Hands-On with the Varon Chiri Blazer

Varon Chiri is a new microbrand based in South Korea. Their inaugural launch, the Blazer, was successfully funded on the Indiegogo platform and was designed in the style of classic sports watches that thread the line between dress and casual. In order to make a watch that would satisfy watch enthusiasts, prior to designing the Blazer, Varon Chiri put out a survey to the community. The result was a sort of “crowd-sourced” set of specs and dimensions from diameter to lug-to-lug to dial color, lens material, etc. Smart, but safe, the Blazer was meant to introduce the brand to the world, without causing controversy.

At launch, there are two versions of the Blazer – Korea and Standard – each in three colors for a total of six variations. Priced at $590 on a bracelet (though on sale for $449 at the time of writing) the Blazer is priced to be very accessible. For this hands-on, we will be taking a look at a press sample of the black Korea edition.


Hands-On with the Varon Chiri Blazer

Stainless Steel
Miyota 9039
Black Metallic
Steel Bracelet
Water Resistance
38.5 x 45mm
Lug Width

Notable Specs and Features

In addition to the crowd-sourcing dimensions, the dial features an unexpected detail – “Korea Made”. As the rules for manufacturing origin labels change per country, we enquired about the Blazer, to which we found out that all assembly, finishing, and QC are conducted in Korea, while component manufacturing is outsourced. This is similar to the qualifications for “Italian Made” as well. Regardless, as microbrands are overwhelmingly based in only a few locations, seeing Korea join the mix is an exciting development.

As per the survey conducted, the Blazer comes in at 38.5 x 45 x 9.7mm with a flat sapphire crystal that features AR coating. Turns out, crowd-sourcing worked well as the dimensions are very reasonable for an all-purpose watch. In particular, the 9.7mm thickness, made possible by the Miyota 9039 automatic movement, is great to see, especially on the brand’s first watch. Additionally, the watch is made of stainless steel, has 100m water resistance, a signed screw-down crown, and 20mm lugs.

The bracelet is worth a special highlight as, once again for a first watch, it has some impressive details. A three-link design that tapers from 20mm to 16mm, rather than the typical “Oyster” style, the links feature a “V” shape inspired by beams found in Korean palaces. Combined with the mix of brushed side links with polished center links, which are thankfully adjustable with a single-sided screw, the result is a fluid and dynamic style that is quite appealing. Additionally, the clasp is created in the style of Rolex, including a sliding micro-adjust. Though a great feature to have, on the sample we had the action was a bit rough.


The Blazer has a classic charm that is hard to deny. It’s not particularly adventurous, but it wasn’t meant to be. The fact that they crowd-sourced for specs suggests that Varon Chiri wanted to please the most amount of people, granted within a selected community, as possible. The result is a touch generic, but satisfying. The dial features a simple, but functional design of applied polished markers for hours with printed lines for minutes/seconds in between. Debossed lines create a touch of texture and help break up the negative space, while a very tall chapter ring adds depth while also reducing the perceived diameter of the dial.

On the chapter ring of the Korean edition (seen here), you’ll find a traditional Korean motif that has been adapted to be a functional index. This is a clever detail that I feel the brand should lean into more in future watches. No need for different versions. Polished dauphine hour and minute hands add a touch of mid-century style, playing off of the applied markers. The branding on the dial is pretty standard in terms of scale, though they did include “Blazer” in yellow above six. Perhaps this is just personal preference, but I don’t feel the name of the model needs to be featured on the dial, let alone called out in a contrasting color.

There is really nothing to complain about in terms of the fit of the Blazer. They nailed the size for the style of watch they were going for. Short lugs and a compressed dial make the watch wear smaller than 38.5mm would suggest, which is already in the comfortable zone. The lugs are also quite thin, further reducing their visual impact. Despite this, a wide bezel creates a solid, sporty presence on the wrist. The 4mm taper of the bracelet adds to comfort as well. Most important, however, is the sub-10mm height. The watch wears low and just feels well-tuned because of this one spec.

Varon Chiri goes out of the way to highlight the finishing of the Blazer on their website, and they are smart to do it. While there are no fancy bevels, undercuts, or other design flourishes on the case to speak of, the basic finishing is well achieved, especially at the price. You’ll find a mix of polished and brushed surfaces, all cleanly executed. The bracelet has more going on, however, with mixed finishing on the links and bevels along the sides of the outer links. I’d go so far as to say the quality of the bracelet finishing actually outshines the case a bit.


Whether “Korea Made” has meaning to you or not, the Blazer by Varon Chiri is a competent and exciting first watch by the new brand. Their approach worked. They took the temperature of enthusiasts via a survey and made a watch that fit their findings. It’s attractive, comfortable, and enjoyable to wear if lacking a bit of identity. That said, little flourishes like the Korean motif on the chapter ring and V-shaped links suggest there are stronger design aspirations in the wings. For their second watch, I hope Varon Chiri embraces these ideas to find their own voice a bit more. They clearly understand proportions, fit, and finishing, as well as how to achieve them at a very good price point. With just a little more personality, they will have something great. Varon Chiri

Images from this post:
Related Reviews
Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw