Why We Spent 10 Months Re-Designing Our Watches - A Review of Our V2 Design
Despite the popularity of our initial design, in early 2018 we went back to the drawing board to refine and improve our core product.
Our V2 case design outshines most watches in the $2,000-$5,000 segment.
By Reagan Cook and Ryan Torres
January 29th, 2019
Building on the success of our initial watch designs, the new V2 version of our product line is based on over two years of customer feedback and real-world testing.
All of the features that made the original Vaer watch amazing have been maintained or improved. This includes 100m depth rating, screw-down crown, sapphire crystal, USA Assembly, Swiss movement, and two bands included with every watch.
A Truly Exceptional Case Design
While we’ve maintained the same diameter (40mm) and thickness (9.4mm) of the case, we’ve done a lot of work to smooth the edges for a much more refined feel overall.
The body of the case is now curved, and it flows into the bezel on the top end and the caseback on the bottom end with much more fluidity. This means that even at the same thickness, the newer designs appears more slim. The curvature also helps the watch slide under a sleeve or a wetsuit much more easily.
"The majority of watches, even very expensive ones, offer very simple case designs. Unlike, features like movement quality, source origin, lume strength, or water resistance - it's just not something that a lot of customers immediately look for. As result, a lot of brands choose to save costs by skimping on their case design. For us, we wanted to make our case a selling point. The quality of the brushing and polishing, the curvature of the case wall and lugs, and the overall cohesiveness of the design are all things that set Vaer watches apart. "
- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder
Our case is beautiful, durable - and most important of all, affordable, starting at $149.
The case lugs have been slightly elongated -- this enables more space to place and slide through straps. On our original design, we leveraged curved springbars to create space for sliding through leather straps -- the new lug design eliminates this need, allowing straight spring bars to be used.
We loved the brushed finish on our first design, so we’ve kept that on the majority of the body, while strategically adding chamfering on the lugs and bezel. These small areas of polished finish give the watch an elegant feel while still maintaining overall ruggedness.
Elegance and beauty are important. Water resistance, and built quality are critical.
Increased Ergonomics and Functionality
In addition to case adjustments, we’ve also slightly modified the shape of our crown for both aesthetic and ergonomic purposes. Instead of the crown terminating at a 90 degree angle with the case, as it is in the current design, we’ve added in an angled finish. This makes for easier grip on the crown.
To further increase functionality of our Field Watch, we’ve added a date window. We’re incredibly excited to have this as a feature, as it’s something we’ve been looking forward to for our personal use.
"We view Vaer as an outdoor brand first and foremost, meaning our watches need to support a range of physical activities. Obviously things like water resistance and sapphire crystal are critical aspects of outdoor function - but so is comfort. If you're wearing your watch in the water everyday for weeks on end, even minor sharpness or rough edges can become a major problem. We've used subtle rounding on our crown and case to mitigate this problem, and tried to keep our watch as thin as possible, in order to provide excellent ergonomics regardless of the activity."
- Ryan Torres, Vaer Co-Founder
The V2 case was initially designed for our C5 quartz, but it has been adapted for all new lines.
Due to the addition of the date window on some of our C5 watches, we now use two separate types of movements. Each are Swiss Made, with 5 jewels for ultimate precision. As of October 2018, all Vaer quartz watches with date window use the Swiss Ronda 715, and all quartz watches without a date window use a Swiss Ronda 763.
The Continued Quest for Best-in-Class Lume
As an outdoors watch brand we've always worked to have standout lume paint on our dials. But admittedly, it's been one of the manufacturing details that has been the hardest to regulate. Because the power of lume glow is largely determined by surface area, and very strong lume will impact paint coloring (typically giving white paint a yellow/green tint) it's always a challenge to find a solution that is both functional, and aesthetically consistent with our product vision.
Vaer dial designs are heavily influenced by the 1940s-1960s era of minimalist sport and military watches, and as such we don't often use applied indices (raised markers typical on Dive watches). The challenge when it comes to lume, is creating enough glow, without the "bucket" of paint provide by indices.
To compensate for this disadvantage, all V2 Vaer watches now leverage extra heavy paint application on the dial. C and A models use 7x layers of C1 and or BGW9 SuperLuminova and S models use 5x layers of C3 lume.
The Vaer V2 design is currently available in over a dozen compelling design options - from ultra-functional field watches, to elegant Bauhaus-inspired designs.
Summary: Committed to Constant Improvement
The V1 Vaer wristwatch was a popular, durable, and attractive timepiece. As a young brand, we could have continued to sell it for years without issue. However, at the end of the day, when held side-by-side with the best watches available under $2000, it simply wasn't good enough to differentiate us.
The V2 Vaer Watch changes everything.
While there MAY be some watches in the segment that outshine our Vaer watches on individual features, taken as a whole, we firmly believe that Vaer is the best value proposition for a wristwatch at any price point.
That's a bold claim - but it's something we back up with over 1,000 five-star customer reviews, and a comprehensive warranty and exchange process.
We hope you enjoyed reading the article, and learned a few things about our product design process. For more details on our V2 watches you can visit the shop, or keep reading by clicking one of the article links 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 email@example.com.
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