Grey seal not so grey …
A few years have passed since the premiere of the first edition of the watch with the gracefully sounding name of the Balticus Gray Seal. The model gained considerable popularity not only in our home market, hence the manufacturer decided to re-issue the original model. Will Gray Seal once again become a hit in the Balticus collection? Time will tell. For now, I invite you to read my short review.
The Gray Seal case design is based on the Supercompressor models, extremely popular in the 1970s diving watches. A special system of two crowns increased water resistance with immersion. In this case, the crowns only have a chronometric function. Using the upper one, we can set a ring with a minute scale, and the lower one will allow us to set the exact time and date, and also allow us to wind the movement by hand.
Both crowns are screwed in and signed with the Balticus logo. After unscrewing them, you don’t feel any slack, which is a pleasant surprise in a watch from this price range. It is also worth emphasizing that using them is comfortable due to the dense milling of the gripping surface.
The case is fully polished. On the one hand, it will probably catch the micro scratches faster, on the other hand, they are extremely easy to remove from such a surface with the help of jewelry cloths. The width of the case is 44 mm without the crowns, which is quite a value. The length of the case with the lugs is 50 mm. This is an acceptable value and the watch will fit well on the wrists from 17.5 cm. The lugs have been milled at the surface adjacent to the case, giving it a bit of a vintage look. Thanks to this procedure, it’s hard not to get the impression that the whole concept resembles a crab-type case.
The bottom of the case is closed with a transparent caseback, on the circumference of which there is information about the movement used, the type of glass, water resistance – 10 ATM, the material from which the case is made and the serial number.
We look through the dial through flat sapphire glass, covered on the inside with an anti-reflective layer.
This is the first gradient watch that I have had the opportunity to see live. By using the gradient technique, the color of the dial changes from very dark navy blue to ultramarine.
The same applies to the rotating ring, thanks to which the obtained effect is nicer to perceive the whole. The minute scale on the rotating ring took the form of recesses filled with BGW-9 luminous mass. The polished steel indices on the dial took the form of circles and were filled with the same luminescent mass. The exception to the shapes of all indices is the one at 12 o’clock, which took the form of two rectangles with slightly rounded corners.
Below this index there is a applied Balticus inscription, and below the index axis – Gray Seal. At 4 o’clock there is a date stamp with a frame. Pencil type hands were polished like indices and covered with the same luminous mass.
The finish of the dial and its elements is at a high level.
The Miyota 9015 is responsible for the work of the watch, which is often compared with the Eta 2824-2, due to the frequency of operation, amounting to 28,800 / h. At the same time, it is a thinner movement, and its power reserve is 42h (ETA in the basic version – 38h). I will not elaborate on the movement, because it is a popular design, the descriptions of which can be found on the Internet. The work of the movement is quite accurate, and the deviation in the reviewed unit is +3 seconds a day, which is an excellent result.
The movement with the logged rotor can be observed through a transparent caseback.
Strap and bracelet
The set includes a strap and a milanese bracelet. The strap is black with a perforated surface on the outside. It is made entirely of genuine leather. The width at the lugs is 22 mm and narrows to 19 mm at the clasp. The butterfly clasp is of very good quality, it is also signed with the manufacturer’s name. A pleasant surprise is the use of a system of so-called fast spring bars. This dramatically shortens the time to replace the strap on the bracelet.
A milanese bracelet changes the nature of the watch radically. It gives it a more sporty look, which is why it will be a perfect solution for the summer. The links and the clasp are fully polished. The thickness of the bracelet made a positive impression on me. The bracelet can be adjusted by unclipping the pin located inside the links. I must admit that I was expecting screws here, although with a simple device we can handle the adjustment easy. The clasp has micro-adjustment in the form of three holes. The adjustment range is approx. 1 cm. The bracelet is very comfortable to wear and will please all those who prefer this type of watch attachment.
New Seal seems to be a worthy successor to his older brother. The quality of used materials, elements and precision of gait are the greatest advantages of Gray Seal. The gradient dial is still a rare solution, which is why the watch will be a unique element in the collection. The watch, thanks to the small thickness of the case, makes it possible to put it on a shirt. The Gray Seal is undoubtedly an interesting and quite universal proposition.