R1 Tactical USA - Product Details and Operation Guide

R1 Tactical USA - Product Details and Operation Guide

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Vaer R1 Tactical wristwatch and instructions for its operation and use.

I) Product Summary

We've always seen Vaer as a design company first and foremost. Ever since we launched our first watch, we've always centered the task of building something new around three principles:

  1. Simplicity - What functions elevate an object to the realm of "essential"?
  2. Timelessness - How can history inform an aesthetic that will never go out of style?
  3. Durability - If we can design an essential object, how do we also ensure it will last?  

The R1 Tactical embodies these design traditions. Starting at $399 and rated to 10ATM it's affordable and ocean-friendly enough to be used as a daily tool watch. Yet also has enough character to stand out from the crowd, thanks to an elegant vintage design, Seiko VK-63 meca-quartz movement, and full USA assembly.

“Inspired by the design, spirit, and durability of the iconic racing watches of the 1970s, our R1 collection was designed as an all-purpose meca-quartz timekeeper blending the aesthetics and functionality of a modern chronograph, with the durability, water resistance, and everyday practicality synonymous with our brand.

The new 2024 models integrate the case designs of our popular field and dive watches, while maintaining the unmistakable flair, color, and stopwatch functionality of a racing-inspired chronograph.

The watches combine the functionality demanded by sports enthusiasts with a stylishness, and on-wrist comfort that will appeal to those looking for an all-purpose everyday wearer.

Uniquely positioned as the only chronograph on the market that's both assembled in the USA and designed for everyday ocean use, these new R1 models are a great choice for those looking for a watch they can take anywhere and everywhere, and that carry a compelling story of independent American craftsmanship.”

- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder

II) Value Proposition

The R1 Tactical is powered by a Japanese Seiko VK-63 meca-quartz movement. Meca-quartz is exactly what it sounds like, a combination of quartz battery, and mechanical modules.

The primary timekeeping on the R1 is a quartz module for great accuracy and reliability. The sweeping chronograph second hand is a mechanical module, with a small motor powering a gear train to give you a sweeping hand action similar to what a mechanical chronograph would have. The R1's movement sweeps at 1/5th seconds to provide greater timing precision, and also offers "instant reset", which means it doesn’t go all the way around like a quartz chrono - you can reset and start again quickly.

In addition to it’s unique movement functionality, and impressive water-resistance the R1 Tactical, like all Vaer watches, uses an AR-coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial, and a deep stamped screwdown case-back.

To further enhance the functionality and value of the watch, every R1 comes standard with two interchangeable 20mm straps. Our standard R1 strap is a comfortable and waterproof FKM rubber quick-release strap, and it’s complemented by a range of secondary strap options from our USA-Made Horween leather strap, our premium stainless steel bracelet, and several rugged and affordable nylon options.

III) Care and Handling

The Vaer R1 Tactical is a durable, dependable and highly accurate meca-quartz watch designed to last for decades with proper care. We’ve written this guide to explain the basics of the watch, and how to maximize its longevity.

What are the functions on the R1 chronograph?

Like all watches, the goal of a chronograph is to help measure the passage of time. What makes this particular design unique relative to other timepieces, is that the chronograph offers the opportunity to accurately track two distinct intervals of time. It will measure: 1) International Atomic Time (or True Time), in addition to 2) a timed period of your choosing (up to 60 minutes in length). In basic terms, you can think of a chronograph as field watch built on top of a stop watch.

Unlike a standard field or dive watch, where the longest hand on the dial (stacked on top of the hour and minute hands) measures the passage of seconds in True Time, on a R1 this large hand is actually the chronograph hand and it will remain static, in the 12 o'clock position until it is started with one of the pushers. The R1 Chronograph's True Seconds (which aligns with the hour and minute hand) is instead displayed in the center subdial at 6 o'clock (it's the circle with the 60, 15, 30, 45 markings).

