When you’ve obtained a passing curiosity in watches, you are most likely accustomed to the freewheeling stylings of the Seventies, an period that birthed the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Vacheron Constantin 222, amongst different funky designs. The last decade proper earlier than it, nonetheless, produced simply as many iconic and equally covetable silhouettes, particularly on the subject of the racing chronographs worn by guys like Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and the Apollo astronauts. Designed to exactly time sporting occasions like Formulation 1 races or, in a pinch, assist you land a lunar module, the TAG Heuer Monaco, the Omega Speedmaster, and the Rolex Daytona had been just some of probably the most enduring drops of the last decade. Greater than half a century later (because of the MoonSwatch and Paul Newman’s notorious Rolex) these items are in greater demand than ever, and anybody trying so as to add one to their assortment can count on to do severe harm to their financial savings account. With its era-appropriate seems to be and $399 worth, nonetheless, the brand new Vaer R1 is a lock for podium place in your rotation at a fraction of the associated fee.
For these unfamiliar with Vaer, the California-based model focuses on rugged sports activities watches with premium options like sapphire crystals and locking crowns, all assembled within the USA and Switzerland. Our introduction to Vaer was their limited-edition A-12, a tribute to the so-called “Soiled Dozen” watches of WWII with a historically-faithful design proper all the way down to the hand-wound Swiss motion. Because the model’s homage to one of the best chronographs of the ‘60s and ’70s, the Vaer R1 may be very a lot minimize from the identical fabric (so to talk), with period-correct particulars like a cushion-shaped case (out there in each 38mm and 42mm sizes), a domed sapphire crystal, and an non-obligatory metal Jubilee-style bracelet.
Simply as engaging because the R1’s trio of minimalist dials, nonetheless, is what’s beneath them: a Seiko meca-quartz motion. Pioneered by luxurious Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre within the Eighties, and utilized by large names like IWC and Breitling within the Nineties, meca-quartz actions depend on quartz know-how for the hours and minutes, with an added mechanical module to energy the chronograph perform. With the identical mechanical really feel and sweeping seconds hand as an computerized chronograph, and the superior accuracy of quartz, a meca-quartz motion is a best-of-both-worlds answer that makes the R1 extra dependable, extra sturdy, and—most vital– extra inexpensive than its mechanical counterparts. It additionally makes the R1 a transparent winner for anybody seeking to get their arms on an inexpensive ’60s-style chronograph, regardless of how far you end up from the grid.