Our 20 Favorite Vaer Watch Reviews - 2021 Edition
While quite new, our Dive Watches have generated more top reviews than any other style.
By Reagan Cook and Ryan Torres
May 4th, 2021
Four and half years into our business, one of the single strongest reflections of our success has been the growing collection of our customer reviews.
Last week we surpassed 2,000 five-star reviews and we wanted to celebrate this achievement by thanking everyone that took the time to not only write a review, but to write detailed analysis both positive and critical that have helped communicate the true quality of a Vaer watch.
As an extra-special thank you to the best of the best, we also wanted to provide $100 in Vaer store credit to the 20 customers whose reviews, we believe, have been the most insightful, helpful, and compelling in communicating the values of our product and brand.
The overall quality of our customer reviews are truly outstanding (and lengthy!) - and it was really tough to pick only 20, but we think the following collection provides a great diversity of opinions and has also proven consistently helpful as seen from upvotes by other potential customers.
Moving forward, as of May 2021, we will be giving back $100 in store credit to our 4 favorite reviews every month, which will be highlighted in the last email of the month.
Our 20 Most Helpful Customer Reviews (of the first 2,400)
Note: Reviews are not ranked in any order.
Review: 1) My First Field Watch by Minjeong in South Korea
First of all, I really like the design of it. Face is simple and cool. Even more then this, I would say its best part is a back case. When I saw the picture above, I actually worried that what if there aren't Dokdo and Ulleung Island. However, after I receive this watch, I found out they're very clearly marked, and I'm happy and content with it. Not only the design, this watch is very monumental to me. As you can see, I'm South Korean who live in the land where my ancestors and other many foreign soldiers protected by their blood, sweat. So, I thought I have to remember them and it would be great if I can do that by wearing this watch everyday. Lastly, thank you for Vaer that they made this great watch and I won't forget their sacrifices and live my life to full. Thanks.
Why we chose it: One of our goals in creating the C3 Korean Field Watch was to serve as a reminder to the service and sacrifice of the soldiers and civilians involved in the Korean War. It's incredibly powerful to hear from customers who have made such a strong personal connection to the design, and we're very grateful for Minjeong for sharing his personal experience.
"Following the initial support of family and friends in late 2016, our strategy as a self-funded online business followed a pretty simple approach: deliver truly exceptional product value and convert each customer into a long-term advocate for the brand."
- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder
Our 2,400 total reviews have come from over 24 countries around the world. With Korea, the UK and Canada being the top countries outside the United States.
2) Time to Write This... by Eric in Colorado
I don't write many reviews; probably less than 10 in my whole life. I'm like Ron Swanson, where my recommendation is a personal guarantee of my experience. I've had the C5 field black quartz watch for maybe two years now before the site was updated and they had automatic watches. During this time small independent businesses need the respect and reviews they deserve, whether good or bad.
I live in Colorado and see myself as a somewhat active person. I'm outside regularly for fun with lots of hobbies and I hit the gym roughly 4 days a week. I'm the beginning I was cycling this watch with about two others. I wore the nato strap mostly and shuffled in the leather strap for going out. I did this for a while and really enjoyed this watch with the leather strap specifically and got many compliments. Aside from others I enjoyed this watch myself significantly. Then when the silicon straps came out a little bit ago the game was changed. Silicon straps are much more comfortable on the wrist for everyday wear to the majority of people. Plus their straps have many "latching holes" which offer more adjustability even furthering specific comfort.
What about the durability of the watch? Day in and day out its been strapped on my wrist. I boat with this watch. I hang out in rivers with this watch. Used it in a chemical lab daily as I'm a chemist. I've gotten rained on, snowed on, been in blistering heat, fully submerged this watch, been rammed by some testy goats I was trying to help, and sported it out on the town for some inebriated shenanigans where who knows what happened to it happened. As soon as the silicon band came out this watch became my only watch. I literally have only worn a dress watch three other times since having it. I try and keep my possessions in as good a shape as possible so that helps, but I could probably sell this watch to someone as if I've only had it for a month. I'm OCD and every once an a while sync my watch with an atomic clock and it holds very well. There's no need to worry about the accuracy.
With all of this said of course I've only had the watch for about two years, and I only have sample size of one watch, but my watch has performed above my expectations enduring, at times, some strenuous conditions. Early on I even had some questions about the single pass leather strap and the owner responded promptly and was as helpful as you could hope. Other people's watches mileage might differ but hopefully I can come back here in another 5 years and write an even better review. If you're on the verge of pulling the trigger on this watch just do it. I was you two years ago and I pity you for not having it for as long as I have.
Why we chose it: Eric's review is one of our older ones, but it still stands out as one of our all-time favorites. It's not only incredibly long, it's a masterclass in narrative storytelling. We're pretty sure that this review has been read by hundreds of thousands of people, and we're more than happy to share some credit with a long-time supporter.
3) Rock Solid Time by Phil in Oregon
If you read anything about mechanical watch movements and accuracy, your eyes will pop when you see these results. I decided to keep a log every month and see if this movement was doing its job. It is exceeding all expectations. The watch is so balanced that you don't even know you are wearing it. Thank you Vaer!