In addition to the second counter being positioned in the center 6 o'clock subdial, the R1 also features two other subdials. The right hand subdial at 3 o'clock is linked to True Time, and simply measures the 24 hour (or military time). If it's 8PM at night, the right hand subdial will display at 20:00 HRS. The left hand subdial at 9 o'clock is linked to the watches chronograph/stop-watch function. This subdial measures total minutes elapsed from the main chronograph timer up to 60 minutes, at which point it will reset to zero.

Using the Chronograph Pushers

The R1 Tactical utilizes the Seiko VK-63 meca-quartz movement which features two chronograph pushers at the 2 and 4 o’clock positions. The top pusher at 2 o’clock operates a start/stop functionality for the watch’s stopwatch function. The bottom pusher at 4 o’clock has a reset function, returning the chronograph hands back to their starting position.

Steel Pusher Guards

The R1 Tactical features steel pusher guards (or shrouds) that provide additional impact protection on the top and bottom pushers. These guards are decorated in a 24-point star pattern that match the crown of the watch. While these re-enforced steel guards are designed to reference the screw-down pushers of iconic chronographs like the Rolex Daytona, they DO NOT screw down and are fixed to the case.

While integrating screw down pushers was an option we explored, through our process of case development we were able to achieve a 10ATM water-resistance rating through the use of heavy gaskets and precision welding (giving our R1 the same water resistance rating as a $50k Rolex Daytona without the use of screw pushers). This design decision provides added functionality and ease of use in and out of the water, since you don’t have to screw down your pushers every time you submerge your watch.

Installing Vaer Quick Release Straps

The Vaer R1 watch comes standard with a pre-installed quick release strap. As our most comfortable and adaptable strap, we believe it is a great introduction to our strap lineup. To remove the standard strap, pull in the small metal knob to disengage the springbar. To attach a quick-release strap, position the end of the bar into the notch on the watch lugs and pull in the metal knob on the other end. Align the loose end of the bar into the second notch, and release the tension of the spring to lock the strap into place. Make sure the strap piece with the buckle is attached to the top of the watch case.

Integrating Vaer Single Pass Straps

While this watch ships standard with our easily interchangeable quick release straps, it can also be worn with our nylon single pass straps. Unlike a traditional watch strap, which is made of two pieces and attached to the watch with removable springbars, our nylon single pass straps are made of a single piece that can be removed or installed in seconds. All single pass straps are sold with a glass vial containing heavy duty 20mm springbars, and a stainless steel springbar tool.

Installing the Vaer Single Pass Strap

If you’ve opted to purchase an optional single pass strap with your watch, or already own a 20mm nylon strap, you will need to remove the standard quick release straps and in- stall springbars between the lugs of your watch. Once the bars are in place, simply feed the tail end of the single pass strap through each of the two springbars starting from the top of the watch. Depending on the size of your wrist you may have extra length of nylon extending beyond the last keeper loop. Simply fold back the tag end of the strap through the keeper. To secure the extra length, feed the strap back toward the buckle until it is tightly secured.

Using Your Watch in the Water

This watch is perfectly suited for underwater activity. The caseback and crown use a threaded screw-down design to maintain an airtight seal. We recommend rinsing the straps and watch case in freshwater after ocean use to remove any build-ups of salt. Though our leather is water resistant, we do not recommend submersion in water - switch to your included ocean-ready strap for this type of activity.

IMPORTANT! Do not expose your watch to water or steam if the crown is not secure. Our waterproof warranty does not cover flooding from misuse if the crown is unlocked.

Operating the Watch's Movement

In order to set the time on the watch, unscrew the crown counterclockwise. Once the crown is disengaged from the threading, pull out until you feel a gentle click (Position 1). The current version of the R1 Tactical doesn't have a date function, so you can ignore Position 2, and extend the crown fully into Position 3 to adjust the true time. The gasket sealed crown ensures water resistance, and it must be screwed and sealed during water exposure to maintain warranty.

Additional Resources

Click here to view all product manuals.

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