Founder Review: Vaer C3/C5 Design Navy

Founder Review: Vaer C3/C5 Design Navy
What would it look like if you combined a rugged USA assembled field watch, with a modern European design watch?

That was the question we asked in building the Vaer C5 Design Navy. First released back in 2019, the unique combination of minimalist Bauhaus inspired aesthetics and rugged outdoor features made it an immediate bestseller. Two years later it was joined by the smaller 36mm version, the C3 Design Navy, which was equally popular.
While the V1 version of the C3/C5 Design Navy proved a hit - we've never allowed short-term success to distract us from the goal of continuous long-term improvement. Whenever we've built a popular watch, the next question we've always asked ourselves is: how can we make this watch even better.
Today, we're excited to announce the long-awaited return of our bestselling C3/C5 Design Navy, as a V2 version, with major upgrades across the board... most importantly:
  1. Solar Power Movement
  2. Super Strong Lume (now as good as C5 Tactical)
  3. Improved Dial Design

Like many of our C-series models, the all-new Design Navy has been upgraded to full solar power and also received a major improvement in lume performance (with lume now on par with the C5 Tactical).

What are the C3/C5 Design Navy's Core Features?

Our lume and movement upgrades bolster the core feature set of the C3/C5 Design Navy, which includes a waterproof warranty, domed sapphire crystal, 2x quick-change straps, and full USA assembly.

The 6 Key Features of this Watch:

1) USA Assembly 🇺🇸
2) Waterproof Warranty 🐟
3) Sapphire Crystal 💎
4) Solar Movement ☀️
5) Screwdown Crown 🔒
6) Two Quick-Change Straps 2️⃣

We're very proud of this unique and compelling feature set, and we think it's one of the most distinctive field watch options on the market today. Are their more affordable field watch options out there? Sure. Do they match up with a Vaer model on all these core value features? Definitely not.

As the largest independent assembler of watches in the USA, we're proud to be pushing the boundaries of what's possible in terms of both price and function. Not only is the Design Navy one of the only sub-$300 USA watches on the market today, it's also one of the only options that's also solar powered.

What's the difference between the C3 and C5 versions? 

The short answer is: sizing. The C5 is our original 40mm case size, which we view as the happy medium in the world of men's wristwatches. The original Rolex Submariner was 40mm diameter, 20mm lugs, which is the same proportion as the S5/C5/A5, and our opinion the most "classic" size for most men's wrists.

The C3 is our smaller sizing, with a 36mm case diameter (though maintaining the 20mm lug-width). This is the best option for those with smaller wrists (less than 7 inches), or those that prefer a more low-profile vintage look.

On the Design Navy, the difference between the two sizes in minimal. With the most significant difference being larger lume areas on the C5 hour and minute hands, and a more prominent crown.

Why did we remake this watch?

Since it was first released, the C3/C5 Design Navy has been a standout in the Vaer lineup, delivering a modern and colorful design aesthetic, while still delivering best-in-class outdoor specs. Despite the success of the V1 version, we've always had an ethos of constant improvement here at Vaer.

Since Day 1, we've committed to a decades-long product lifecycle for our watches. While traditional quartz models can last decades with proper care, the inconvenience of battery changes every few years often leaves them unused, especially for folks who live in remote off-grid regions. Solar solves this problem - by delivering a watch just as refined and rugged as ever, with the added bonus of never needing to replace the power-source.

Are solar watches well-suited for the outdoors?

A solar watch is an outdoorsman's best-friend. Imagine being out in the wild, far from civilization – no power outlets, no batteries, just you and nature. This is where the true value of solar watches shines. Their ability to charge from the sun, coupled with their perpetual power reserve, ensures reliable timekeeping no matter where you are.

Moreover, when it comes to Vaer’s lineup - the appeal of solar-powered watches for remote travel is further improved by our guaranteed waterproof warranty and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. These features make them resilient companions in diverse environments, from remote mountain peaks, deep forest hideaways, and vast ocean-depths.

What if I’m in a location without sunlight?

One of the most remarkable features of solar watches is their ability to charge under virtually any light conditions. While direct sunlight is the most efficient source of energy, our solar watches are designed to draw power from more than just the sun's rays. These watches can also harness ambient light - be it from the faint glow of dawn, the diffuse light on a cloudy day, or even the twilight of dusk.

Indoor lights are equally effective. Whether you're working under the bright lights of an office or enjoying a cozy evening with a table lamp on, your solar watch is quietly and constantly replenishing its energy. Remarkably, the solar cells can even utilize the glow of a candle to recharge. This charging versatility ensures that even if you're unable to access direct sunlight for extended periods, your solar watch will continue ticking accurately, keeping you on time, every time. This is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of solar-powered timepieces, making them an ideal choice for both urban settings and remote off-grid environments.

Why should I buy this watch?

Do you already have several black-dial military inspired field watches in your collection? Are you looking for something a bit more modern and unique? If that's the case, then Vaer C3/C5 Design Navy might be the perfect watch for your collection.

It's dark navy dial matches with pretty much everything, and it looks great with nearly every strap in the Vaer lineup. Also, as it's available in both 36mm and 40mm sizing, it's easy to find the perfect watch for your wrist.

Ready to shop? You can purchase your own C5 Design Navy by clicking here

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