• Jan 2021: +21 seconds in 31 days, +0.6774 seconds/day. Worn every day and watch sits with crown up at night.
• Dec 2020: +21 seconds in 31 days, +0.6774 seconds/day. Worn every day and watch sits with crown up at night. Wow!
• Nov 2020: +14 seconds in 30 days, +0.4667 seconds/day. Worn every day and watch sits with crown up at night. Wow!
• Oct 2020: +19 seconds in 31 days, +0.6129 seconds/day. Worn every day and watch sits with crown up at night. Wow!
• Sep 2020: +27 seconds in 31 days, +0.871 seconds/day. Watch sits with crown up at night. Wow!
• Aug 2020: +34 seconds in 31 days, +1.0968 seconds/day. Watch sits crown up at night.
• Jul 2020: -24 seconds in 31 days. -.7742 seconds/day! I believe the watch is calibrated to sit overnight on its edge, crown side up. Wow!!! • Jun 2020: +61 seconds in 31 days. 1.9677 seconds/day. ß significant improvement. Not sure why.
• May 2020: +118 seconds in 31 days. 3.8065 seconds/day.
• Apr 2020: +130 seconds in 31 days 4.19 seconds/day.
Why we chose it: Phil's review is truly one of a kind - not only helpful to other customers, but incredibly helpful to us and our team of technicians. The commitment, patience and attention to detail are all incredible, and while we definitely don't expect the average customer to track their movement performance, if you do choose to keep a log, it's something that we'd love to see in future reviews!
While we don't guarantee it, many Vaer reviewers have tracked their watches above Chronometer Grade timekeeping accuracy.
4) A Historically Queued Up Class Act by Michael in California
Before writing this review on your watch, which I adore, I knew there was some Omega in the DNA. Ok, a lot. But I had no idea how grounded it was in the 60s Omega 300 Seamasters.
You all should be mighty proud of yourselves with this incredible nod to those pieces, though most will not know why your Vaer diver is so 60s sweet.
A slightly different coin edge bezel than the originals, and a non-recessed crown that is more reminiscent of a pilot's crown (both didn't/don't have crown guards, though the 60s is a bit recessed), and the lovely lightly domed sapphire crystal...all makes this not a copy. But certainly a loving and well done look to the past. Will not use the word 'homage' as an homage is more replica-ish, and this strikes out on its own territory; and homages usually don't pick a sophisticated not highly known model from 55 years hence.
I would say this is just a super affectionate slice of a style and moment in dive watch history that thankfully SOMEone decided to do. And do it beautifully constructed and reverence, you guys did. The bright lume, not just on the dial but ceramic bezel, are some nods to what vintage lovers want, nevertheless, in our new timepieces.
What almost shocks me is how flat this piece looks on the wrist, while somehow being a very vintage 39mm. Everything is done superbly, delightfully the sword hands and arrow seconds as well. If you can go for the Swiss version as I did, do so. A watch this fine deserves to say Swiss on the dial. But with other engines too, it will be a real deal as well, as was the outrageously cost-conscious Swiss version on my wrist.
I went for the tropic diver, to go back to the 60s as best I could, and I feel like it's 1966 all over again. Truly appreciate what you guys did. It was worth waiting for despite the covid-delays. Lastly, the design and production quality not only exceeds almost all microbrands I've ever purchased, but the same for major Swiss-made brands as well.
Why we chose it: Whether it's Facebook and IG comments, or direct emails we definitely see our fair share of feedback on things we "got wrong" about our Dive watch design. So it's always encouraging to read reviews from an owner that truly connects with the design vision and shares our enthusiasm for the features that set our D7 model apart from the crowd.
5) C3 Tradition 36mm by Anonymous in Michigan
It is absolutely as advertised. I usually wear either a Seiko Sarb035 or 017 (both great watches) but wanted a rugged, grab and go, field watch-and this little Vaer is exactly what I was looking for. The lume is honestly on par with the Seikos that I wear (not Seiko diver good, but as good as any proportioned Seiko). So if you're a lume nerd, you'll be happy. AR coating is great. Legibility is great. I love the size! At 36mm and quite thin, this thing wears very comfortable. I have a Seiko SKX007 and don't wear it much because I just find it too tall and too heavy. The black rubber strap is better then I expected. Fit and finish is good. The quartz movement seems to be very accurate thus far. I really like the 3-6-9 dial, but it's not just another Explorer knock-off. Honestly, I don't know what else to say. If you're looking for a durable, classic-sized field watch that punches way above it's price tag-this is it.
Why we chose it: Customers very rarely include photos with their review (though we get lots of great IG tags), so when they ARE included, it really helps give some perspective on their ownership experience. We also always love to hear honest feedback on how Vaer models stack up against top-tier competition.
"In addition to public reviews, we always appreciate when customers share personal stories and experiences about their ownership experience. Reading about how our watch designs are being used in everyday life is one the best parts of running the business. "
- Ryan Torres, Vaer Co-Founder
6) Watch Number 002/100 by Dennis in California
I LOVE this watch. I chose the D5 Pacific White version for a few different reasons. First of all, I like the longer minute markers and the absence of the date window makes the dial more symmetrical and visually stunning. I’m not a huge fan of the fauxtina and the high contrast between the pure white indices and the black dial makes the watch very easy to read in different lighting conditions. I’m also a local to the area in Southern California where VAER is located and I was very interested in the American Assembly aspect of D5.
