The new quartz-powered Roamer Vanguard wrist watch seems to be strongly influenced (to put it mildly) by the legendary Jules Audemars Extra Thin collection by the major Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet. Although featuring the same style and looking great in general, in small details the watch, to my deepest regret, clearly shows that it is at least ten times cheaper than the gorgeous piece of technical marvel that it pays homage to.
Too slow to follow current trend of rapid miniaturization, the new watch is delivered in a slim, round case whole 42 millimeters in diameter. Available in pure stainless steel or with mirror-polished rose gold PVD treatment, the Roamer Vanguard actually reproduces all major elements of exterior design of its source of inspiration.
The list of visible differences between the two is the diameter of the body, the thickness of lugs and the finish of the crown: the octahedral one on the Roamer Vanguard seems to be completely smooth, which will possibly make it more difficult to properly set the watch (and you will have to operate it at least five times per year: at the end of each month, which is shorter than 31 days, to set the simple calendar.)
The design of the dial is also very similar to that of the Jules Audemars model, although the leaf-shaped hours and minutes hands seem to be completely flat (I also hate the green dot in the center: it literally drives me nuts.)
It is, perhaps, cheaper to make the hands flat, however, saving a penny or two on the manufacturing process, the Swiss company completely destroyed the look of the dial that, otherwise, looks absolutely perfect.
I especially like the way they executed the small seconds sub-dial. Although its position was preordained by the layout of the ISA caliber 8176 ebauche (it can also be equipped with the caliber 2190 of the same company,) it looks very organic at its place at 2 o’clock, nicely balancing both the “ROAMER” logo at 3 hours and the tiny round date window at 6 o’clock.
I am not sure how much Roamer plans to charge for this model, but if they will manage to keep the price below $500, it may become a very nice choice for those looking for an expensive-looking dress watch on a low budget and don’t want to stoop to buying cheap Chinese fakes.
Roamer Vanguard Quartz watch specification
Movement: Quartz, Caliber ISA 8176 or ISA 2190, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: N/A
Movement frequency: N/A
Movement decoration: N/A
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Power reserve: A couple of years
Case material: Stainless steel or Rose gold PVD-coated steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: N/A
Lug width: N/A
Dial: Black, blue or white
Hour markers: Applied, baton-shaped
Hands: Leaf-shaped, flat
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with buckle matching case
Case back: Solid