What if I told you the most impressive new sport watch of 2019 (so far) didn’t come out of Switzerland, or Germany, or China - or any of the other expected locales for a watch? A watch that was fully CNC milled and hand-finished. A watch with ergonomic curves, and a svelte profile that aches to be worn while mountain biking tough terrain or surfing a huge wave. A watch with 200m of water resistance and a custom silicone strap that creates a perfect, seamless fit? Would you ask, so where is it from?
Introducing the Vero SW, available now.
The answer, if you haven’t guessed, is America. Portland, Oregon to be exact. The watch is the new SW (sports watch) by Vero, and it’s really impressive. If the teaser intro didn’t suggest as much already, it’s not just impressive for a watch from the US, it’s impressive for a small independent brand. Actually, it’s impressive for any sub $5,000 brand, as the design of this watch doesn’t play off of the traditional concepts that seem to limit most brands. This one is out of the box, so to speak, and all the better for it.
The concept for the SW is pretty straightforward at its heart. Brand owners Chris and Danny, a tri-athlete and surfer respectively, wanted to make a mechanical watch they didn’t have to take off when doing potentially hazardous-to-a-watch activities above and below water and was also acceptable and comfortable to wear as an everyday timepiece. After making their vintage-influenced 36mm models, which despite their understated appearances had 100m water resistance, they also wanted to make something contemporary. A watch that reflected the youthful and energetic approach the brand takes to design and engineering.
There are plenty of tough tool-watches out there with deep diving capabilities, but few concern themselves with ergonomics. In fact, many seem to shun the concept to increase stats. The SW takes the opposite approach. Featuring a 41 x 46 x 11.5mm (to the top of the domed sapphire) 200m case, the SW is a medium-sized watch with enough water resistance for any normal aquatic activities. It’s wide enough to allow for a big, bold dial, but relatively short lug-to-lug to prevent overhanging. But the dimensions only tell part of the story, as it’s the shape of the case that really matters.
From above, the SW has a sort-of barrel shape with short lugs that swoop in and a broad bezel that looks like it can take a smack. The crown is cleverly nestled in the side at three, as indicated by the smoothly machined bump in the bezel where it hides. It’s from the side, however, that the complexity of the design is revealed. Rather than a typical three-part case with a mid-case and case-back, the SW features just a bezel, and then a monoblock mid-case. Because of this, Vero was able to curve the case back and lugs in unison, creating a watch that perfectly hugs the wrist.
Additionally, the case sides aren’t straight up, rather they flair out while curving, creating an undercut of sorts. This prevents the watch from digging into the wrist when bending one’s hand and also helps remove unnecessary mass from the watch, further increasing comfort and wearability. The complexity of the design is aided by the quality of the machining and finishing. No surface on the SW is dull or flat, rather everything curves and flows, creating a dynamic, contemporary look.
Reinforcing to the ergonomic design, the strap included with the SW is a custom molded silicone rubber that integrates with the lugs of the SW, and continues the flow of the watch around the wrist. The strap adds a very sleek look to the overall design, while clearly also being a durable and resistant material conducive of sports. The strap is available in black or gray.
Of course, a case without a dial isn’t a watch, so for the SW Vero went with a bold design that speaks to aviation, field, and automotive concepts. Painted with a matte black ceramic paint that is actually baked on, the dial is deep and dark, allowing for the bright white indexes to almost float. The primary index consists of very large 3, 6, 9 and 12 numerals with smaller double-digit numerals in between. Around the hours is a complex closed index of lines and hash marks for the minutes, seconds and sub-seconds. For hands, Vero went with lumed roman swords for the hour and minutes, and a stick seconds in a contrast color.
Powering the Vero SW is the Sellita SW 200 automatic movement. This is a Swiss-made automatic with 38-hour power reserve, hacking seconds and a frequency of 28,800 bph. Each movement is regulated in-house in 6-positions to +/-5 sec/day and is true date-free, so no phantom crown position.
The Vero SW is available in two styles, SS and Black. The SS, for stainless steel, features mirror polishing on the top surfaces, creating a sort of Flight of the Navigator-esque display of curves, and brushed surfaces on the side. The SS model also features a neon orange seconds hand for pop. The black model is matte and DLC coated, created an all-around stealth appearance with increased scratch resistance. This model features a blue seconds hand for a subtler contrast.
The Vero SW is a feat of a watch, but more so when you consider that much of it is made in the US, with the bulk of the non-movements components being made in-house by Vero. The components made under their roof are the case, dial, rehaut, crown tube, crown, crown washer, and movement ring. The O-rings, sapphire (including the AR coating,) crystal gasket, and bezel screws are also made in the US by third-party suppliers. Lastly, the DLC coating is done in the US as well.
The Vero SW SS and Black are available now in the Windup Watch Shop for $1,650 and $1,720 respectively. As the American watch industry continues to grow, Vero is proving itself a true innovator and a brand to keep a close eye on. The SW is a bold step into new territory that not only sets the brand apart but also makes a statement that US watch design is coming into its own.