THE CASE is 100% beautifully brush-finished, with the only high polish being on the underside of the bezel, which produces an interesting reflection where the bracelet mates to the case. On most watches, the underside of the bezel wouldn’t show at all but on the D5 the bezel overhangs the case by about a millimeter, making its coin-edge easy to grab and turn. The 120-click unidirectional bezel has a smooth, but solid action and almost zero back-play. The Arabics and indices on the black high-gloss ceramic bezel insert is also fully-lumed and the indices line up perfectly with the dial. Kudos for that! The bezel is also angled to seamlessly match the angle of the domed sapphire glass helping the watch to easily slide under your sleeve. The unguarded 7mm diameter screw-down crown is located at 3 O’clock, and signed with the VAE logo. It’s large enough to easily grab and manipulate, but not too big as to detract from the sleek vintage profile of the watch. In my opinion, the crown is the perfect size for this case. The sapphire-windowed exhibition display case back is ******* on and engraved with Designed in Los Angeles, American Assembly, 20ATM water resistant, sapphire glass, and the serial number, 02/100.
THE CRYSTAL is a surprisingly tall double-domed sapphire which seamlessly mates with the bezel. Being a double dome it has very little distortion and the watch is easily readable from any angle, at least above water. (Note: I have not had it in the water yet). There is also a generous coating of anti-reflective coating on the inside of the crystal. Without a doubt this glass is one of the most attractive pieces I’ve seen in this price range. Kudos again.
THE MOVEMENT is the 24-jeweled Miyota 9039 dateless version of the 9015. It’s a relatively newer movement and is thinner than the Seiko NH35A with a shorter hand stack, suitable for dials without very tall applied indices. The unidirectional rotor has a very heavy feel when you spin it. The rotor is moderately decorated with some glitter near the edge and signed with the VAER logo. The movement operates at 4 hertz, 28,800 beats per hour or 8 beats per second, giving the second hand a smooth sweep. It has a health 40 hour power reserve and mine is operating at about -4 seconds/day average on my wrist and in the winder.
THE STRAP is a basic rubber tropic with a signed VAER buckle. It’s quite supple and comfortable. I ordered mine with the bracelet.
THE BRACELET is 316L stainless steel oyster. The finish is brushed throughout and the links are solid, including the end links. The bracelet has quick release levers at both ends of the pin which was very useful since I found the bracelet a bit difficult to install. The fit is very snug and there is no gap anywhere between the end links and the case. The clasp is a friction fit with security flap which is signed “VAER.” The clasp has a rather ordinary feel about it, not cheesy, but not the best either. It has four micro-adjustment positions so obtaining a perfect fit is easy. But this is one area they might consider improvement. A properly milled clasp with a diver extension would be well worth another $30.00 or $40.00 in my humble opinion. This is a nice watch and it deserves a nice bracelet. That said, the bracelet is still my choice for everyday wear.
THE LUME is adequate. The large indices and Arabics on the bezel glow like a torch initially, but they just don’t seem to last as long as some of my other divers. This is only a small ****** and I only mention it as possible room for improvement. The lume is still better than most, but it doesn’t glow like a Seiko. On the other hand, it isn’t misaligned like many Seikos either.
All in all, this is GREAT watch and I find myself reaching for it more often than my other divers. I think VAER’s first venture into the dive watch category has been a solid effort. I would definitely recommend the D5 Pacific. It punches way above its weight in the $500.00 range.
Why we chose it: As you can probably tell already, we have a lot of very long reviews! We always take this as a huge compliment, and we really appreciate customers that are willing to take the time to share in-depth feedback on the whole customer experience. This review, as well many others also made a fair request for us to invest in a more expensive/premium dive bracelet. While we think our first bracelet remains an excellent value for the price, we're taking the suggestion and are currently developing a higher-grade option.
7) A Job Well Done by Gil in Massachusetts
I have been collecting watches for 30 years now. Everything from my grandfathers 1953 Hamilton Windsor, my first watch , a US Time " Zorro" watch, many Rolex models over the years, 1 Patek and just about every brand in between. 89 watches in total. Yes, I do keep a running catalog. I find the VAER brand unique in that it is not depending on being an Homage timepiece ala Steinhart, etc. Your brand truly has its own identity. The case proportions & lyre lugs are just right and the "American Assembled" does have a nice touch even though the components are from Asia. The bracelet is well made for the price. Your main competition IMO is in the NTH, albeit priced a bit higher and again a bit of an homage ala Tudor & it Snowflake hands. Also MAEN which is a swiss assembled watch but the brand has had some production problems lately. Stay the course your on, try a chronograph as your next venture and I will end this review in saying that you have managed to produce the best automatic diver dollar to value ratio in the currently crowded field of Micro brands, HANDS DOWN! . Congrats on a job well done.
