Review: VERO SW (Sport Watch)

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Regardless of where you’re from, being able to say that you manufacture in a facility that’s in your own backyard carries some serious weight. Largely, the goods we purchase (especially watches) come from somewhere else in the world. Skill sets change with the economy, and there’s an overwhelming lack of watch manufacturers in the USA today compared to when there was an actual thriving industry and infrastructure here. That being said, it’s not impossible to make a quality timepiece in the USA. VERO set out to do just that — build the watch that they wanted to build, in their own factory, that’s tailored to the activities that they enjoy.

Today, we’re checking out VERO’s SW (Sport Watch) model in two flavors: one with a case that is black DLC-coated and the other rendered in polished stainless steel (what they call the SS model). True to its name, the SW features a legible and sporty dial that sits inside a highly ergonomic, 200m-water-resistant case built to take a serious beating.

Our Managing Editor and Video Producer Ilya visited VERO at their facilities when they were first developing the SW. When we were there, VERO was still working on bringing more processes in-house, which they have in the time since our visit.  You can check out our behind-the-scenes look from that visit in the video below.

Okay, Let’s jump right in. 

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$1650

Review: VERO SW (Sport Watch)

Case
Stainless Steel in Black DLC or SS (high polish)
Movement
Sellita SW200 (with modifications and regulation done in-house)
Dial
Matte black
Lume
Super-LumiNova
Lens
Domed Sapphire
Strap
Molded silicone
Water Resistance
200m
Dimensions
41mm x 46mm
Thickness
11.5mm
Lug Width
22mm
Crown
Push-pull with proprietary sealing mechanism
Warranty
Yes
Price
$1650

Case

The case comes in at a reasonable 41mm by 46mm, but the numbers don’t really tell the full story here. Immediately, it’s the gentle curve of the case that’s sure to get your attention. Though it’s not hit-you-over-the-head obvious at first glance, the curve of the case is very apparent when on the wrist, and that’s when you realize that this is something special. I can say, without a doubt, that the SW is one of the most comfortable watches I’ve had the pleasure of wearing, and it conforms perfectly to my 6.75” wrist. We’ll talk more about how it wears in conjunction with the integrated silicone strap further down in the review.

When observing the case, it’s all about thoughtful angles and curves. From the top down, the watch looks remarkably organic. The wide, curved bezel surrounding the dial elegantly integrates into the mid-case, and the lugs follow a similar curve, giving the watch a circular appearance from above. The overall shape is natural  looking, perfect for a watch meant to be comfortable on the wrist and used out in nature. It’s only when we look at the watch in profile that some hard angles come into play.

The mid-case is fairly untraditional, in that it’s cut at an extreme angle sloping inwards to the case back. This unique design decision has everything to do with wearability. When wearing the watch, the angled sides stay well out of your way, especially when bending your wrist. Remember, this is VERO’s “Sport Watch.” It’s meant to be worn while you’re swimming, surfing, fishing, and all-around adventuring. While testing out the SW, I’ve found it easy to forget that it was on my wrist. Even though I spend a fair amount of time at my desk, I still found myself appreciating the higher level of comfort here. For a 41mm case, it honestly wears smaller and more comfortable than a lot of offerings at this size.

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Note the curve of the mid-case…
…and how it flows through the lugs down to the strap.
This makes for a very comfortable watch on the wrist…
…no matter what you’re up to.

You can opt for the SW in a jet-black DLC-coated case, or in a polished stainless steel version dubbed SS. The DLC on the black version is smooth with a matte finish, and it looks great. Finishing on the SS is also quite nice, with smooth surfaces polished to a high shine and the sides brushed for some contrast.

The 316L stainless steel case of the VERO SW is designed and produced entirely in-house, so this allowed the VERO team to really hone in the little details. Nestled into the right side of the sloped case is the crown (yes, VERO also makes the entire crown assembly in-house). On a sport watch, we’ve come to expect a screw-down crown, but the crown here, with its proprietary piston-sealing mechanism and the way it joins the case, makes this unnecessary. The angling of the mid-case, in conjunction with the slight overhang of the bezel, together create a different sort of crown guard than we’re generally used to seeing on watches. When looking at the watch from the top down, only about 2mm of crown is visible. Even though it’s not in plain view, the angling of the mid-case makes it very easy to grasp and manipulate the crown when the watch is off your wrist. The deep knurled texture of the crown adds to the functionality.

Flip the watch over, and you’ll find some high quality engraving on the back that proudly displays the name of the brand, the model number, and some basic specs bound by an oval frame. To the left of that is a small screw set in the middle of a sea of angled lines with a rather cautionary “DO NOT UNSCREW” warning right above. This screw is necessary to achieve the monocoque design (there’s no case back here) and holds the internals in place. Unscrewing this screw releases the crown, which is necessary for removing the dial and movement from the top of the case, which is how its done on a monocoque design. So yeah, don’t let curiosity get the best of you — take VERO’s advice and leave this one alone.

