Vaer Watches Review
About The C5
Vaer’s best-selling model, the C5 is a custom timepiece with an American-made FTS Ameriquartz movement. It’s designed to be the ideal EDC field watch, boasting enough class to stand out at the office and more than enough rugged durability to handle any weekend adventure.
C5 comes with a screw-down crown rated 10ATM. This means you can free dive down to 100m. Although most people do not spend much time at the sea floor, the C5 is a good choice for surf, fishing, boating and sailing.
The C5 comes with a two-year warranty from Vaer and is waterproof. It’s assembled in the USA, and every new watch comes with two interchangeable bands in the box. The standard is a black silicone strap, while the second can be your choice of nylon, leather, or stainless steel.
The Community was Still There
We were not necessarily posting about ourselves but we still maintained a dialog.
My experience shows that men are territorial and tribal when it comes to their brand. So for example, if someone likes Audi — they probably hate BMW. And if they see an Audi ad, they feel obliged to explain how BMW owners are idiots. The same thing with sports teams as well — men are very macho and territorial about that, and this is hilarious when it comes to marketing.
So with watches, it’s very similar as well. People will pull you down and tell how your business and product is a waste. This is a funny side effect to marketing men.
What this means is that there were 500 comments, and they all looked like Twitter discussions and back-and forth messages with 100 likes.
Then you get people who buy our product because they see the Facebook debate you are having with your friends.
And it works well, because Facebook sees even the angry comments as engagement — so they start serving the ad to more people. It just stirs the pot more and more.
Ultimately, it was just a way of creating a digital dialogue and creating a digital community, I guess. And those that liked our arguments were then flowing back to the business.
Vaer chose the simpler approach to the D4’s dial, much to my surprise. The layout is simple but effective, which I think many brands struggle to execute. Their branding is at 12 o’clock with the water resistance rating and USA Assembled at 6 o’clock. The dial is blank except for the bragging and USA Assembled.
There is a paradox in the D4’s legibility. The gilt hands and markers shine brightly and contrast with the dark blue dial, which makes the watch easily readable. The double-domed crystal makes the watch refract a lot. It is simple to see the time at a glance and then move on. When I was in brighter lighting (like outside on a sunny day), I found that the reflections could be distracting. It wasn’t a problem for me, however, and I am curious to know how the watch might look with a flat-crystal crystal. This is especially important considering the D4’s vintage design.
The bezel of the D4 is solid and frankly better than I was expecting. The 120 clicks all feel solid and have a nice punchy click to them. It is easy to grip thanks to the knurling and how much the bezel overhangs the case. You can grip the bezel from any position and get a good grip on it. The only negative thing I can say about the bezel is that the lume pip on this example was ever-so-slightly misaligned. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t notice it until someone commented on one of my photos about it, so there’s that. The bezel printing is perfectly aligned to the dial.
Miyota 9015 Motion
The D5 Tropic uses the Miyota 9015 movement, which is a popular choice among microbrands. First released in 2009, it represents an improvement on the older Caliber 8215. When it leaves Miyota’s factory, the accuracy is between -10 and +30 seconds. However, it can be regulated further, and Vaer regulates the D5’s movement to -5 to +15 seconds per day. This is in keeping with the standard for watches this price. Moreover, the hacking seconds function makes it easy to adjust. Hold the crown out, and the seconds hand will stay in place while you fiddle with the minutes as needed.
The movement oscillates 28,800 times per hour, and has a built-in shock absorber to remain accurate even under demanding conditions. The movement’s 40-hour power reserve makes it enough for a weekend. Overall, this reliable watch is better than what you would expect from a brand so young.
High Quality Craftsmanship and Effortless Style
The A5 Automatic series is VAER’s best selling collection and it certainly isn’t difficult to see why this is the case. They combine best-in-class durability with timeless design and the distinct characteristic of full USA Assembly. The VAER A5 Automatic Watches are both rugged and refined and represents the watchmaker’s vision for the future. These automatic watches are available in a variety of colours to suit your personal style, and they cost only $449. This is a great value watch.
These USA Assembled watches can be worn on your wrist in a way that is different from other ocean-rated watches. They are extremely thin and lightweight, with dimensions of 40mm and sub-10mm respectively. This makes them stand out among watches equipped with locking crown functions. Two interchangeable straps are standard on the A5 Automatic by VAER. There are two options for straps: one that is ocean-ready and another that can be used to do water-based activities. The VAER premium Horween leather straps are made in Chicago from native steer hides and are handmade in America.