Why we chose it: Positive feedback from a collector with 89 different watches is definitely an achievement in our books; when that collection includes pieces from Rolex and Patek Philippe, it's something truly special. We love luxury watches, and while we don't have the resources to afford them, it's incredibly rewarding to hear from customers who do and still decided to add a Vaer watch into the mix.
One of the unique aspects of Vaer is that we offer a very wide range of designs relative to our size - we've enjoyed seeing the similarities and differences of each collection in our line-up.
8) Depth tested by BadKarma in Hawaii
Okay... I just received my D5 Tropic with two NATO khaki and one quick release lined Horween strap (s) , this week. From the get go ...it is a beautiful watch with a great railroad track border, beautiful sweeping seconds hand, awesome double domed sapphire crystal face and exhibition back displaying the Miyota 9015 automatic mechanism.. the alternating every fourth day “Red “date numeral is cool... to honor the “Assembled in the USA” moniker on the watch face , I would make the date alternating numbers red, white and blue (patriotic theme ) with the 4 being apropos for the Fourth of July (even more patriotic).
I am in the water a lot.. surfing, swimming , Free diving/spear fishing and SCUBA diving ... today I did a two tank dive with depths reached from 105 ft to 45ft... I wore this watch today and it was easy to read , use the smooth bezel to Mark my actual bottom time at depth ,and compare time hacks... it moved smoothly and performed as advertised ... beautiful , classic design with absolute functional beauty..looking forward to getting my D7 Arctic diver, S5 field quartz and A5 Heritage automatic soon... great job Vaer.. I hope your attention to detail and functional beauty will usher in the Vaer name as a classic, goto standard rivaling Hamilton, Omega, Rolex, Panerai Oris and other coveted watch brands , in the very near future...
Why we chose it: We love reading every customer review, but we especially love those that provide some insight into how our watches are being tested in the great outdoors. BadKarma is a long-time customer, and experienced waterman, who's left numerous compelling 5-star reviews over the years - we truly appreciate the continued support, the insightful suggestions, and the overall storytelling of the reviews.
9) A Week on the Wrist by John in Georgia
It’s been about a week since I received my C3, and I have worn it under multiple conditions.
Compared with watches in my collection of similar categories, each of which cost hundreds of dollars more, the C3 pretty much blows them away. Fit, finish, precision, waterproof capability, bands (I have the standard black silicon and also the Horween quick release leather strap), American assembly, and an understated yet powerful look all combine to make the C3, in my opinion, one of the best watches to hit the market in recent years. At its price point, the value proposition of this watch cannot be exaggerated.
I'll also add a few words about the size. I think tool watches have become ridiculously large over the last decade or so. That's not the case with the C3. It's perfect. At 36mm, the C3 in size more closely resembles watches we were issued in the military (Marines in my case) during the Vietnam era. It has a look and feel of a fine vintage watch without coming across like a copy of something else.
Keep making watches like this one and you cannot go wrong.
Why we chose it: While it's not the longest review, John's feedback is concise, well-written and impactful. We've both been wearing the C3 Tradition for over a year, and are pretty much in total agreement on the incredible appeal of the design. The fact that John's also a Vietnam-era Marine Corps veteran is just an added layer of legitimacy to the main points of his review.
10) This Watch is Amazing by Jonathan in Utah
The watch looked spectacular when I first took it out of the box! From the ceramic bezel to the beautiful dial encased in crystal clear sapphire glass. However My house recently burned down and when rummaging through my stuff I found it in a pile of ash. With a little bit of simple green and a soft rag it was good as new again! Absolutely amazing build quality.
Why we chose it: This review might be the most incredible of any of the 2,400 shared with us so far. In fact, when we first read it, we thought it might be some sort of joke. But we cross-referenced the story with Jonathan's mailing address, and his house actually did burn down!!! We hope this never happens to anyone, but we're truly thankful for sharing such a unique story with the community.
While we've received some awesome strap reviews, we wanted to focus this list exclusively on feedback for our watches.
11) C3 Korean Field Watch by Oscar in the United Kingdom
Firstly I'd like to thank Ryan and Reagan on their first-class customer service and commitment to their customers! They have created a brand that produces quality, robust and attractive timepieces at an affordable price. That was their vision from the start and they achieved it.
I was after a sturdy field watch and was initially looking at the Khaki Field 38mm but particularly wanted a Quartz movement for accuracy and more pick up and go. The Quartz Khaki had more of a sandblasted finish which I wasn't keen on. Add to that the long lug to lug I had to search elsewhere.
Thankfully I came across VAER, the C3 Korean Field immediately caught my eye and after waiting for a restock I managed to pick one up!
Only 4 days delivery to the UK and it comes very well presented. The silicone strap is great quality and perfect for the sea while the bracelet fits very well with the quick release bars. A simple, clear dial that harks back to the original Korean Field watches, with domed Sapphire crystal that has AR coating! Find that at this price point elsewhere! Initially I was concerned the case would be too thin at 8.5mm but the almost slab sides makes it feel thicker. It's super comfortable too and fits my 6.25 inch wrist perfectly. Brushing is superb and echoes exactly that on the bracelet so is seamless.