Dial and Hands

The black dials featured on both models of the SW are made entirely in-house with a custom-designed pad printing machine. VERO has gotten their tolerances down to a very impressive 0.1mm to ensure precise printing and alignment. The dial starts its life as a brass plate, which is nickel-plated to prevent corrosion. It is then layered with ceramic lacquer to achieve a matte black finish with a slight papery texture. Finally, it’s hit with a solid application of white paint to make up the numerals and text.

VERO’s Sport Watch is available in two distinct flavors.

You’ll notice that the dial design of the SW borrows from instrumentation dials, but their take is a bit more modern. The cardinal numbers are bold and prominent on the dial. In between these exaggerated Arabic numerals are smaller numbers at every hour. Single-digit numbers begin with a zero, which balances out the dial nicely (so at 1:00, we have “01”). Bringing things down to an even smaller level of detail, there’s an outer ring with printed hash markers between each hour. There are two fine hashmarks followed by a bolder hashmark for each minute. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the two smaller hashmarks are, and because the minute mark is the same length as the finer ones it makes it a little tough to read the exact time from a standard wrist-to-eye distance.

Text on the dial is kept to a minimum — a design choice that I really appreciate on the SW. VERO’s logo is located at 12:00 and it’s very small. At the 6:00 position, there’s “AUTOMATIC,” which is a nice balance to the logo.

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The SW is fitted with a pair of sword-shaped hands that are treated with Super-LumiNova. There’s a slight shine to the black-colored base of the hour and minute hands, which adds some welcome contrast against the matte  dial. For a pop of color, VERO opted for brightly colored seconds hands. On the DLC model, the seconds hand is blue, and the SS model features a hand rendered in orange. The hands are broad and easy to read, and I especially enjoy the little pop of color from the seconds hand. One thing worth noting, both the minute hand and the second hand do not reach all the way to the outer scale, and while you won’t have any practical issues reading the time, I know this is a pet peeve for some collectors.

Movement

Beating inside the case of the SW is a Sellita SW200 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve. This Swiss-made caliber is proven and reliable, widely used by brands that make watches in this price range. Instead of just slapping a stock movement inside, VERO adds some of their own custom touches. They remove the stock crown wheel and ratchet wheel along with all of the front-facing screws inside the movement. They then turn the wheels on a lathe to achieve a visually interesting snailing finish and they heat-treat the screws to achieve a stunning blue hue. VERO also regulate each movement to +/- 5 seconds per day (or better), so you’re getting some solid timekeeping here.

Straps and  Wearability

One of the best things about the VERO SW is how it wears. I briefly mentioned above how the SW was one of the most comfortable mechanical watches that I’ve ever worn, and after a few weeks with the watch, I don’t see myself backing off that statement. Its wearability boils down to two things: the case shape and the integrated silicone strap.

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The case curves to match the contours of your wrist. It’s best illustrated in the photos here, so make sure you blow them up to take a closer look. In addition to the curve of the case, the way the case sides angle in does wonders for keeping the watch out of the way when you bend your wrist.

VERO made custom silicone straps that fit the case perfectly, with the strap forming a tight seal in the space between the lugs. Along the top, there’s a raised middle section that follows the curves of the lugs and continues down the length of the strap. Because the straps follow the same ergonomic curve of the case, they perfectly wrap around the wrist and add to the overall comfort. The straps come with some sturdy steel hardware and excess length is kept neat with two keepers. If I could change one thing about the strap, I would add some texture or water drainage channels to the underside. The flat surface can get a little sticky in hot weather and some pattern or texture would help mitigate the issue.

Again, the VERO SW is one of the most (if not the most) ergonomically sound mechanical watches out there. The case shape, in conjunction with the perfectly-fitted silicone strap, creates one seriously comfortable watch. If you’re out in the field, surfing, swimming, fishing, or even just typing away at your desk, you’ll appreciate the attention to detail that VERO has paid to how the watch wears. 

Conclusion

In their branding for the watch, VERO mentions that the SW “bridges the gap between sport and sophistication,” and I think they hit the mark. The impressive specs, materials, and rock-solid build quality are true to the Sport Watch name. The interesting design, organic curves, and subtle pops of color add that level of sophistication that makes the SW a great all-around watch. When considering that so much of the watch is made in-house, it makes the end result that much more impressive, and the price (starts at $1,650 for the SS model) feels justified. It’s clear that VERO is off to a great start with their current lineup, and I can’t wait to see where the brand takes it in the future. VERO

(Editor’s Disclaimer: VERO watches are sold by the Windup Watch Shop, which is owned and operated by Worn & Wound LLC.)

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.
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