Windup Watch Fair Video Interviews: Vertex

Vertex made their Windup Watch Fair debut in San Francisco this year, and we had the chance to sit down with brand founder Don Cochrane to talk about some of the latest additions to their growing collection. “Founder,” however, isn’t really the right word to describe Cochrane. He prefers the term “re-founder,” which more accurately describes his relationship to the company, which has a history dating back over 100 years. 

Claude Lyons, Cochrane’s great-grandfather, founded Vertex in 1916, and the company became a specialist in re-casing Swiss movements in Britain. Vertex supplied timekeepers to servicemen through two World Wars, and the brand is part of the famed “Dirty Dozen,” a group of watchmakers contracted with the British Ministry of Defense to supply watches to enlisted men during World War II. 

Vertex, like so many watch companies that flourished in the first half of the 20th century, went dormant during the “quartz crisis” of the 70s and 80s. That’s where Cochrane comes in, re-incorporating the company 100 years after its founding. The watches Vertex makes today have a strong link to the military aesthetic that defined the brand during its original run, but feature contemporary design flourishes and take full advantage of modern manufacturing techniques, ensuring these watches live up to the tool watch bona fides synonymous with the Vertex name. 

The M-60 Aqualion is a great example. This is, in many ways, very much a classic dive watch. Legibility has been prioritized in the dial design, with large hands and hour markers that are easy to read at a glance, with nothing extraneous to get in the way. The case is robust, rated to a depth of 600 meters, and the caliber is COSC certified. But there are modern touches here and there, like the fully lumed bezel insert made of matte ceramic. And then there’s the new version of the watch, seen in this interview, with a sleek black DLC coating.

For more information on Vertex, check them out here

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