Baltic MR01, a beaut of a watch!

I have been ogling the Baltic MR01 for some time now. As far as the world of micro-rotor watches goes, this is a diamond in the rough. To get a micro-rotor watch at this price point is criminal and I must say, I'm quite impressed. These are all first impressions from videos and press shots of the watch which have led me to bite the bullet and pony up for one. I hope to receive it in a couple of weeks and I鈥檒l be able to properly assess these first impressions.

First and foremost, a micro-rotor movement is a marvel of engineering. Looking at shots of the watch it鈥檚 incredibly slim and Baltic quotes the depth at 9.9mm. That鈥檚 pretty slim for an automatic. It just oozes elegance. The rotor, being smaller and positioned within the movement, gives a clear view of that beautifully decorated movement. To be honest, Chinese manufactured movements are fast catching up and the economies of scale make them a viable alternative to much expensive Swiss counterparts. A highly decorated micro-rotor for less than a thousand dollars, I would never have believed it if I鈥檇 been told this tale a decade ago. Although the Japanese make some efficient movements at the lower tier of the watch market, if you are looking for something interesting, you certainly can鈥檛 ignore these Chinese movements. They pack a mean punch, which is perfect for someone like me who appreciates understated sophistication at an affordable price point.

The craftsmanship from Baltic as always looks impeccable. The case flank is meticulously polished, and the dial is a work of art, with its intricate details and finely executed Breguet numerals for the indices. The Salmon dial version looks quite interesting and that鈥檚 the version I鈥檝e opted for. Hopefully, it doesn鈥檛 disappoint in real life. I think the use of Hesalite instead of Sapphire is time-appropriate as this watch hacks back to a 1920s style. Until I purchased my Lorier Neptune and Timex Marlin 34mm, I had a trepidation for Hesalite as I thought it would scuff and scratch easily leading to a blemished look. Truthfully, unless you鈥檙e using your watch for construction work, I think it should hold up fine. A few scratches a couple of months can be buffed out easily with some Polywatch and elbow grease. The warmth and distortion from domed Hesalite is quite an interesting character to bring to a watch like this.

What鈥檚 pushed me over the edge to get the BR01, is its beautifully sized proportions. I鈥檓 a small-wristed guy and anything that鈥檚 36mm or less at the affordable end of the spectrum always tickles my fancy. I don鈥檛 know if you guys here have noticed though, but finding smaller-sized watches around 36mm or less in an affordable package is quite a task. So the idea of owning a watch that not only embodies a highly technical piece of mechanical watchmaking but also packaged in a diminutive form at an affordable price was just too good to pass up for long. I didn鈥檛 pull the trigger earlier because of the waitlist last year and earlier this year, but once they were back in stock I just couldn鈥檛 hold on any longer.

Truth be told, part of purchasing a timepiece is emotive. It's not just about telling time; it's about enjoying the experience and embracing a piece of art on your wrist. The BR01 is ticking all the right boxes for me, and I can't help but add it to my collection soon. It's a testament to the artistry and innovation of watchmaking that continues to captivate enthusiasts like us.

These are really pretty, front and back.

I like mine, but I regret getting the silver dial instead of the salmon one, and it's a little too small for my wrist. It's still a nice dress watch in my collection, and I never tire of looking at the movement.

Cantaloop

These are really pretty, front and back.

Yes, they are. Baltic did a good job on them. I've seen other brands use the same movement but they usually miss out on the dial and the sizing.

chibanachosin

I like mine, but I regret getting the silver dial instead of the salmon one, and it's a little too small for my wrist. It's still a nice dress watch in my collection, and I never tire of looking at the movement.

I have opted for the Salmon and although it looks closer to a copper dial than a pinkish salmon, I am sure I will love it as I do not have any dial like that in my collection.