The Vaer D5 Diver Brings a Lot to the Table

The Vaer D5 Arctic. Image Credit: Nicholas De Leon

We often focus on “worth” and what makes one watch “price” greater than one other right here at WristWatchEvaluation and on our podcast The HourTime Show. 
A quartz-powered Timex, for instance, doubtless tells higher time than your run-of-the mill Seiko diver, however you should buy a Timex for lower than $100 whereas a strong, entry-level Seiko (say, the 5KX or “Dress KX”) will simply run you many hundred {dollars}. Is that good worth?

These kinds of concerns have been on my thoughts over the previous few days whereas sporting the not too long ago launched D5, a $499 dive watch from Los Angeles-based Vaer. Available in a number of variations, I requested for the Artic for overview partly as a result of my bias is towards easy quite than complicated dials and I’m an unapologetic fan of that aged (and controversial) “fauxtina” look.

So, again to worth: I believe it is a sturdy bundle with lots to supply. Some minor quibbles apart (which we’ll get to in a second), this appears like a strong look ahead to the kind of one who reads watch blogs of their spare time, is a fan of the artform, and for whom $500 is an amount of cash that may be safely saved in a month or two. To me, it kind of occupies the identical stage as Seiko: reasonably priced however not low-cost.

So a lot of this watch screams retro that it’s onerous to not smile. Well, except you’re not a fan of retro-inspired design. 

Image Credit: Nicholas De Leon

It’s a 39mm diver with 200m of water resistance, which inserts very nicely on my annoyingly small 6.5-inch wrist. (It’s an issue I’ve mentioned in some element on the podcast.) Inside beats a Miyota 9039 (hacking however no date) with 40 hours of energy reserve. You can put on it, set it in your drawer, and choose it up a day or two later to seek out it nonetheless ticking away. The double domed sapphire crystal makes the dial and sword arms (together with the Submariner-esque minute hand) really pop. The lume? SuperLuminova X1 Old Radium, which glows mightily as soon as correctly charged. The bezel? Aligned!

The D5 is rated at -5/+15 sec / day. That feels proper after a couple of days, although I’ve to confess that, with nowhere significantly to go these days (except you depend the trek to the mailbox), I’m not terribly involved with getting my watches synced with to the second.

Image Credit: Nicholas De Leon

When I spoke with Vaer’s founders final week, we spoke at size about, nicely, quite a lot of issues, together with what it’s wish to construct a watch model from scratch within the age of social media influencers, the similarities between watches and tech (because it seems, our backgrounds are in tech), and the significance of American meeting to Vaer going ahead. 

“It’s one thing that lots of people actually take pleasure in and that none of our rivals have,” Vaer co-founder Ryan Torres informed me over video chat. “That in and of itself units us aside.”

There’s an meeting group in Arizona. Print belongings are dealt with in Los Angeles. Leather straps are made in Florida and South Carolina. Fulfillment is out of Kansas City.

All informed, Vaer co-founder Reagan Cook says, you’re 60 % US supply origin. There are definitely cheaper methods to construct a watch.

“Our thought is, in the long term and at a very base stage, that basis of brand name id will repay.”

As a lot as I’m a fan of the D5, there are some things that may very well be higher the following time round.

For one, the crown… isn’t nice. I’m used to crowns coming out with an actual pop and this one simply sorta slinks out, if that makes any sense. Actually turning it’s wonderful. Screwing it again in additionally isn’t nice. It’s not that it’s gritty however extra such as you’re by no means actually positive if the threads have caught. Imagine looking for your keys at nighttime, and that’s the feeling you’ve right here. 

The lume on the bezel can also be price mentioning. As you’ll be able to see, it glows very vivid and I’ve no drawback there. But when not glowing, and catching the sunshine simply so, the lume is a bit splotchy. Is that one thing you’ll discover throughout the regular course of sporting the watch? Highly unlikely. I didn’t for a number of days, a minimum of, and it was solely after I used to be twirling it round in direct daylight, with my face perhaps two inches away from the bezel, did I discover it. But, it’s there and ought to be improved with the following iteration.

Again, all in all, I believe there’s lots right here. 

To me, its closest rivals can be one thing just like the Seiko SKX or 5KX, the Orient Kamasu, or the Lorier Neptune. 

The SKX has been discontinued, and I’m undecided it makes a ton of sense at this level to pay upwards of $400 for a non-hacking, kinda janky (and I imply that may all due respect!) diver right here in early 2021. The 5KX ($230-ish), in the meantime, has a Hardlex (a kind of hardened mineral) crystal, “solely” 100m of water resistance, a non-screwdown crown, and different compromises which have divided the Seiko trustworthy (although I don’t thoughts it). The Orient ($230-ish) matches up nicely spec-for-spec, but it surely doesn’t have the identical retro-inspired design. The Swiss-assembled Lorier does have the same retro aesthetic, matches the specs, and prices about the identical.

The alternative is yours, in fact, however as I mentioned earlier than: minor quibbles apart, the D5 is a robust bundle with lots to love.

The Specs from Vaer

Watch Model D5 Arctic
Case Diameter
Bezel Diameter
Dial Color
H+M Hand Color
Brushed Steel
S Hand Color
Case Material
316L Steel
Case Back
Sapphire Exhibition
Sapphire Crystal
Double Domed
Cermic w/ Lume
Case Thickness
11.6mmThickness w/ Crystal 13.7mm
Case Weight
66 grams
Weight inc. Strap
84 grams
Water Resistance
20ATM (200m)
Miyota 9039
Power Reserve
Regulated Accuracy
-5/+15 sec / day
SuperLuminova X1 Old Radium
Strap Size

Like watches? Of course you do! That’s why it’s best to take heed to The HourTime Show, WristWatchEvaluation’s newly relaunched podcast that includes a dialogue of the week’s prime watch information and skilled opinions from your mates at WristWatchEvaluation. It’s out there on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever podcasts are discovered. Thanks!

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