Today, we’re thrilled to unveil our newest collaboration watch, the Vero x Worn & Wound 36 Automatic LE. This is a very exciting addition to our catalog of collaborative editions as it’s the first with an American-made case, dial and hands. The LE is available now for pre-order, shipping end of October, details below.
When the right opportunity arises, inspiration comes naturally. That’s how this most recent collaboration went. Several months ago, when we visited Vero Watches workshop in Portland, Oregon they showed us a work in progress, a new case that, while simple in appearance, suggested a very cool direction for the young brand, as they were manufacturing that case in-house. That watch is now the 36, a retro-inspired sport watch with a manual-wound movement, 100m of water resistance and a fun, casual style.
With few brands manufacturing components in the US, seeing that Vero was making something small and versatile was really exciting and inspiring. So, we started talking about creating a collaboration around that model, and things picked up fast. The small size immediately suggested sticking with something vintage, so we looked at midcentury watches that we loved, put our twist on the aesthetic to keep it unique and then turned the conversation over to Chris and Danny at Vero to see if it could get made.
Working with a small team that has full control over their dial and case production is a remarkable experience. The approach wasn’t “well we need to order this by this date or that by that date to get it done,” it was “yeah, we can make this part this way, and try that for that part, and maybe do this, which we’ve never done before, but want to try.” Needless to say, there was mutual excitement, which we think made the end-product all the more fantastic.
For the Vero x Worn & Wound 36 Automatic LE we started with their 100m, 36 x 42mm case, which has been adapted to use a Sellita SW 200, increasing the thickness slightly to 11mm. Featuring a hand-brushed finished, drilled lugs, piston crown (that maintains water resistance open and closed), box sapphire crystal and a display case back, it’s a simple and elegant design that has been exceptionally executed.
The case-back features a text-rich concentric design with a unique display crystal. Sporting a midcentury-inspired pattern, Vero x W&W branding and each watch’s individual number (X of 33), the sapphire display window has been UV-laser etched, creating a razor-sharp graphic. This is a process that Vero has worked very carefully on with a local vendor, figuring out how to best execute a detailed etching while maintaining the sapphire’s integrity. The end result is gorgeous.
For the dial, things went an entirely new direction. As said before, some of our favorite watches are from the 50’s and 60’s, when “midcentury modern” design was, by definition, at its peak. Not just watch design, but also furniture, product, graphic, architectural, automotive, etc. There was a certain mix of inventiveness and experimentation with a genuine sense of style that has been envied ever since. Think the molded plywood of the Eames, the flowing forms Saarinen, the playful colors of Nelson - not to forget the iconic watches of Max Bill and Gerald Genta. It was an era that produced a seemingly endless supply of timeless designs and defined design thereafter.
The Vero x Worn & Wound 36 Automatic LE dial consists of two layers, a bright brushed steel outer ring, and a raised inner, matte black disk. On the outer ring is a printed index in black with numerals at 3, 6 and 9, and lines with small triangles at their outer points. At 12 is an applied marker with a faceted, tapering shape and hand-brushed finishing. This is the first applied marker Vero has made, and they did so perfectly.
The raised center disk is painted with a ceramic paint that is baked on, giving it an exceptionally matte finish. On this surface are a minute/seconds index and cross-hair in a pale yellow, giving just the subtlest hint of warmth to the dial. The Vero logo is printed just below 60 and is the only text/branding on the dial. The index features numerals at intervals of 5 with small lines in between. For hands, we went with polished dauphine style for the hour and minute, complete with that little bend in the center giving them a faceted look. The seconds is a polished stick with a wider counter-weight. The hands are also made in Portland.
The elements combine to make a dial that is a classic everyday design with a formal leaning, yet the 100m WR case allows for more versatile use, like the gentleman’s sports watches that inspired the design. The play in brushed and polished steel, matte ceramic and multiple layers creates a dynamic terrain that changes depending on the lighting situation of the room. The typeface chosen has a clear midcentury feel but doesn’t lose any legibility for style, making the watch also easy to read at a glance.
Inside of the Vero x Worn & Wound 36 Automatic LE is the Sellita SW 200 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 features in-house heat-blued screws. One detail worth noting is that there is no date on the LE, and the Sellita SW 200 is a date-free version as well, so there is no “phantom” crown position.
Of course, a watch isn’t complete without straps, so we naturally had to pair the LE with a couple of our American-made options. For a leather option, we went with the Stone Model 2 Premium. A relatively new colorway, the Stone features a medium gray nubuck leather from Horween over a black veg-tanned lining from Wickett & Craig. It’s finished with black edge-paint and light-gray thread. This complements the steel and black tones of the dial while maintaining the vintage feel of the design.
For warmer months and more casual situations, the LE is also accompanied by a Sage ADPT Strap. The only fully American-made nylon mil-strap, the ADPT Strap is a logical choice to go with the Portland-made Vero. The Sage color has a hint of green in the otherwise bright gray material, adding a nice contrasting tone to the mix. On the ADPT the LE takes on a surprisingly sportive attitude, making it a great watch for varying occasions.
We’re incredibly excited about the Vero x Worn & Wound 36 Automatic LE, as you can plainly tell. Vero did an incredible job on the execution of these pieces, from fit to finish, which is all the more impressive considering their age and that they did it all in the US.
The Vero x Worn & Wound 36 Automatic LE is available now for pre-order, shipping end of October, for $1,180 and is limited to 33 pieces. Each includes the watch, the two straps mentioned, a Vero watch tool as well as free international shipping. Click here to order one today.