Vaer S5 Review
The VAER S5 is very similar to the C5, but there are a few key differences. Rather than repeat myself on things like the case and crown (40mm, 100m water resistance, 316L stainless steel), I’ll just focus on what separates the two.
The S5 costs 70% less than the C5 at the time this article was written. VAER has made savings in the following areas:
- The S5 is not powered by a Swiss Ronda Movement, but a Japanese Miyota Quartz.
- The S5 is not made of domed sapphire glasses. It has a flat sapphire cristal.
- The S5 isn’t USA assembled like the C5. However, if you opt for a Horween strap made of leather, they are still cut and sewn in the USA.
There are currently only two S5 dials in stock, both leaning towards the field watch look.
Instead of buying another black dial I chose to get the white dial with navy, orange and mint accents.
The minute and hour hands have a very interesting shape, and I love the look of the orange second hand.
The S5 is still waterproof to 100m, even at a lower price. Combined with the hard-to-scratch sapphire glass and nylon strap, this timepiece can take quite a beating.
If I were to buy another VAER watch, I would choose the C5. While I’m happy with the Japanese movement in the S5, the domed crystal and the US-assembly is well worth the extra cost in my book. Plus, the specific dial I got in the C5 is right up my alley, and it’s not available in the S5.
The crystal makes the C5 a better choice than the S5 if US-assembly doesn’t matter to you. The S5 has great quality glass (many brands at a similar price use lesser-quality mineral glass), but the dome adds a subtle richness to the wearing experience.
With both models, the materials are among the best you can find for the price, so the value is strong.
VAER’s affordable counterpart to C5, the S5 is VAER’s budget-friendly model. It offers outstanding value with a Miyota Quartz motor, flat sapphire crystals, and sturdy construction.
Strap And Wearability
Two nylon straps are included with every purchase, or you can choose a nylon and a Horween leather strap for a slight increase.
I packed up my bag and tested every VAER strap: nylon single, nylon quick-release, silicone quick-release, Horween Leather single pass and Horween Leather quick release.
The nylon single-pass is my favourite of all the straps. I love that I don’t have to worry about damaging or stretching it out–it’s been keeping up with me on runs and workouts, and I don’t have to think twice before I jump in the shower or do a round of dishes.
The brand aims to build a watch that can move seamlessly from the ocean to the office, so I appreciate the leather (good Chicago Horween leather, no less) options, too.
I like the quick release leather strap, but the single pass leather strap is disappointing. It feels unfinished and isn’t stiff enough to pass through the metal guides.
These watches are made by VAER with an extra long length. This is because the watch can be worn with a wetsuit, whether it’s for spearfishing or diving. You can fold the watch back underneath the metal guide-ring if you do not need it.
This Vaer military-inspired field watch features a Swiss Ronda motor, domed sapphire cristal, and two straps. It is one of our favourite affordable watches.
The Metal Finishing
The satin finishes on this watch are rough enough so that you can see the lines when looking at the time. The lines are parallel and only a very close inspection will reveal a few flaws, invisible to the wearer at all times.The brushed finish on the hands are a bit rougher, but surely done on purpose for that vintage tool watch look !
The angles of the case are dull and i know for a fact that it’s really hard to achieve those sharp angles that are still seemingly soft to the touch. You can grip the crown and bezel with ease because they are well-cut.
This watch uses a Miyota 9015 movement, which is on display thanks to the exhibition case-back. Although the Miyota 9 Series movements don’t have the most beautiful decoration, they are more attractive than Seiko NH35s.
ETA and Sellita movements aside, I think the Miyota 9 series are an excellent choice for affordable watches, and the sleek design allows for a lot more flexibility in case design. And this particular movement is perhaps one of the cleaner examples I’ve seen of this movement, which is a testament of their assembly and quality control standards. Although there is less wobble than other Miyota-equipped watches that I have reviewed, you will occasionally hear the watch go into freespin mode.
Vaer D7 Atlantic Hands On Watch Review
Many people these days are active on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. If you are a journalist, a photographer or a tuber, these platforms can be an excellent place to be. This was how I found Vaer and their Vaer D7 Atlantic dive series. Sponsored ads, as well as many others, seem like a significant investment by these companies. These ads might be the first time you’ve seen Vaer, and their main purpose. That would be very affordable, American Assembled field watches. How affordable? The watches are priced at just $199 with quartz movements and sapphire stones. The watches look great, and they are affordable, based on my experience. Vaer was established in 2017 by two avid watch-lovers and their first field watch line has proven to be a huge success. I was attracted to their ads for 2017 dive watches. High quality, affordable, and made in America was what I expected from a dive watch. They did indeed make the watch. The D7 is not this model. The D7 is one of several Swiss Made models. The D7 is Swiss Made stamped and features an ETA2824 motor. What are the differences between these models? There are none. I don’t think so. Today, I am going to review this retro-inspired dive watch and answer the question “Is it worth the Swiss Made?”