This is my first VAER but it certainly won't be my last!
Why we chose it: This is an all-around superb review, not only detailing a very relatable shopping experience, but also the on-wrist fit, and the shipping timeline. As a brand that has always faced challenges around shipping (especially international) it's very encouraging to hear from owners like Oscar when things go right.
12) Love This Watch by Jim in Illinois
I Started wearing this Feb 7 and wanted to give it a few months before I wrote a review. I have a Rolex Exp. II, a Rolex Air King, an Omega Speedmaster, and a Guiliano Mazzuoli Manometro ( I know, look it up). For everyday watches I have a Seiko SKX009. and a few Shinola watches in the 40mm. My wrist size is exactly a 6 3/4". I wanted to wait a few months before I wrote this so I can give an honest opinion on having this long term. I had a Panerai in 2005 and sold that. Had a Rolex Exp 2, and sold that. This is for sure going to stay in my small collection. Since there are way more positives than negatives. I will start with the negatives and these are negatives for me but as you will see don't affect the watch.
-Winding stem is a little rough when hand winding. But I have never had a watch with a Miyota movement so I am sure it is the movement.
-I am used to adjusting my own watch bands and have never had a stainless band with pins. I purchased a kit from amazon and was a was simple enough. I was worried about the pins coming out, but after wearing this for almost 3 mos, this is not an issue and has proven quite durable.
+LOVE the look of this. Fits me perfect, and the size is perfect. My seiko is too thick, my 42mm Explorer is a little big and heavy. This watch is super comfy for my wrist size and looks great. Not too big and not too small.
+Accurate. I have set my watch every week and it is exactly 5.3 secs fast a day. My Seiko is about 30 secs slow a day. The only watch more accurate is my Explorer and my G Shock. My Seiko was about 300 and I with the holiday discount I would put this watch in the same category. I also have banged this watch around. Went on a road trip to CO and UT and went hiking in the mountains and off roading and hiking in the desert. .Even banged it pretty hard on a fall sliding down the Flat Irons in Boulder. I brought this instead of my usual Rolex and this thing is still at 5 secs a day fast.
+The stainless is not scratching up too bad. My Rolex looks like **** from simple desk work. This stainless band in this is still looking new. The brushed surface is also really well done on the case and is one of the reasons I bought this.
+American Assembly. I specifically picked this as opposed to the Swiss movement because at least this is put together here. Why I own 3 Shinola's.
+Quality of dial and finishing. I have a loupe that allows me to inspect dials. Even my white Explorer has a speck of dust in it. The level of finishing on a watch at this price is pretty impressive. The lettering is perfect and the silver brushing around the hands and hour markers are exact. No sloppiness. All the hour markers line up and the bezel lines up at noon.
+The quick release straps. Never had these and I was worried about strength, this has proven to be just as strong as a normal spring bar. I'm a believer.
+ The ceramic bezel insert. I wasn't sure about the ceramic especially on a tool watch. But it is really nice on this watch, I think due to the size of it. Some of the bigger Rolex's look to "shiny" for me. This looks great and I get a lot of complements on it.
+ I like the name. I see a lot of micro brands, and while their watches may look good, I could not wear a watch that has a name with 2 words and 6 syllables. I know....dumb....but it what caught my attention (I have to mention Guiliano Mazzuoli Manometro is a PIA to say but it is a cool watch so I will have to give that a pass)
In conclusion, the Seiko has been stored away permanently, It is so slow and non hacking, and and and, it's gone. I love having a mechanical watch and can appreciate the fact that it is NOT quartz accurate, but the Seiko is more accurate as a sun dial. It will cost me half the price I paid for the watch to have it regulated.. My Air King is also about 7 secs. slow a day. Not bad but is a pain and is more of a watch I use when I wear a suit now. Is there anything I would change? A stainless band that is ******* together maybe, chapter ring? The dial is balanced well when you look straight on. But there is some visible stainless between the dial and the bezel. But that is more of a personal thing. Overall this watch looks great to me. The tan markers or "patina" look great to me. It is another reason I bought this specific model. The ultimate complement is from my wife. She puts up with my watch issues. I have one wrist, why so many watches she says. She looked at this and did not believe how much I paid for it. I had to show her the receipt. She thought i paid quite a bit for it. So after confirming the price, said wow, I really like that one, looks like you paid a ton for it. Sorry for the long winded thoughts and review, but for what these guys put out, and for what I think is a small price for a great timepiece, the least I could do was give a detailed review. Really happy with this one as I have worn the Exp II all but 3 times in the last 3 mos.
Why we chose it: There's really no higher praise we can receive than hearing that one of our watches has taken time on-wrist from a Rolex. This review is lengthy, well written, and incredibly detailed and we really appreciate owners like Jim, willing to share so much helpful information with other potential customers.
13) High quality at a Great Price by Adam in Oregon
I've been wearing my C5 | Field Black USA Quartz for about two weeks. It's exactly what I've wanted for some time. Aesthetically it's simple and useful but with a subtle polish that sets it apart from other "field" watches. The case looks and feels nice, and the domed crystal adds just a touch of luxurious vibe. You can barely see it when looking from the side, but instead you *feel* it when you look at the watch.
