Are Vaer watches any good?
Updated by Vaer Watches
Vaer watches have a strong reputation for reliable quality, impressive value, and responsive service and support.
Is a Vaer watch better than a Rolex? How much better is it than a Timex? Should you buy a Hamilton or Tudor instead?
These are the types of questions we get from prospective customers all of the time. To best understand the true value proposition of a Vaer watch it's helpful to understand exactly what they are built for.
Here are our 3 main priorities in our product design:
1. The watch must be highly functional in ocean conditions and be comfortable enough to wear in the water everyday.
2. It also needs to provide a level of aesthetic refinement to shine in the most formal situations.
3. Its price need to stay lower than any competitor with comparable specs and features (including assembly).
Generally speaking, we like to say that Vaer Watches are built to outshine competitors 2-3x the price point, and currently, we compete in 4 general watch industry categories (see below) from our $159 Standard Issue models at the "basic" quartz level, and going up to $1,199 for our G7 GMTs.
Watch Industry Tiers by Retail Price
- Budget: Under $50
- Basic Quartz: $50 - $200 (Vaer S3,S5)
- Premium Quartz: $200 - $800 (Vaer C3, C5, D4)
- Entry Automatic: $200 - $1,000 (Vaer D5, A5)
- Junior Luxury: $1,000 - $8,000 (Vaer D7, G7, A12)
- Luxury: $8,000 - $20,000
- Ultra-Luxury: +$20,000
From a business standpoint, we feel like the sub-$1000 category is the biggest opportunity for our brand, and we don't have any immediate plans to expand into the other categories any time soon. Additionally, we don't promote our more expensive automatics as inherently better than our quartz watches. All of our watches are can be worn scuba diving - and all of our watches can also be worn confidently with a tuxedo. The higher retail price simply reflects a markup of our cost of goods which is closely tied to the cost of our watch movements.
While most folks would point to luxury and ultra-luxury watches as a savvy investment, in general, I don't think that theory holds very well, as the returns are modest except for the rarest releases. If you want to treat watches as a commodity I would skip the big brands and look at ultra-luxury upstarts like F.P. Journe where investment returns and value far outpace the bigger names in the space. If you just want a watch to actually wear, beat-up, and enjoy, I think microbrands like Vaer are definitely the best option available today."
- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder
A good watch is always worth more than the sum of its parts. While Vaer represents better value than most big-name brands, there are also other 10ATM, sapphire crystal type options that might cost even less. Kickstarter and other personal startup projects will continue to be an option in the watch space. Just like Rolex and Omega, we believe our brand mark and (brief) history have value, and this is also something to consider when purchasing one of our products compared to an untested alternative.