An Underutilised Platform In The Beginning
We had three Instagram posts in 2019, which is a surprising reflection of the business or our mentality as an ecommerce company and digital native. We were still finding success, but not necessarily talking to the entire world.
The thing is that we were and we are just a small company — so we don’t have infinite resources. There isn’t a social media manager or agency for us.
Nevertheless, Facebook and Instagram ads were our primary marketing focus. Also, we were able to manage many of these relationships, responding to customers individually, and trying to close that $500 deal.
From the very beginning, we were clear that it didn’t matter if there are 100,000 people following us. Because it is more about depth of experience, we’d prefer to have 500 direct emails conversations with customers.
For those new to watch movements, quartz watches are usually powered by a battery, while automatic watches, like the Vaer A5, would store power from the movement of your arm.
Another difference is that a quartz watch moves once per second while an automatic watch moves multiple times a second, making it look like a non-stop sweeping movement. While I don’t own any, I’ve seen them before, and they are nothing short of mesmerizing.
The Vaer A5’s $449 cost reflects the complexity and difficulty of automatic movements. Automatic watches are made with lots of craftsmanship and artistry developed over centuries. They have deep history and heritage, and if you want the best of everything and have the money to spare, you can’t go wrong with an automatic movement.
While I am interested in beautiful timepieces, I’m no HODINKEE reader and am not willing to spend thousands on “status symbols.” A watch for me, like the other products I own, should be functional and beautiful. But they shouldn’t be excessive or extravagant. I travel often, and the last thing I want is to stand out enough to become a crime target.
The Vaer C5 Field Watch is extremely well-built yet doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. I admire that about down-to-earth products, in this world where every brand is trying to upmarket themselves as something they are not.
A watch is only required to accurately tell the time. The Vaer C5 Field Watch accomplishes this. The markings may not be exactly where the secondhand stops. This is normal for high-end watches such as Omega or TAG Heuer, and it does not impact the precision of the timekeeping.
Nylon is durable and high-quality. It’s thick and sturdy but is quite rigid that some find uncomfortable.
The quick-release mechanism is great since no tools are necessary to change the strap quickly, but I did notice it was still a little difficult to get the bolt in exactly the right place. This is because when you press the bolt down, the nylon is thick enough that it gets in the way of aligning it into the case.
- 39mm Stainless steel Case
- Ceramic Dive Bezel insert with Luminous Markers
- Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating in double-domed form
- Sapphire Crystal Exhibition Caseback
- ETA 2824 Automatic Movement with Hacking Seconds
- 200m Water Resistance
- Super-LumiNova elements with Faux Patina colouration
- Horween Leather Strap, Tropic-style Rubber Strap, or Stainless Steel Bracelet
The watch in question here is the D7 Arctic Swiss Diver. The D7 Arctic Swiss Diver is an automatic Vaer diver with a 39mm stainless steel case. It’s well proportioned. Fans of vintage watches, or more specifically Omega, will recognize the case profile as it has been a mainstay of both their Speedmaster and Seamaster collections for decades. The twisted lug cases predate the Seamaster, and were used in the Universal Geneve Polerouter at the beginning of the 1950s. These cases were manufactured by the Swiss casemaker Huguenin Freres and have since become one of the most iconic case designs in watchmaking.
One of the most fundamental features of any dive watch is the timing bezel. In fact, one could make an argument that the bezel is the definitive feature that makes a dive watch a dive watch. Timing bezels are used to measure how long someone has been underwater during a dive and typically only rotate in one direction in order to avoid any accidental miscalculations. (No one wants the bends!) A classic unidirectional dial with beautiful ceramic insert is the D7. The layout of the numerals and markers are reminiscent of the Rolex Submariner, though under close inspection subtle differences in shape and character begin to reveal themselves; this bezel is not a carbon copy of the Sub’s bezel. The fact that the bezel is ceramic should also not be understated – that Vaer is selling an automatic watch with a beautiful ceramic bezel insert for under $1,000 is simply astounding.
