wristwatch that was both reliable and accurate, and he set out to develop his own movements.
In 1910, Rolex became the first wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, which was a testament to the accuracy of the watch. Over the years, Rolex continued to innovate and develop new technologies and features, such as the first waterproof wristwatch in 1926, the first self-winding mechanism in 1931, and the first wristwatch with a date display in 1945.
Rolex has also been associated with several famous individuals, including explorers, athletes, and celebrities. For example, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay wore Rolex watches when they became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Rolex has also been the official timekeeper of several sporting events, including Wimbledon and the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Today, Rolex is one of the most recognized and respected luxury watch brands in the world, known for its quality, precision, and timeless style.
OMEGA Watches History
In 1894, Omega revolutionized the watch industry with the introduction of the 19-ligne Omega Calibre, which was more accurate and reliable than any other watch movement of the time. This innovation earned Omega numerous awards and accolades, and the brand quickly became known for its precision and quality.
In 1903, Omega was chosen as the official timekeeper for the Gordon Bennett Cup, an international balloon race. This marked the beginning of Omega's long-standing relationship with sports timing and its reputation as a reliable and accurate timekeeper.
In 1932, Omega became the first brand to be awarded the Olympic Cross of Merit for its outstanding contribution to sports timing at the Olympic Games. Since then, Omega has been the official timekeeper for numerous Olympic Games, and its timekeeping technology has continued to evolve and improve.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Omega's watches were worn by famous explorers and adventurers, including Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay during their ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, and Jacques Cousteau during his underwater expeditions.
In the 1960s, Omega introduced the Speedmaster, a chronograph watch that was originally designed for motorsports but became famous as the first watch worn on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The Speedmaster has since become one of Omega's most iconic and sought-after models.
Today, Omega continues to innovate and produce high-quality watches, including the Seamaster, Constellation, and De Ville collections. The brand also continues to be the official timekeeper for numerous sporting events, including the Olympic Games and the America's Cup.
BREITLING Watches History
In 1915, Breitling introduced the first wrist-worn chronograph with a separate pusher to control the start, stop, and reset functions, which made it easier to use than previous models. This innovation helped establish Breitling as a leading maker of chronographs and other precision timepieces.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Breitling continued to innovate with the introduction of the first chronograph with a second independent pusher, which allowed for the recording of multiple elapsed times. The company also developed the Huit Aviation Department, which produced wristwatches for pilots and other aviation professionals.
In the 1950s, Breitling introduced the Navitimer, a wristwatch with a built-in slide rule that allowed pilots to perform complex calculations in-flight. The Navitimer became an instant classic and remains one of Breitling's most popular models to this day.
In the 1960s, Breitling continued to produce innovative timepieces, including the Chrono-Matic, which was the first automatic chronograph movement with a micro-rotor. The company also introduced the Emergency, a wristwatch with a built-in distress beacon that could be activated in case of an emergency.
In the years since, Breitling has continued to produce innovative and high-quality timepieces for a variety of applications, including aviation, diving, and sports. The company has also maintained a strong commitment to precision and accuracy, with many of its watches featuring COSC-certified movements. Today, Breitling is recognized as one of the world's leading luxury watch brands, with a reputation for innovation, quality, and style.
In the early days, Longines primarily produced pocket watches, and quickly gained a reputation for precision and accuracy. By the end of the 19th century, Longines had become one of the leading watchmakers in the world. In 1912, the company introduced the first chronograph wristwatch, which was quickly adopted by the military and aviation communities.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Longines continued to innovate with the introduction of the world's first quartz clock and the first wristwatch with an automatic winding mechanism. During World War II, Longines produced wristwatches for the British Royal Air Force, and continued to produce military watches for several decades afterwards.
In the post-war years, Longines became known for its elegant and sophisticated watches, particularly its "Conquest" line of watches. In the 1950s and 1960s, Longines was a favorite of celebrities and politicians, and its watches were frequently seen on the wrists of Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and other famous figures.
In recent years, Longines has continued to produce high-quality watches that combine traditional Swiss craftsmanship with modern technology. The company is particularly known for its sport watches, including its "HydroConquest" line of diving watches and its "Conquest Classic" line of chronographs.
Today, Longines is owned by the Swatch Group, and remains a leading brand in the luxury watch industry. Its watches are prized for their precision, reliability, and timeless style.
In the early days, Tissot primarily produced pocket watches, and quickly gained a reputation for quality and precision. By the end of the 19th century, Tissot was one of the largest watchmakers in Switzerland, and was exporting its watches to countries around the world.
In the early 20th century, Tissot continued to innovate with the introduction of the first non-magnetic wristwatch, the first dual time-zone watch, and the first watch with a plastic case. During World War II, Tissot produced watches for the Allied forces, and continued to produce military watches for several decades afterwards.
In the post-war years, Tissot became known for its elegant and sophisticated watches, particularly its "Tissot Visodate" line of watches, which featured a date function and a distinctive "T" logo on the dial. In the 1970s, Tissot was one of the first Swiss watch brands to introduce quartz watches, which quickly became popular due to their accuracy and affordability.
In recent years, Tissot has continued to produce high-quality watches that combine traditional Swiss craftsmanship with modern technology. The company is particularly known for its sport watches, including its "T-Touch" line of watches, which feature touch-screen technology and a range of functions such as altimeter, compass, and thermometer.
Today, Tissot is part of the Swatch Group, and remains a leading brand in the watch industry. Its watches are prized for their quality, durability, and stylish design, and are worn by watch enthusiasts and collectors around the world.