If you paid close attention to your IG feed during Windup Watch Fair NYC, you might have caught a glimpse or two of prototype versions of some very cool watches by Vero, one of the few brands producing cases and more, in-house, in the US. Well, it’s time to finally unveil them - Introducing our second collaboration with Vero, a duo of 38mm titanium field watches, the Century Series “Peak” and “Granite” Limited Editions.
Following up last year’s mid-century inspired Vero 36 Auto LE, we wanted to do something more casual, sporty and outdoors focused. Starting with Vero’s Century series, their own follow up to the original “36” models, which featured more adventurous palettes, automatic movements and a new 40mm case, we started with the simple concept of doing a pair of watches, one light and the other dark. We wanted to stick to the general field-vibe Vero had already created with the dial, but take a different approach to palettes, and utilize their unique three-ring design to add some functionality.
This is where the original Peak and Granite idea started as two designs emerged, one with a light, airy feel, the other with a dark, rustic demeanor. Both featured an altered middle ring, that through dashes has become a useable minute/second index. The Peak has a white dial and was meant to be bright, cool, and a touch dressy. This one spoke to those original gentleman’s sports watches that achieved greatness in a time before modern materials. The Granite, in contrast, features a dark gray dial, and is earthy and rugged. This model was inspired by military watches, camo, hiking, dirt, mud, etc.
With these concepts as a starting point, we started talking with the Vero team about what we could do with the cases, which is when things started to get really exciting. First, we tried to decide between their 36 or 40mm cases. Then, they said something to the effect of “what about 38mm?” To which we probably replied “can we do that?” And they likely said “yeah, we’ve already developed it, with 20mm lugs, and 100m water resistance.” To which, we definitely said “perfect.”
Now that we had the size nailed down, we got into materials, and quickly moved to titanium. Lightweight, tough as nails, it seemed like the ideal material to craft a couple of field watches out of. Since they were already on the smaller side, by making them Ti, grade 5 by the way, they can easily be worn all day, whether in the office, at the beach, in the woods or wherever life takes you. Heck, you’ll forget you even have one on. We also thought it was an extra cool feature for an American-made case, which are few and far between. Then we opted for flat sapphires with AR coating. The idea here was to shave off a bit of height and really focus on legibility.
When it came to finishing, the wizards at Vero knocked it out of the park in terms of skill and innovation. For the Peak, in sticking with the concept of a more refined aesthetic, the mid-case is brushed while the bezel is mirror polished, all by hand. The result isn’t the typical drab-gray you might expect from Ti, rather it’s bright like steel. For the Granite - well, they did something completely and utterly different.
First, they sandblast the case to an even, matte finish. Then they clean the cases before putting them into a chemical solution that rapidly oxidizes the metal. Once the process is complete the result is unlike any finishing you’ve ever seen before. It’s dark and earthy, a gray brown with a distinct warmth to it that looks more like stone than metal. The process brings a golden tone out of the Ti, which is particularly noticeable in areas like the chapter ring and case back. Visually, it’s stunning, perfectly working with the dial palette of the Granite. Conceptually, it works too, speaking to the “parkerization” process that was used on the military field watches that inspired this design.
And with that, the Peak and Granite came to life. Peak is a refined take on an adventure watch, inspired by elevation and achievement. The dial is crisp white with dark blue numerals and heat-blued Alpha hands that come to a remarkably thin point. The minute/second index is a slightly lighter blue, adding a touch of contrast and texture. We’ve paired the Peak with our American-made Model 2 Premium strap in Horween Stone leather. Handsome and classic, the Peak works as well with a blazer as jeans.
Granite is then a rugged spin on a military/hiking tool watch, inspired by the warm earth tones it’s designed to be used in. The dial is muted gray with white numerals and ochre accents on the text and minute/second track. The hands are Vero’s simple, sporty variety in polished black-oxide steel that feature lume fill. Building off of the Granite’s unique materiality, we’ve matched it with a Model 2 Premium strap in Horween Peanut Suede. The Granite is masculine and outdoorsy, best paired with hard wearing materials and dark tones.
Both the Peak and the Granite are powered by Sellita SW200 automatic movements, which have been regulated in-house by Vero in six positions to +/-5 seconds a day, and both are limited to 30 pieces, serialized on their casebacks. Considering the movements, materials, exclusivity, Oregon-based manufacturing, finishing, and assembly, the price tag of $1,120 is a great value as well.
We’re extremely proud of this new collaboration made with Vero. With their experimental-attitude towards watchmaking and manufacturing versatility thanks to owning and running their own machines, Vero has continued to impress us with their abilities. They are exactly what is needed in American horology - not a brand that follows in the footsteps of tradition, but defines their own path.
The Vero for Windup Watch Shop Century Series Peak and Granite Limited Editions are available to order now, shipping beginning December 18th - click here