I was skeptical about the quick release bands but they actually feel solid. They hit the sweet spot with the release mechanism. It's easy enough to use while feeling secure. I love the silicone band for everyday wear and the nylon band is more breathable for outdoor adventures. Obviously a week is too short to speak to the long term durability, but it feels well constructed and I love having it on my wrist.
I did see a review that claimed it was no different than a Timex Expedition. That is not true. I had a Timex that I just donated to a thrift store. Aesthetics are subjective, so maybe someone would like the face/case on the Timex better. Personally I think this watch is objectively nicer to look at, but I can't argue with someone else's subjective opinion. What I can say for sure is that the ticking of the movement on the Timex is so loud that I couldn't stand having it in the house. It wasn't too terrible on the wrist, although in a quiet room you could definitely hear it. But if I set it on a hard surface (like a dresser) then I could hear it across the room. I found myself burying it in the couch cushions when I took it off to type. This watch is basically silent. I have to hold it right up to my ear to hear anything. I can go to sleep with it on my bedside table.
All in all it's exactly what I want from a watch. Clean, simple, durable, and at a price that won't make me feel terrible if something ever happens to it.
Why we chose it: Adam's review is an awesome template for sharing the key points in a powerful and memorable format. We honestly started laughing the first time we read the line about donating his Timex to a thrift store, and it still cracks us up. Additionally, the final point about not worrying about the watch if something happens is an under-appreciated feature of more affordable quartz watches. Losing a watch is a painful experience, but it's slightly less painful when that watch costs less than the average family car.
14) A Great Everyday Watch by Jeremy in Iowa
I've been in love with my D5 since I got it a few weeks ago and couldn't help pick up this C3 with their social media sale. I love the look of the white dial with light blue numerals. As with the other watches, there is nothing off about this watch, it is very solid and the straps are fantastic. Considering you get $40 worth of straps with this watch it is a huge bargain. Canvas and Silicon straps are class. I particularly appreciate the second keeper notch in the Silicon and its pre-bend (for my smaller wrist.)
I was planning to use this as my ****** watch, it will be replacing a Seiko 5 SNK805 for those duties. It's size is very familiar to my wrist and it is slim enough to not get caught on things. I cook a lot and the waterproof rating on this watch is a big plus for me. I get out biking on and off-road, of which I like having a watch as well...believe it or no, with mud and rain, that SNK805 is kind of junk for a field watch. Lastly, the 20mm lugs are great, most 36-37mm watches have an 18mm.
I'm beginning to get a feel for Vaer's design language with the rounded cases and silky finishes. They are just fantastic to hold in your hand.
For the watch freaks out there, yes it is quartz...but it is also quartz. Durable, accurate, and not something to worry about. Having a $500 field watch for me, is still something I would be careful with regardless if one doesn't need to, it would still be in the back of my mind. This watch is one to get just one with a busy and active live style and not worry about it.
Now, would l like this 36mm in an automatic...yeah probably.
Why we chose it: One of our favorite kinds of watch reviews are experienced collectors explaining the appeal of an affordable everyday quartz model. Jeremy writes like someone who really knows watches, and we think that adds a great deal of added credibility to his feedback on the incredible appeal of 36mm watches.
15) A great watch by Anonymous in California
There is something about my two VAER watches that makes them so agreeable to wear. The first VAER I got is an A5 Design Navy Automatic, which I got in April 2020. I wore my A5 day and night since the day I got it and only took it off when I switched straps. I got three quick release straps: one blue silicone, one blue nylon, and one nylon khaki.
When VAER announced the launch of their line of diver watches, I jumped at the opportunity and signed up to pre-order the D5 Arctic USA Diver.
I have been wearing my D5 since the day I got it and I absolutely love it. Fresh from the box the watch looks strikingly robust, elegant, and well-made. The double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating in the inside complements the beautiful black face, the markers, the hands, and the striking ceramic 120 uni-directional bezel. The 15 layer X1 Old Radium Super-LumiNova on the markers and hands, including the ceramic bezel, give the watch an updated and distinguished retro look. As all VAER watches, the D5 comes with a screw-down crown, a touch of quality rarely found in a watch at this price point.
Timewise, the watch keeps good time but needs to be reset every couple of weeks. It runs fast by about 5 seconds daily. My experience with my first VAER is that overtime timekeeping may improve.
I ordered an additional quick-release khaki silicone strap that for me is much more comfortable than the standard quick-release black Tropic strap the watch came with.
My only caveat is not with the watch but with the packaging. My first VAER came with a certificate of authenticity and other documentation in the internal package’s sleeves. My D5 came with nothing but a thick manual, which is a good touch, but the empty sleeves seemed like something was missing.
Why we chose it: Like a lot of the reviews on this list, this one does a really awesome job telling a story. The fact that it's written by a returning customer is an added bonus, and also someone has a relatively diverse taste in watches. While it might come as a surprise to some folks, the fact that this watch was running fast by 5 seconds/day is actually very good, as COSC chronometer grade is regulated to -4/+6 seconds/day. The points of feedback on the straps and documentation are well-taken and it's something we're actively working to improve.
