In antiquity, we spoke of the clash of the Titans, these gigantic creatures having preceded the gods of Olympus. Today, we will be talking about the shock of titanium, an alloy as robust as it is light adopted by the Awake and Baltic brands. Both are French, young, dynamic, but cultivate different territories: avant-garde and ecology for one; sporty temperament and vintage inspiration for the other. Thus, Lilian Thibault weaves a link with space and NASA through his new Awake Mission to Earth, while Étienne Malec explores the depths of the ocean with his Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium. If these two timepieces have in common the material in which they are cut, they are distinguished by features that attract attention and by their price under 1,000 euros. A price making titanium accessible.
Awake Mission to Earth watch. Titanium case. Diameter 40mm. Modified Miyota 9015 automatic movement. Sapphire crystal with NFC ID Glass technology. Water resistant to 100 meters. Biopoly® strap. 990 € in pre-order. © DR
Beyond its watchmaking creations, the eco-responsible house Awake is now known for achieving great media success. We remember in particular his watch made entirely from recycled fishing nets that Emmanuel Macron wore on his wrist during the G7 organized in August 2019. Copies were also given to members of the G7 who participated in the debates on the climate. . This time, the brand associates its name with a real planetary institution, nothing less than NASA. Lilian Thibault refers to her piece called Mission to Earth as a “bridge between watchmaking tradition and cutting-edge innovation that underlines the evolution of the brand around new materials and new technologies, always at the service of raising awareness through its pioneering approach. “. In terms of materials, Awake has opted for 70% recycled titanium to minimize the environmental impact of manufacturing the case. If the design approved by NASA remains faithful to the general style of Awake, notwithstanding an addition of aesthetic modernity, a number of advances are there, both practical and loaded with symbols.
In this photo, we can see the links between the Awake Mission to Earth watch and the conquest of space: dial, flange, timer, oscillating weight, bracelet. © DR
There is even talk of a world first with the use of the blockchain directly inside the watch (and not via a card or an external accessory as we have seen previously). An NFC tag integrated into the sapphire crystal overhanging the dial gives this innovative technology an unprecedented dimension in the world of watchmaking in terms of experiences and services. Explanations from Lilian Thibault: “By bringing their smartphone closer to their watch, each owner accesses exclusive content broadcast by NASA thanks to the cameras on board the International Space Station ISS. For him, this is a unique experience aimed at recreating the sensory and emotional shock felt by the astronauts themselves. The other advantage of the blockchain lies in the traceability and the guarantee of authenticity of the watch. To further strengthen the bridge stretched between watchmaking and space, this Awake powered by an automatic movement multiplies the references: the dial recalls the cupola, the panoramic observation window of the ISS; the timer corresponds to the traces left by the robots on the ground of the planets explored; the red aluminum flange repeats the countdown preceding each rocket take-off; the oscillating weight displays the message Dare Mighty Things which was encoded on Perseverance’s parachute, the rover having landed on Mars. Finally, the white padded strap is inspired by the suits worn by astronauts during their outings in the interstellar void. A very special space watch, so…
Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium watch. Titanium case. Diameter 41mm. Weight 55 grams. Miyota 9039 automatic movement. Power reserve 42 hours. Unidirectional rotating brushed ceramic bezel. Blue or black dial. Anti-reflective double-domed sapphire crystal. Water resistant to 300 meters. Blue or black rubber Tropic strap with titanium buckle. © Vincent Lions
Without making waves, the Baltic house, born of Étienne Malec’s passion for the vintage style discovered thanks to his father’s watch collection, traces its wake. After an inaugural 3-hand automatic model with a look as retro as it is refined, followed by a chronograph inspired by the 1940s, we then saw the appearance of a diver typical of the 1950s. This laid the first stone of a series of Aquascaphe versions which, after steel and bronze, is now enriched with a titanium version. “Solid, light, corrosion-resistant, titanium seemed obvious to us when designing the case of this new diver dedicated to adventure,” says the brand. It is true that with a water resistance of 300 meters, it is no longer a question of simple aquatic strolls, but of real deep-water dives.
The Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium watch is offered in a first series of 300 numbered copies each of the two colors (blue or black). €852. © DR
On the materials side, we note the presence of a unidirectional rotating bezel in scratch-proof ceramic, responsible, according to the designers, for giving the watch a unique character. Its 120 notches offer the possibility of selecting with the greatest precision the desired duration of the immersion time. In keeping with the sobriety of the Baltic style, the readability of the dial is guaranteed. It can be chosen in “glossy” blue or grainy black, with Super-LumiNova coated hands and indexes already seen on the Aquascaphe Dual-Crown. The absence of a date window further enhances the clarity of the indications. Straight to the point! The same quest for rigor, simplicity and efficiency with a Japanese automatic movement signed Miyota with a 42-hour power reserve. As for the Tropic rubber strap, it definitively anchors this titanium piece, modern in its choice of material, in the world of diving classics.