The dial is a clean matte black with luminous markers, vintage inspired sword hands and a painted white seconds hands. The dial is clean and legible, and the handset is nicely proportioned for the size of the dial and hash marks. It is the only design element on this watch not heavily influenced by vintage watches. They are beautiful, alternating between a subtlety flared doorstop style shape and round markers at 2, 4, 8, and 10 o’clock. These round markers bring a strong symmetry to what might have otherwise been another boring time-only sport watch. Young watch designers take note: you don’t need to be ostentatious to be original.
Vaer is very proud of their luminous plots and put a lot of time and effort into making the lume as voluminous as possible. The D7 Arctic is available with either white Super-LumiNova or tan Super-LumiNova. This tan color, which is similar to the Hamilton Khaki Field watch that we reviewed previously is designed to appear like aged tritium or radium and is commonly referred to in watch industry as “Fauxtina” (faux patina). This aesthetic decision can sometimes be too obvious or silly, but here it is well executed and provides a nice contrast to the ceramic bezel and matte dial.
Either way, both are great movements and worth their respective price points and are used in countless watches across the industry.
[Related: Why Hamilton Makes the World’s Best Field Watch]
The Movement & Crown
Miyota 9015 is a very popular choice, especially among independent brands. The Miyota 9015 is a more cost-effective option to the ETA 2824. It also has more features than peers Seiko movements and performs better. The 9015 hacks and hand winds and also provides mild entertainment in the form of a rotor that winds the watch only in a clockwise direction. The entertainment arrives when certain hand motions cause the rotor to freewheel at impressive RPMs. You will start to hear a rotor sound when this happens.
The accuracy of the Miyota 9015 is between -10 to +30 seconds each day. Many owners of watches with this movement report better than advertised accuracy and Vaer indicates that their watches will be checked and regulated to factory specifications. The Vaer Automatic 9015 does not have a date window. There will be a ghost crown because it has a date wheel. Not a big deal but something to be aware of if that’s important to you.
The screw-down crown is rather diminutive for a 40mm case and makes unscrewing more challenging than it needs to be. The crown could use a bit more thickness and length. The Vaer logo is on both the crown and the rotor of the movement.
What is Vaer watches?
VAER Watches released their first design early in 2017. Since then, the founders Reagan Cook and Ryan Torres have been consistently tweaking and refining their vision.
In 2019, the brand hit its stride, becoming known throughout watch-enthusiast communities for their USA-assembled, military-inspired field watches.
While their watches were rated in labs to withstand 10atm of water-pressure, VAER went the extra mile to actually test it.
Their site is refreshing. They share their failures and successes in creating a watch that they are proud of.
I talked with Ryan Torres on the phone, and he said a big inspiration behind VAER is in creating something he can wear every day.
Ryan, based in Venice Beach, California, starts his day on a surfboard. For him, having a watch that can take a beating but still look clean and professional is a must
Since last year, I have been wearing VAER C5 and S5 models. And I was so impressed with the brand, I went back a few months ago and picked up their C3 and D5.
These canisters were made by a company 100 years old. They are handmade and will keep your tea leaves, coffee beans or anything that you need dry for years to come.
Read the review
Stainless steel is rust, moisture, and sweat resistant and is used in many jewelry pieces because it hardly causes skin irritation. But not all stainless is created equal. Upmarket watches use mostly 316L stainless, which is what the Vaer C5 uses.
Negatives & Possible Improvements
Similar to the D5 Pacific, using the same phone for all dials is not a good idea. It is difficult for the relatively thin pencil fingers to be seen due to the D5 Pacific’s long hour indices. The brushed tip on the minute hand almost reaches the dial’s edge, where shadows can obscure it. A thicker hour hand and white lume would make the minutes hand more distinct and increase their visibility on the dial.
The Short Version
But making a vintage inspired watch is easy. Making one that looks this good from all sides, with unique and fresh details that still keeps the charming vintage allure, is another thing. But VAER managed to do so.
- Rubber strap is a bit stiff
- Bracelet is very cheap and has poorly finished, sharp edges
- Small finishing issues could be a little better i.e. Crown and sharp bezel edges
- Design elements could be considered a bit derivative
Is This Field Watch Good Or Bad?
Disclosure: The sponsored post includes affiliate links. VAER provided compensation for honest reviews. All opinions are ours.
The beautiful, sweet-looking piece was made with sapphire crystal in the USA. After all, young brands usually have a few kinks to work out, right?
But that is not always true. We dive in to VAER watches and review their top models.
Und The Ugly
I love the design of this watch, but unfortunately it can’t keep track of time. Adam W.: I must adjust the time forward in order to set the proper time. It “slipping backwards”.
