With all the minimalist watches found on crowdfunding sites in the past 2 years, we’re starting to wonder if it’s really what collectors want or if it’s just the option they’re being given due to the ultra low production cost. They don’t call it “minimalism” for nothing, that’s usually exactly what you’ll get: small quartz movements, ripped off designs, low quality components, etc!
And then there’s the Vapaus Veli.
Vapaus designed a quality minimalist timepiece that measures up to exactly what a modern vintage-inspired dress watch should be. A classy 38mm round case, 20mm at the lugs, and 10mm tall on the wrist – almost 3mm of which are from the high-arched sapphire crystal.
We could have used acrylic, or mineral glass (the option chosen by German manufacturer Junghans for their iconic Max Bill watches). We could have reduced the curve of the dome (reducing it even marginally would have resulted in a significant cost saving). We could have switched to a manufacturer in the Far East. However, from the outset of this project we committed to each other that we would take an entirely uncompromising approach in delivering the Veli. When we first held the prototypes in our hands, and saw the light refract off the stunning high-arched sapphire, we knew we had made the right choice.
The dial and hands run parallel to the scratch-resistant dome above. The beautiful sunburst effect that shoots out to the far edges of the face is what really got our attention. You get a crisp view into this uncluttered dial thanks to the double anti-reflective coated crystal.
Get it dished out in Deep Blue, Ice Silver, Space Black or Slate Grey – with matching date wheel. As you see above, there are two different sets of hands available: classic alpha hands or rectangular paddle style hands. We’d opt for the classic hands to keep the consistency – but hey, to each their own!
Like the watches of the 1940s and 50s, the Veli is wound by hand. Watch geeks are familiar with Sellita’s popular automatic caliber SW200. It’s refreshing to see that Vapaus powered the Veli watch with a manual-wind caliber SW215-1. Nice choice! The only disappointment is that they went with a solid caseback instead of exhibition style.
Vapaus has crushed their Kickstarter, which means the Veli will actually get made. There is a week left to get in at the pre-sale price. For under a grand you’ll get minimalism at a minimum price that isn’t built with minimal quality.