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Baltic's Newest fake watch Is A Delightful Surprise ADVERTISEMENT

Just last month, we got a glimpse of this year's selection of unique pieces set to cross the auction block at Only fake watch in November. There were the usual heavy-hitting brands ?everyone from Tudor to AP to Journe. One rather surprising entrant was Baltic, a relative newcomer to the fake watch scene full stop, and certainly a newcomer to the big leagues. While a brand most commonly known to hang its hat on vintage-inspired design with seriously affordable pricing, this was a real "we've made it," moment for the French-based outfit. And it was well worth it, as the Baltic Only fake watch stole the show. Instagram and Twitter were flooded with effusive praise of the watch.

The reason I'm spending so much time talking about a virtually unobtainable unique Baltic fake watch announced last summer is that it foreshadowed the very replica watches that we have in front of us today. Baltic has just released a new collection, dubbed the Micro-Rotor. You'll no doubt notice the same Breguet numeral styling seen on the Only fake watch entrant.

For the most part, everything that Baltic founder Etienne Malec has created to this point has had a decidedly mid-century-inspired design ?and mostly of the tool fake watch variety. This new release feels older, more classic. While the Aquascaphe is ready to take a dive to some long-lost shipwreck, the Micro-Rotor looks like it'd be far more at home at a supper club, on the wrist of a hand holding an after-dinner cigar.

As the name of the fake watch suggests, it features a micro-rotor style movement. This means, unlike a standard rotor (the large plate that spins to wind your fake watch as you move), it is set right into the caliber itself, allowing for the entire movement to be far thinner. Baltic is using the automatic micro-rotor ELA05MN caliber, made by Hangzhou, which is a competitor to Seagull (which, interestingly, powers Baltic's bi-compax chronograph models).

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This movement is accurate to within +20/-20sec a day, which is not necessarily anything to brag about, but we're talking about a sub-$1,000 fake watch so let's not get too picky here. It also features a 42h power reserve. The movement is viewable through an exhibition caseback which is well-executed and fits the back of the fake watch quite handsomely. ​​In terms of decoration, there is a circular Côtes de Genève, perlage under the rotor, and blued heated screws. The rotor is engraved, "Baltic."

This new model blends classic wristwatch vibes with a hint of early 20th-century pocket watches. One big reason for that is the small seconds subdial. Many don't realize this, but center-seconds functionality was not the original configuration for replica watches (pocket or otherwise). While you may think utilizing a small-seconds function is showy, it's actually just a callback to the early days of fake watch design. Since Baltic's entire brand ethos is built on some level of homage, I can get behind that here, especially since it's so well-executed.

Aesthetically, this fake watch is a winner. There's a certain simplicity to the design, and an elegance to the execution of the Breguet numerals that feels fully realized and totally balanced. There are many areas of the design that make me wonder how on earth Baltic is able to keep the price so low ?for the record, these cost just $630. Great attention, for example, is paid to the dial. There's a textured pattern to the lion's share of the dial surface that plays off the radial pattern of the small seconds subdial in a really interesting way. I look at the entire dial and see great contrast by way of texture.

In addition to the applied numerals, the painted minute track is executed at a high level, giving off a hand-painted look. For the typography (or numbography?) geeks, we have the open six and the flat four. Dial text, in total, is very minimal here, and by minimal I mean effectively non-existent save for the Baltic wordmark.

There are three dial options ?a salmon dial (the second salmon dial we've seen from Baltic in the past year), a silver dial, and a blue dial. Depending on the leather strap configuration, each variant takes on a different and interesting look.

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Where I really applaud Baltic in making the Micro-Rotor is the case size. This clocks in at a pitch-perfect 36mm (44mm lug to lug) and is a mere 8mm thick (9.8 if you include the domed acrylic crystal). In the hand, the fake watch is incredibly light, which belies its heavy and almost fragile looks.

At launch, the first 200 replica watches in each dial variation will be numbered. Additionally, you can buy the trio of replica watches in a special limited edition box set. But these are seriously limited ?as in just 20 sets, total, so you'll want to act quickly.

The Baltic Micro-Rotor. Stainless steel case 36mm x 9.8mm. ELA05MN movement (Made by Hangzhou) with 42 hours of power reserve. Domed acrylic crystal and exhibition caseback. First batch is numbered set of 200 pieces in each dial variation. Leather strap. Price: $630.

Photos, Kasia Milton

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HODINKEE is an authorized retailer of Baltic. Explore our full collection here.

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