My Vaer C5 has been with me for just over two months and there haven’t been any signs of timeslipping. Adam W. hopes that this incident is isolated. However, in rare cases where a watch malfunctions, the two-year warranty would cover it.
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Vaer American-Assembled Watches C5 Design
Part of the same series as above but for people who want a more contemporary look, the C5 Design watches drop the military inspiration for a cool, casual look. Large numerals are still legible and alternate with rectangulars. A subtle color play adds personality. Available in Navy or White, the C5 Design series is still a tough little watch, but with an appealing and unique look.
The price is very fair
Considering the cool custom elements like the indices and case, the fact that it’s 200 water resistance with a display case back and has a premium Miyota movement, i can only conclude that this watch (and their other dice watches) are worth the money. You also receive 2 straps along with the watch.
Community On Instagram
Vaer on Instagram isn’t one of the many brands that has hundreds of thousands followers. Their Instagram account may not have grown as much in the past three years but their business has. And their community has grown as well. The kind of engagement they get on Instagram is also incredibly high.
Vaer Dive Watches
Vaer was founded in Venice, California in 2016 by Ryan Torres and Reagan Cook with the goal of building an affordable everyday wristwatch that blended tasteful design with extreme outdoor functionality. We launched the company with our collective life savings, and remain independently owned and operated in the United States. Vaer was conceived with the belief that products should be well built and thoughtfully designed. Durable, beautiful watches are what we stand for.
Vaer has also created a range of stylish dive watches that are suitable for collectors who have to be water-bound. The D5 features an American movement, while the D7 features a Swiss movement.
These dive watches offer a more modern alternative to the traditional field watch design. They are comparable in style and functionality to a Rolex, but they also have more similarities with standard-issue watches. In addition to exuding some envious James Bond vibes with their sleek style, Vaer’s dive watches offer twice the water resistance rating at 20ATM. It means you get real-world diving exposure. This is an advantage over $2k dive watches.
Is this Field Watch Good or Bad?
Disclosure: The sponsored post includes affiliate links. We received compensation and courtesy product from VAER in exchange for our honest review only. Our opinions and views are completely our own.
Other watches on AMAZON:
This beautiful piece is made in the US with sapphire Crystal and has a sweet, military look. After all, young brands usually have a few kinks to work out, right?
But that is not always true. In our VAER watches review, we dive into this new watch brand and take a close look at their most popular models to see if they’re worth your hard-earned cash.
Vaer D7 Atlantic Hands On Watch Review
Many people these days are active on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. These platforms are a great place to be if you’re a watch journalist or tuber. This was how I found Vaer and their Vaer D7 Atlantic dive series. These companies seem to have invested a great deal on these sponsored ads and many other ads. These ads might be the first time you’ve seen Vaer, and their main purpose. That would be very affordable, American Assembled field watches. How affordable? The watches are priced at just $199 with quartz movements and sapphire stones. Based on what I saw, the watches looked great and are very affordable. Vaer was established in 2017 by two avid watch-lovers and their first field watch line has proven to be a huge success. Their ads in 2017 for dive watches caught my attention. I had high expectations of a quality dive watch, at an affordable cost, made in the USA. Fair enough, they did make that watch. The D7 is not this model. One of the Swiss Made versions is the D7. It is stamped Swiss Made and has an ETA2824 movement. So what are other differences between these two models? There are none. I don’t think so. Today, I am going to review this retro-inspired dive watch and answer the question “Is it worth the Swiss Made?”
Independent brands such as Vaer, which carefully source key components from suppliers around the world can offer significant value for a low price to watch buyers. This is evident in the Vaer Automatic range. Kickstarter will allow program backers to select from the following automatic movements, as well multiple dial designs when it opens:
Miyota9015 – Available in four dial options that include date and non-date versions. All of these will be handmade in Los Angeles. 299 Early Bird Price ($449 Retail)
ETA 2824 – Available in all four options of dials, with no-date or date. These are Swiss Made. 449 Early Bird Price ($599 Retail)
ETA2895 – This Vaer Heritage “Dirty Dozen”, which has small seconds, is called the Vaer Heritage “Dirty Dozen”. These Swiss Made models will have one dial. $599 Early Bird (649 retail)
Notice: While the Kickstarter campaign is unfolding (and dependent on demand), minor adjustments may be made to certain options. Two dial options, “Design Light” or “Design Dark”, offer stylish versions of field watches. They use less conventional white dials and slate blue dials and are well complemented with syringe fingers. This version also features a well-integrated date window.