This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Vaer A5 wristwatch and instructions for its operation and use.
I) Product Summary
The Vaer A5 USA Automatic is a self-winding 10ATM tool watch, powered by Japanese made Miyota 9015/39 movement and assembled in the United States of America. Blending the sophistication and refinement of a luxury dress watch with the outdoor specifications of a true tool watch, the A5 collection is designed as the ideal automatic “everyday wearer”.
First launched in the summer of 2019 as part of our Kickstarter campaign, the A5 collection was built around the foundation of our popular 10ATM USA-assembled C5 quartz collection - serving as a premium upgrade over the C5 for those searching for a functional and affordable outdoor watch that was powered by a premium automatic movement. When we originally set out to design the A5 series, we had three key goals in mind:
- A Sub-$500 Price Point
- 10ATM + Waterproof Warranty
- Full USA Assembly and Testing
In our opinion, these three factors make the A5 collection a very distinctive option in the highly competitive sub-$2000 field/design watch category, and place it firmly in the middle of the market between mass produced Chinese made automatics (from Seiko and Asia-based microbrands) and luxury Swiss Made options (from the likes of Nomos, Junghans, Sinn, Hamilton, Tissot etc.).
The A5’s USA assembly make it a far more distinctive and personalized craft good than of its Asian mass-market competitors, yet it still represents a significant value over most European options which carry a luxury markup and typically lack functional outdoor features (such as locking screw down crown, or a waterproof warranty).
In simple terms, it has everything you’d want in an everyday automatic watch, and nothing you don’t. USA assembly gives it a strong sense of character and identity, but it also has the price-point and feature set you’d want for watch that you can wear perpetually (in the most extreme outdoor conditions).
"If you already own a quartz watch, the A5 is a perfect gateway into the world of mechanical timepieces, as it stands up against many watches in the $1k-$2k range, at a fraction of the price. "
- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder
II) Value Proposition
The A5 is powered by the slim, high-beat rate Miyota 9015/39, which is unrivaled in terms of value in its segment. While there are other Miyota 9015/39 offerings in the same price-point as the A5, very few offer USA assembly, and none also offer such strong water resistance capabilities or guarantees.
In addition to it’s impressive water-resistance and top-performing movement the A5 boasts one of the best executed stainless steel cases available for under $1000 (customer & press comparisons to the Hamilton Khaki make it clear the more affordable A5 boasts the superior case). The 40mm case boasts attractive curvature and refined finishing details through-out including highlight chamfering on the lugs and bezel. Like all Vaer watches the A5 uses an AR-coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial, and as an automatic, also boasts an AR-coated sapphire crystal exhibition case-back.
To further enhance the functionality and value of the watch, every A5 comes standard with two interchangeable 20mm straps. Our standard A5 strap is a comfortable and waterproof FKM rubber quick-release tactical 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 A5 is a durable, dependable and highly accurate mechanical 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.
Installing Vaer Quick Release Straps
The Vaer A5 watch comes standard with a pre-installed FKM rubber 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 easiliy interchangeable quick release straps, it can also be worn with our nylon single pass straps (a design that is sometimes referred to as a NATO strap). 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.
Manually Winding the 9015/39 Movement
The Vaer A5 is powered by a Japanese made Miyota 9015/39 automatic movement that uses kinetic energy to power the watch. If your watch is not worn for over 42 hours (the maximum power reserve) it will stop keeping time. To recharge the mainspring after resetting the time, you can either rely on the natural movement of your wrist, or you can give it a ‘full charge’ by manually winding it. To wind the watch, unscrew the crown from the default locked position until it is released from the screwdown threading. Instead of pulling the crown out to set the date (position 2) or time (position 3), leave the crown in Position 1.
From Position 1, rotate the crown away from you in a clockwise direction. You should feel a slight tension on the crown, as the spring is engaged. Wind the crown around 20-30 times to fully charge the spring.
Changing the Date
To access Position 2, pull the crown out to the first “click” to access date setting. If your watch has a date window, you can rotate the crown clockwise to change the date. If your watch does not have a date window, this setting can be ignored.
Setting the Time
To access Position 3, pull the crown out to the second “click”. From this position you can rotate the crown clock- wise to change the time. Once the time and date are set, and the watch is properly wound, push the crown in, and screw it back into the locked position. IMPORTANT! Only advance the date when the time is after 2AM and before 10PM. Advancing the date wheel close to midnight can the damage the movement.
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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.