16) 200 Watches in my Collection by Geoff in Connecticut
I rate this watch a 4.8 out of 5 (and that’s only because of the rubber strap). I’ve had Breitling, Rolex, Omega, Tag, Longines, Chopard, Cartier, Bucherer, Kobold, Seiko, Rado, Oris, Movado and others...this watch holds up to all of them. One of the most comfortable right out of the box, the SS bracelet was simple to size myself and looks wonderful. The Tropic rubber strap isn’t quite as comfortable as say a Breitling silicone, but it’s okay. I would have preferred the SS bracelet to be the standard delivered option and then have had a choice of one of the leather. Not having that choice, I’ll probably never try a leather...which look like they are quite high end. I have a 7” wrist and the 39 mm case looks and feels great. Nice weight- very tight (not fit, but manufacturing specs). I wanted to try the Miyota movement, but couldn’t in this model. Nonetheless, I’m very pleased with this timepiece and look forward to wearing it for years to come. A great addition to my collection, LOVE the fact that it is assembled in the USA! This watch wears much more expensive than it cost- definitely worth trying it out!
Why we chose it: Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but it's pretty hard to argue with someone like Geoff, who is a truly expert collector. Very few watch enthusiasts get the chance to own and experience offerings from so many different brands, but we're honored to receive such a positive endorsement - and we're eager to earn that perfect 5/5 eventually.
17) Superb! by Mark in Minnesota
When I received my D5 Atlantic I immediately changed out the strap for the bracelet. In doing so I looked the watch over carefully and in detail. The finishing is as good as watches for which I have paid several times as much. The registration of the bezel markings to the dial markings is perfect. The fit and finish are top notch.
The movement arrived very well regulated: it is at —1.5 seconds while being worn for 24 hours. I am, anxious to see how this holds up after 10 days, but in any case this is really far better than I would have expected. It is, so far, more accurate than two Seiko 6R15 watches, one Hamilton H30, and a handful of ETA based watches I own. I really didn't expect that, but I am pleasantly surprised.
And then there is the way it looks and wears. The simple design is just perfect. I was concerned that the dial markings of the Atlantic might seem busy: they don't. The visual elements are all just so well harmonized. It doesn't scream for attention but it is hard to not notice because of the understated attention to detail. The lugs and the way the chamfer of the case moves into the lugs, by the way, are something I find myself admiring every time I look at the watch. This one is going to spend a lot of time on my wrist!
Why we chose it: This is a concise and very well-framed review of our USA Assembled Dive Watch. The positive comparison to far more expensive watches is definitely great to hear, and the incredible accuracy is something we're quite proud of. The cherry on top is the nuanced review of the case design, which is certainly one of the best descriptions of the Diver that we've seen.
18) Rounding up to 5 stars, nearly perfect by Adam in California
First off, when I saw an IG ad for Vaer I thought they were just another Microbrand, and I usually ignore those. The design of the Tropic drew me in, and then hearing the founders be so transparent about the industry and what they're doing impressed me.
They don't hide their design influences, they wear them proudly. The seamaster cases, vintage seamaster and submariner cues are all right there. But these aren't gross replicas, make no mistake. One thing I do dislike, is that Vaer seemed to copy and paste the Rolex typeface for the depth rating and "automatic" printing. That's too much for me, I'd prefer the font they used on the Tropic or something that isn't a straight up copy. For me, the Tropic was much more unique even though I recently realized that that design is an homage to the JLC DeepSea. But I'm never going to buy one of those, they are fairly rare, and the other elements make the watch feel unique enough. So I went with the Tropic. No regrets.
To the founders: "American Assembly" is the reason why I ultimately bought your watch, and I wouldn't have otherwise. I hope you recognize that the best way to distinguish yourself from competitors and survive as a brand long-term will be to push further and further in that direction. Supporting American labor and craftsman is a big deal to a lot of us. Don't abandon that aspect of what you guys do. Maybe next up is Vaer decorated movements? Perhaps one day they'll even get American craftsman to finish/polish the cases. Maybe engraved casebacks as an option?
I'm not going to waste time talking about everything they did right. Vaer knocked out of the park but now they need to focus on refinement. There needs to be more attention paid attention to the finish of the hands, this is where you can see that the watch is affordable and the parts are from issue. The bezel alignment isn't perfect and the chapter ring alignment, well both, are close enough to my eye to not be complained about. You guys do a better job than Seiko, that's for sure. The movement also has a couple faint smudges on it here and there. These are MINOR things, but they should be addressed for you guys to reach that next level.
Next, the bracelet is the best I've seen for the price point. Better than strapcode bracelets. The thinness is perfect, now you guys need to focus on a more aggressive taper. Some people don't like taper, but you guys are making vintage-style watches so they really should taper. Just go all the way and copy the oyster bracelet: 20-16mm taper at the clasp, I think it is. The only other aspect that hints at lower quality is the endlink chamfering (I think it's called, the "cutouts" on top). When I compare it to a even a 20 year old Rolex sub, it is not as sharp. It looks more molded than actually laser etched or whatever they do. If you can address the taper and find a better manufacturer for the bracelets, you could easily double the price of the bracelet and I think they would be perfect. The other reason why you need to find a different manufacturer is that to my eye the bracelet doesn't quite match the fit and finish of the watch itself. It doesn't look like the same people made because assuredly they didn't. The other thing I don't love about the bracelet is how far out the end links protrude, they are just like the Speedmaster bracelets. I'm not a fan and it adds wingspan to the watch, but the watch being 39 already keep the profile down. Not a deal-breaker for me.
