Vero Crown Point
New on the scene is the Vero Crown Point, part of the Open Water series, from the Portland-based microbrand. There are two models in the series currently, the Crown Point shown here and the North Coast, which has a grey dial and bezel combination. I chose to review the dark blue dial with DLC bezel and crown because I love the contrast, especially with the bright white hands and indices. Checking out and reviewing another watch is what we do here, but before I get to that, let’s answer a few questions. Who is Vero Watches?
The brand has been around for quite a few years now, but recently they have been a little quiet. I reviewed one of their previous models, the Vero SW, which was priced at over $1,600 and all machined and assembled in-house.
That was in 2019. It looked like the brand was on the path of bringing American Watchmaking back, much like Weiss has been attempting to do for a few years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, at least not currently. Vero has switched gears a bit and while the Open Water series is being assembled by them and they are regulating the movement, the components are coming from Switzerland this time around. That is a bit of a disappointment, but the watch itself is a great take on the diver and is about half the price from the watch last I reviewed from them, so let’s dive in a take a look.
Size – 40mm
Lug width – 20mm
Lug to lug – 47mm
Height – 11mm
Weight – 157 Grams
Case Material – 316 Stainless Steel
DLC Coated Bezel
Flat Sapphire, Single side AR Coating
Articulated bracelet/dual lock clasp
200M water resistant
Swiss Made US Assembled
Sellita SW-200-1 regulated in house
Price $875 as shown
Why did Vero change up their designs and manufacture? Those are questions I do not have answers to. I am sure they had their reasons and I could speculate all day long, but for the time being, the Open Water series are they currently have for sale. Both models come with a choice of the articulated bracelet or if you want to save some coin you could go with the Nato strap, which will run you $810. The Crown Point has a very deep blue dial, and I tried to highlight how dark it is through the pictures in this review. When you get a lot of light on it, like in the cover photo of the Youtube video, it can look a little lighter in color, but this is a matte dial and really doesn’t reflect light, so if you are looking for a bright blue dial, this is not it.
The Vero Crown Point certainly isn’t flashy, but it is not meant to be. Think of Sinn Watches, Ares watches, and the like, this is a no-nonsense tool style watch. The dial lacks a date wheel, and the text is kept to an absolute minimum. The indices are applied and are outlined in black, with no chrome plating here in sight. The hour and minute hand have a weird, but inviting texture to them, something I do not believe I have seen before. You really have to look close, but when you do, you can see they are not exactly solid black. Keeping with the black theme, the bezel and crown are black DLC coated, giving a great contrast against the bead-blasted stainless steel case.
Bezel and crown grip is superb on the Crown Point, and even though it does not meet ISO standards, I like the Nav-B style bezel numbers and that it is fully indexed. Not only does this help to time things better, but I like the aesthetic it creates as well. The crown has a good knurled texture though I do wish it was a little larger. It is not massively small or anything but for my medium-sized hands, and the claw-style crown guards, it can take a little bit longer to unscrew. That said, this is a 40mm watch, and we don’t need an 8mm crown hanging on the side of the case either.
The case is very low profile, so good for those that buck the system and want to wear this blasted, gritty-looking dive watch to the office or out to dinner, meaning it should easily fit under a nice sleeve cuff or even a nice flannel, depending on your style. Jokes aside, it is 11mm thick, or in this case, thin, and still is 200m water-resistant. Yes, you can have a dive watch that isn’t 16mm thick, with four Helium Escape Valves. The case back, like the rest of the watch is kept very simple, and while I enjoy a nice stamped case back with some crazy wave design or mythical creature, the Vero Crown Point is completely flat and feels great against the wrist. K.I.S.S.
This watch is very attractive and a solid, well-made watch. But, I did notice, what I would call a design flaw with the bracelet, or more specifically the end links. The oyster-style bracelet is solid and all bead blasted like the case and can fold up onto itself, as it is fully articulated. What does that mean? It means you won’t get any kinks in the link and it will drape right over your wrist. But, BUT, take a look at that end link and the link below it. You will find little rub marks. The watch arrived this way, but I noticed that there is no way to avoid this. The link under the end link rubs directly on it and since this case and bracelet is blasted and does not have a hard coating, well, you see the results. So, what is the consensus on this? Is this a deal-breaker? For some, especially the OCD watch crowd, it will be. For others, this will be used as a tool watch, and marks like that won’t bother them. What do I think? It wouldn’t bother me, but this should have been noticed and addressed at the prototype stage.
As I stated, the bracelet is extremely comfortable, but a few other things to note. The links are attached with the pin and collar system, much like Seiko and a few other brands use. It is a great system as it is very sturdy and you will never have to worry about a bent spring pin or stripped screw. Some do not care for it because it can be a little bit of a headache to size, but if that is the case, just take it to a competent watchmaker or jeweler. It will cost $5-$10, and you’ll save the kids from all of daddy’s curse words. The clasp is pretty standard, which is a letdown. No push button, just a basic catalog flip-lock clasp, that lacks a wetsuit extension and only has 3 micro-adjust holes.
For my 7 1/2 inch wrist, I have no complaints. I did not have to size the Vero Crown Point, as it pretty much fit me right out of the box, so keep that in mind if you have larger wrists than mine. I am sure Vero can supply extra links if needed. It is a comfortable and attractive watch on the wrist, and even though it is not an homage really, it does give me the Sinn SDR vibe. The case is completely different, but maybe this can be a budget option for some.
The lume is somewhat like a Sinn U1 as well, it is not going to blow your socks off as far as intensity is concerned, but the lume will glow for a good few hours, and is the compound is evenly applied throughout. One thing I wonder about though is the bezel. It does not state anything about a coating over the bezel and the white paint and lume application could wear off over time. Obviously, this is something I can’t test without a time machine, but I am curious to know how it will look in a few years.
Speaking of a few years, in this case, 10 years. What am I talking about? Well, the Vero 10 year no-questions-asked warranty. I will copy and paste what Vero told me.
If the watch is running a bit off, if you drop the watch or bang it against a hard surface, if you take it to the bottom of the ocean floor past depth rating….anything… you are covered. As long as it can be returned to us, you are fully covered. We really try to make the customer experience enjoyable and keep it on people’s wrists.
Considering I am pragmatic in nature, I do have to point out the fact that this all depends on the fact if the company will be around in 10 years. I am sure most of you think the same way and are aware that even though this no-questions-asked warranty is quite above what other brands offer, no one knows what the future holds for Vero. I obviously hope they are around in 10 years, they seem like a good team and are passionate about their brand, but just keep that in mind when considering the warranty.
To put it simply, I do like this watch. The Vero Crown Point is a clean, attractive design and beyond the lug/link issue I mentioned, this is a really solid and well-made watch. Some will balk at the price, some will not like the fact it is sans date, and countless other reasons, but that is just the reality of any product and subjectivity. As I said, I am not sure what brought on this change in direction for the young brand, but I like that this watch is assembled in the US and that they are regulating the SW200 movements as well (for reference I found this one to be about 8 seconds slow per day). I do not know what the future holds for Vero, but it looks like they will have a lifestyle and accessories brand coming soon, and I am sure they are already working on the next model.