If you’ve ever loved watches, you’re probably familiar with the liberal jewelery styles of the 1970s, the era that gave birth to Patek Philippe Nautilus and Vacheron Constantin 222, among other fun designs. The decade immediately preceding it, however, spawned many equally iconic and desirable silhouettes, especially when it comes to racing chronographs worn by the likes of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and others. Apollo astronaut. Designed to accurately time sporting events like Formula 1 races or, shortly, get you to land a lunar module, the TAG Heuer Monaco, Omega Speedmaster, and the Rolex Daytona are just a few of the oldest wristwatches of the decade. More than half a century later (thanks to MoonSwatch and Paul Newman’s infamous Rolex) These items are in higher demand than ever, and anyone wanting to add one to their collection could seriously damage their savings account. However, with its era-appropriate looks and $399 price tag, the new Vaer R1 is a key to your podium spot in your rotation for a fraction of the cost.
For those unfamiliar with Vaer, the California-based brand specializes in durable sports watches with high-end features like sapphire crystals and buckle crowns, all assembled in the USA. Our intro to Vaer is their limited edition A-12, a tribute to the so-called “Dirty Dozen” watches of the Second World War with design faithful to history right from the hand-wound Swiss movement. As the brand’s homage to the best chronographs of the ’60s and ’70s, the Vaer R1 is heavily cut from the same fabric (so to speak), with period-appropriate details. such as the cushion-shaped case (available in both 38mm and Size 41mm), a domed sapphire crystal and an optional steel Jubilee-style bracelet.
As intriguing as the R1’s trio of minimalist dials, however, is what’s underneath them: a Seiko meca quartz movement. Pioneered by luxury Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre in the 1980s and used by big names like IWC and Breitling in the 1990s, meca-quartz movements are based on quartz technology. for the hours and minutes, with an added mechanical module to power the chronograph function. With its mechanical feel and automatic chronograph-like sweeping seconds hand and unsurpassed quartz precision, the meca quartz movement is the best solution for making the R1 more reliable, more durable. and — most importantly — more good price than its mechanical counterparts. It also makes the R1 a clear winner for anyone looking to get their hands on an affordable 60s-style chronograph, no matter how far away you find yourself.