The Bicompax 001 was the first chronograph produced by Baltic, released alongside the HMS 001 during the 2017 Kickstarter campaign.
Its philosophy was the same as the HMS – a watch going back to the roots of watchmaking, reminiscing the first chronographs used back in the day. We wanted to make a nod to history and some legendary timepieces with two small details.
First of the two, the 38mm step-case design shared with the HMS, recognizable thanks to the steep ridge on the side splitting the case on two levels. Born in the industry as wristwatches gained in popularity – notably amongst military officers, who needed a robust timepiece – that particular case style had the advantage of being both easier to assemble and higher quality. Milled out of a single piece of metal, they used less parts and were durable enough to make them ideal cases for use outdoors.
Second of all, the layout of the dial, recalling some of history’s most famous early chronographs. Underneath a hésalite crystal and circled by a subtle railroad track lay two small guilloché subdials. Positioned at 9 and 3 o’clock and displaying the permanent seconds and minutes counted down, their discreet placement and unique finishing makes the chronograph easy to read, whilst keeping a clean and understated dial.
Choosing the right movement was key to getting the right package. We chose Seagull’s ST19 to power our first chronograph. A Chinese hand-wound movement with noble Swiss origins, it’s a treat to manipulate and even nicer to look at when configured with an open caseback. The Bicompax 001 laid the foundations for what a tool watch would look – and handle like ! – in the Baltic range.