Baltic, the uncrowned king of affordable vintage-inspired watches, has launched a new version of its dressy MR — the MR Roulette. It has the same dial layout as the previous version, which means the off-center sub-dial is still there. Of course, it’s also still powered by a very elegant-looking micro-rotor movement on which the collection’s name was based. This time, the most striking feature is the different textures on the dial that create a nice perception of depth. Let’s take a look.

The trend of vintage-inspired watches has been going on for quite a while now. A lot of the watches that pass through the Fratello office are based on something from the past. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes you just want something a little more refreshing. Now, it’s not like this new Baltic MR Roulette series is that original. Somehow, though, it’s just so well done that it doesn’t seem like I’ll be getting tired of the brand’s affordable vintage-inspired watches too soon.

The Baltic MR Roulette

The Baltic HMS and the MR are the French brand’s dressier collections. Their case shape is very similar, but the bezel of the HMS has a step, whereas the MR’s does not. The HMS also has a classic and symmetrical sector dial with a central seconds hand. Meanwhile, the MR has an asymmetrical dial with a sub-seconds register between 6 and 9 o’clock. I prefer the MR as the off-center sub-dial adds a little extra vintage flair to the mix.

The previous version of the MR had Breguet numerals and leaf hands. On the new MR Roulette, those Breguet numerals make way for a proprietary serif typeface, and faceted dauphine hands replace the former leaf-style ones. Those changes immediately make the dial look a little less fancy and a bit more organized. I really like this more Art Deco-like look.

Baltic MR Roulette salmon dial on wrist

The Baltic MR Roulette is a very compact watch with a 36mm diameter, a 44mm lug-to-lug, and a 9.9mm thickness, including its highly domed Hesalite crystal. You can choose between black, blue, salmon, and silver dials.

Textures create a perception of depth

When I opened the boxes of the black and salmon versions we had in the office, the different textures on the dials immediately stood out to me. Both the hour and minute tracks have a circular-brushed finish, which sets them apart from the non-time-telling sectors of the dial. On the black and blue versions, those latter sectors are glossy, while on the salmon and silver versions, they have a grained texture. Especially on the black and blue versions, this makes it look like the hour and minute tracks float on top of the dial.

The different textures on the dial also work nicely with the brushing and polishing on the MR Roulette’s case. The bezel displays a vertically brushed finish on its flat top and a mirror polish on the side. This creates a nice contrast with the lugs and the mid-case, which are circularly and horizontally brushed, respectively. Finally, the case back has a high-polished rim, which accentuates the slim mid-case. It’s surprising to see how much character Baltic has created with all these different textures on both the MR Roulette’s dial and case.

A notable micro-rotor

One of the signature features of the MR Roulette is its micro-rotor movement. It’s made by a company called Hangzhou and is called the CAL5000a. It runs at a frequency of 28,800vph and holds a power reserve of 42 hours. When you turn the watch around, it certainly looks the part with its pink jewels, gold-colored micro-rotor, blue screws, and finishing. However, when the rotor moves or you tap your finger on the watch, you hear a jangly sound. Then again, what would you expect at this price point?

Baltic MR Roulette black dial on wrist

Put it on your shortlist

I might have already spoiled it a little bit in the intro, but I like the new Baltic MR Roulette quite a bit. The different textures on the dials and the case add an intriguing dimension to the design. The new font used for the hour numerals looks very organized and pairs nicely with the overall layout. If you’re looking for an affordable, vintage-inspired, and dressy watch, I think the Baltic MR Roulette should be on your shortlist. That’s only if you don’t mind that noisy rotor, of course.

Baltic-MR-Roulette black and salmon

Available for order now, shipping on July 15th

The new Baltic MR Roulette in either black, blue, silver, or salmon is available now from the brand’s website. If you choose to get it on a leather strap, it’ll cost you €545, and if you opt for a stainless steel flat-link or beads-of-rice bracelet, that’ll add €60 on top. The first 100 pieces will be numbered, and the watches will start shipping on July 15th. For more information, check out the official Baltic website.

Let me know in the comments below if you like the Baltic MR Roulette just as much as I do.

Watch specifications

MR Roulette
Black, salmon, blue, or silver with multiple textures and off-center sub-dial
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
36mm (diameter) × 44mm (lug-to-lug) × 9.9mm (thickness)
Case Back
Stainless steel with Hesalite crystal
Hangzhou CAL5000a: automatic winding, 28,800vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, micro-rotor
Water Resistance
30 meters (3 ATM)
Leather strap or stainless steel flat-link or beads-of-rice bracelet, 20mm width
Time only (hours, minutes, small seconds)
€545 (on strap) / €605 (on bracelet)
Special Note(s)
First 100 pieces are numbered