It is hard to believe, but it has been three years since we brought you our hands-on review of theÂ Visitor Watch Co Duneshore. Â In the intervening time, we had a slate of updates and some newer watches, that were more or less iterations on the existing watch. Â Well, that brings us to today. Â I had noticed a new Visitor Watch Co watch popping up on Instagram, and a quick visit to their site showed, yes, there is a new model that is currently up for pre-order. Â A quick chat with Phil Rodenbeck then netted us some time with a loaner of the Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer.
For the brand, theÂ Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer is opening up a new line (named Officer). Â The calling card for this lineup will be hinged caseback. Â In other applications, Iâ€™ve considered them as Hunter Cases, but the terminology isnâ€™t important. Â What this is is a hinged cover for the sapphire display caseback. Â Once you unscrew the crown about a half-turn, you can open up the cover, and get a good look at the custom rotor that lives on the Miyota 9015 movement. Â You also get an eyeful of perlage on the inside of the cover, which is a nice touch. Â To me, that blank space on the caseback cover looks ripe for some engraving, so you have some customization options that wouldnâ€™t be otherwise available. Â And hey, how many of your watch buddies can pull a trick like that with their watches?
Up front, theÂ Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer carries forth some of the same design DNA that we saw on the original Duneshore. Â Youâ€™ve got snoopy curves (though, here, theyâ€™re just around the bezel, and donâ€™t actually lend a curve to the caseback), and youâ€™ve got the pen nib indices showing up. Â While not quite the same as on the prior Duneshore, it brings a hint of that lineage into play. Â The case also features a unique shape – though itâ€™s mostly rounded, it really gives the feel of being set into a hexagon or octagon. Â AKA, not like anything youâ€™ve had before.
With the dial of theÂ Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer, we have a very dark, very matte black finish. Â This makes the cutouts on the sandwich dial stand out crisply, as well as the lumed handset. Â I want to give a special bit of attention here to the seconds hand. Â Finished as it is, it all but blends in, except for that tiny lumed arrow right at the very tip. Â As an added bonus, when it hits the compass points on the dial, it nestles right into the triangle made by the three pips that show up there. Â A nice touch, and great attention to detail.
For the main hands, these are definitely a changeup. Â Iâ€™m going to call them paddle style, for lack of a better definition. Â They do give nice, broad surfaces for the lume application, and they are instantly distinguishable from each other, even though they are the same width. Â And hey, the hour hand hits the inside of the indices, and the minute hand extends out the railroad track at the edge of the dial, so no complaints there. Â And again, with the black finishing there, I really like how they just sort of float up in space there, giving a unique look to things.
Now, back to the case of theÂ Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer. Â With the need for the hinged back (again, super fun, super awesome), youâ€™re setup with needing a straight edge on the side of the case. Â This could be hidden, but Rodenbeck ran with it, and put a straight edge right down the side of the case. To keep it balanced, then, that curve to straight edge is repeated on the other side, becoming crown guards. Â While I do enjoy the uniqueness, I did find myself wishing they were a little less pronounced (or, that they had gone with a full-on geometric shape surrounding the round bezel). Â Then again, thatâ€™s just me, and Iâ€™ve a feeling that it would grown on me over time. Â Just something for you to think about as a future buyer.
And, if you are going to be a buyer? Â Youâ€™ll be putting yourself on the wait list, with pricing coming in at $800Â for theÂ Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer. Â A bit higher than you might expect for a Miyota-powered piece, sure, but here itâ€™s coming out in the design of that case. Â Iâ€™ve got some pals over on Instagram that have this watch, and do love it – so itâ€™s not just my word, youâ€™ve got other random strangers to tell you about it as well. Â For me, I do like the different paths that Rodenbeck takes with his designs, and enjoy seeing the new stuff pop out. Â The clear winner on theÂ Visitor Watch Co Vale Park Officer – for me – is that case back, with the dial and handset coming in a close second. Â If you jump in on the pre-order, please do pop on over to our Slack channel, and letâ€™s talk watches. Â Shoot, letâ€™s do that even if you arenâ€™t pre-ordering – weâ€™re building a nice community over there, and would love to have some more voices in the discussion. Â visitorwatchco.com
- Brand & Model:Â Visitor Watch Company Vale Park Officer
- Price: $800 (on pre-order)
- Whoâ€™s it for? Â You want something that isnâ€™t just another diver – you want a design thatâ€™s different
- Would I wear it? Â Yeah, I would. Â Itâ€™s definitely more compact than my memory of prior models, and I canâ€™t get enough of the dial
- What Iâ€™d change: The straight edges – either make them less-pronounced, or go full on with a hexagon or pentagon surrounding the bezel
- The best thing about it: The caseback and that deep, dark, sandwich dial offsetting all the lovely lume.
- 39.5 mm x 41 mm (44.2 mm to the crown);11.6 mm thick; 47 mm lug to lug
- Finishes: most horizontal surfaces are brushed, most vertical surfaces are polished, the crown is partially bead-blasted, and the interior of the officerâ€™s caseback is finished with perlage.
- Case back: Â The officer’s back employs a unique release with a catch-lip that nests in the screw-down crown.
- Matte black sandwich dial with cross-hairs and hour markers cut out, exposing a lower layer of C3 SuperLuminova
- C3 SuperLuminova used for remainder of printing on hial
- Handset: Â C3 SuperLuminova-filled; otherwise black
- Lugs: Â rolled at the end and drilled through, and the case is treated to a variety of
- Movement: Â Miyota 9015 with custom rotor
- WR: 50m
- Strap: “wingtip” leather strap.