Sometimes, when we’re telling you about Kickstarter watches, we’ve got absolutely no idea what the watch is actually like. In other words, we’re basing decisions the same way you are – reading the project page and checking out the photos. Other times, we get to go hands-on, but it’s after the campaign has wrapped, or only has a few days left. Well, friends, today is different – the campaign for the Vesuviate Swiss Chronograph just launched yesterday, and we’ve our hands-on review to help you make your decision.
In this case, the watch is, of course, a chronograph. And, carrying the Swiss-made nomenclature, this is a watch with a Swiss movement, and is built in Switzerland. So, what movement? You’ve probably got a good guess. Yes, that’s right – the Vesuviate Swiss Chronograph is using the ETA 7750 movement, Elabore-grade (no exhibition casebook, but that protects things a bit better anyways). This gives you the very familiar three-register layout on the dial, along with the day/date indication and the central chronograph seconds hands.
The Vesuviate Swiss Chronograph is intended to be a sportier tool watch, one that isn’t afraid to be out in the elements. To that end, you’ve got the aforementioned solid caseback, a screw down crown (and pushers, actually) as well as a 300m WR rating. In short, the innards are well-protected. And that’s all courtesy of the grade 2 titanium case, which itself has a surface hardening treatment to help it stand up to the knocks of life.
The bracelet of the Vesuviate Swiss Chronograph is also made of titanium (and hardened), and the brand is – interestingly enough – also coming up with leather straps that have solid end-links to pop into the lugs. This bracelet – along with some other bits – are going to be changing from what you see here to what customers will be receiving:
- Chronograph second hand will be in red color, the design size of the hand remains the same.
- All three sub-dials with silver chrome color hands, design size unchanged.
- The “riveted type” bracelet will be replaced with an oyster style bracelet; double-locking deployant clasp will not change.
- The bezel thickness will be reduced slightly to enhance the aesthetic.
- Super-LumiNova – BGW9 Grade A pigment was used for the prototype. The production model will be applied with Grade X1 pigment.
- The “step” on the crown that contact with the watch case between the crown guards will be removed, a step on the watch case may be added instead.
While the design of the Vesuviate Swiss Chronograph isn’t anything that’s going to be called ground-breaking, it is a tried-and-true (aka classic) look for a mechanical chronograph. Where the brand is differentiating itself is with the use of titanium, ceramic (in the bezel) and sapphire (for the crystal). That, and with it all coming in at $1,262 for earlybird backers, which is a 33% discount on the expected MSRP. The project currently has a few backers (again, it just launched) and will be going through February 19th, with delivery anticipated for August 2020. This is a new and untried brand, so there’s that angle, but it’s not like they’re doing some cheap-o parts-bin design out the gate – they’re going for high end materials and finishing. We’ll keep an eye on the project, and of course be looking forward to what’s next from Vesuviate. project page
- Brand & Model: Vesuviate Swiss Chronograph
- Price: $1,262 (earlybird pricing)
- Who’s it for? You want the classic look of a triple register chronograph mixed up with some light and tough titanium
- Would I wear it? No, chronographs just aren’t my thing
- What I’d change: Sounds like it’ll be time to find a new movement supplier with ETA cutting off non-Swatch brands
- The best thing about it: The use of titanium and ceramic at a relatively affordable price point for a Swiss mechanical chronograph
Tech Specs from Vesuviate
- Case & bracelet:
- Grade 2 Titanium with surface hardening treatment
- Bracelet width: 20mm tapering to 18mm at clasp
- Case size: 41mm; 49mm lug-to-lug
- Bezel: ceramic and luted
- Crystal: sapphire without AR coating
- Movement: ETA/Valjoux 7750 Elaboré grade
- Water restistance: 300m
- Lume: Super-LumiNova – BGW9 (Day – White, Night – Blue-Green), Grade X1
- Features: Hours, minutes, running seconds at 9:00, central chronograph seconds, 30 minutes chronograph counter at 12:00, 12 hours chronograph counter at 6:00. Date & day display in the window.
- Warranty: 2 years