The Tropic strap succeeds in its suppleness, I do not like the rough/firm textured rubber straps because all that "texture" just becomes pressure points that imprint onto your wrist. I like a flat, smooth surface. You guys nailed the strap there, mostly, but the fit and finish is extremely poor. You can see where the rubber was glued together,and even the ends are cut cheaply and unevenly. Focus on finding a better one for the next version.
But make no mistake, for the price, these watches are excellent. I am comparing Vaer to 10k Rolexes. I am not being harsh, but actually encouraging the fellas at Vaer to take it to the next level because I see how close they've gotten. They've nailed the big stuff, now I think they just need to smooth out all the "rough edges" so to speak. Presently, you can get more for your money with a gray market Mido or Hamilton or something like that with their new movements. But once you factor in American assembly (and frankly the **** it is to have a business in CA) the price is absolutely worth it.
I love my Tropic and have no problem having it in a rotation of watches that cost 20x or more. Seeing the words "American Assembly" on a really cool watch with perfectly classic proportions makes me proud to own a Vaer!
PS: Can you consider offering the "Tradition Black" in 39 in an automatic please? That'll be my next Vaer!
Why we chose it: This is a very long review, but it reads like a great novel - offering a compelling intro, and lots interesting feedback to consider. As founders, we've taken the feedback to heart, and we really do appreciate when customers "tell us how they really feel" because it honestly helps us get better, and prioritize the features that we need to invest more time and energy in for updated versions.
19) Major Surprise by Anonymous in Indiana
I purchased the Classic and have had it for 4 days now. I am very excited about this purchase mainly because of the quality. I collect watches namely Patek Phillippe, Rolex, Omega, IWC, Tag, Tudor, & a few more. I’ve been collecting for over 20 years and this is only my second quartz. I am so amazed at the build quality and finishes that rival many of the much more expensive automatics. This watch hasn’t lost a second since I synced it. Changing of the bands is a huge bonus, can dress up or for daily wear. I haven’t taken this watch off since I received it, super comfortable and simple. I just ordered a Field Watch this morning based on the quality and craftsmanship of the Classic. Looking forward to the automatic release, I will definitely get one. It’s great that it’s assembled in the USA. All I can say is this is one great company and will definitely do more business with them in the future. Thanks guys for your attention to detail.”
Why we chose it: Selling watches to serious luxury timepiece enthusiasts who have invested tens of thousands in their collection is no small feat, especially when it's a $200 quartz. For the most part, they can afford any quartz they want, so the design, brand and overall value proposition has to be truly spot-on. We're honored that Vaer found it's way into this collection and we hope, there will be more quartz additions in the future.
20) My first Big Boy Watch by Jay in Washington
It's the first watch I've ever spent more than $100 on, and my first automatic. I just wanted something that would hopefully last more than a few years. I liked this one b/c it looked to be high quality for the money, versatile, and stylish yet classic so hopefully will age well.
My impressions after a couple days... Fits great on my 6.75" wrist. Comfortable. It's running less than +1 second per day which I'm very happy with. It feels solid, rugged, and it looks beautiful. I bought it as my sole daily wearer, but I'm afraid it's drawing me into a watch obsession and I already want to buy another and start a collection. I'm very happy with it. Thanks!
Why we chose it: To close out the list of our favorite 20 reviews of the first 2,400 we chose a review that was short, sweet, and right to the point of why we started Vaer in the first place. As much as we appreciate the support of enthusiast collectors, ultimately, our core mission to provide the perfect "one watch solution", for those looking to invest in a durable, everyday timepiece they can take some pride in. Regardless of whether your budget is $200, $500 or $1000 - we see our watches as a "foot-in-the-door" to the wider world of horology, and something that you can enjoy and build memories with, over years of everyday wear.
We hope you enjoyed reading our picks for the most helpful Vaer Watch reviews. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, we will be highlighting 4 of our favorite reviews every month starting in May 2021 and providing verified watch purchasers with a $100 store credit.
If you've purchased a watch and never left your feedback, we'd love to hear from you now. These 20 reviews are all great examples of going above and beyond our expectations of feedback, but if you just want to share a quick note or summary, every piece of customer feedback counts. As co-founders, we get an email notification every time we receive a new review, and we always read them.
To browse the full list of our Vaer customer reviews you can click the link below!
Ryan and Reagan co-founded Vaer Watches in Venice, California in 2016. As small business owners they handle just about every aspect of the daily operations of the company from watch design and supply chain management, to customer support and photography. Over the years, they've learned a thing or two about watchmaking, online retail, and American sourcing and assembly. If you have a question, comment or correction related to this article you can contact the authors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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