The watch we are taking a look at today comes from a company called Vario. In the past I have reviewed they’re straps which were pretty good an interesting. You can read the strap review here:
As we know this company is more of focused on the straps then watches. But the watches they make are hidden gems in the new watch world. As they are good looking and cost almost nothing. They have only one model called Eclipse but it comes in two different movement and 6 different dial variations. You can get either the one with Miyota 6T33 hand-wound mechanical movement 28.8kbph with 40 hours power reserve or the one with Seiko VH31 quartz movement (Ticks 4x/sec) which has sweeping seconds like a mechanical watch. I knew these sweeping seconds quartz movements existed but never seen one outside Seiko watches to be put in a watch. And the dial colours are dark green, black, dark grey, light grey, red and blue. They all are sunburst dials and look just amazing. Pictures really can’t translate the colours of the dial! And the attention it gets from other people is just ridiculous. This gets more attention than any watch in my collection. And another main point of the Eclipse watches is the Harry Tweed straps, which are very good as the winter is approaching fast!
The version that is sent to me today is the Vario Eclipse Hematite with the sweeping second’s quartz movement. I was actually told by the owner that these don’t get a lot of attention as the other version of the mechanical hand-wound movement. And I get it because more and more people now realize how cool is a mechanical watch, and that is a good thing. But you also need to see the hidden gems in quartz world like the one we are reviewing today. It looks good, it has some classic design, good build quality and cool movement with that sweeping second’s hand. Anycase, let’s dive into the review.
Vario Eclipse came in a signed black rectangular box, nothing special. You open the box and inside you will find things that not many watch companies at this price point offer. Inside you will find a spare battery, at first I thought I will need to put it in by myself, but then I realised it was a spare. I was really surprised they did this, as I never seen a watch company do that. Another thing was the spring bar tool which is pretty handy as this watch is really a strap monster. Every strap I tried on it, suits it. There were also the papers for the watch (instruction, warranty) and the watch itself. First impressions were really good. I like that the watch is small and the build quality is really good.
The case of the Vario Eclipse is made from 316L stainless steel. The case is 38mm in diameter, it is 10,3mm thick, lug tip to lug tip it measures at 45mm and lug width is 20mm. The whole case is finished with a high polish finish. And I got to say, the case is made really good. Only close competitors are probably Seiko or recent favourite Sternglas. And I really start to like smaller watches, the 38mm size is just perfect. The lugs are drilled which is another big thing that makes this watch even more perfect for strap change. At 3 o’clock we have a small, but easy to operate push-pull crown. On the crown, you will find the Vario logo etched in. Another cool thing is the case back. Taking inspiration from Chinese mythology, the Eclipse watch is an ode to the Heavenly Hound that Devours the moon. With a beautifully etched howling dog and the Chinese script for the Heavenly Hound, this watch case back is quite special. The etching of the legendary dog is unique and stand out of the usual style of case backs with just specifications. On top of the watch sits a beautiful double domed sapphire crystal which is impressive at this price range.Water resistance is 5ATM (50m).
The dial is just wow. The sunburst effect on the dial is just something out of this world. Never seen such a play of light on a dial. The dial is simple and definitely, the main point of attraction is that sunburst effect. Hour markers are silver and the minute markers are in white colour. The hands are sword shape and are finished in polished finishing. Thsecond’sds hand is stick shape and is also finished in polished finishing. And it is very pleasant to see the sweeping seconds hand.
The movement inside the watch is Seiko VH31 quartz movement (Ticks 4x/sec) which has sweeping seconds like a mechanical watch. I never heard of this movement before. I knew that there were quartz movements that have this sweeping seconds hand but never seen one in the flesh. Here you get the sweeping seconds hand of a mechanical watch and the feature of not winding it as it uses batteries and runs without stopping for 2-3 years. And the Vario actually includes another battery in the package so you don’t even need to think about that too.
The strap on this particular watch is a Harry Tweed grey strap. This model also comes in other tweed strap colours and recently while writing this review they updated the strap with some more ZRC leather straps also in some cool colours and with various grains from buffalo to an alligator. The strap quality is really good.
Overall the watch is amazing. In my opinion, the price is too low for a watch this good. You get a double domed sapphire crystal, good size and design, amazing dial, the seeping second’s quartz movement and it is limited edition watch (limited to 20 pieces). Also that you get in the package the spring bar tool and the battery is a good addition. Would I suggest it? Yes, but only the quartz version, the mechanical is interesting too, but this is more cooler and it doesn’t need to be wound.
Case diameter: 38mm
Height to apex of crystal: 10mm
Case thickness: 7mm
Crystal: 3mm scratch resistant double dome sapphire (anti-reflective coating on inner surface)
Case material: 316L stainless steel
Dial: Convex grey colour sunburst dial
Strap: 20mm handmade Harris Tweed strap
Movement: Seiko VH31 quartz movement (Ticks 4x/sec)
Water Resistance: 5 ATM