Although the current economic situation doesn’t seem to encourage new ventures to enter into the luxury watch business, the new-born Italian brand Vergo Avius has attempted an all-out attack* at our pockets with its new Vergo Avius Leonardo family.
Powered by a Swiss-made movement, this is still an Italian watch.
Since the country is mostly associated with luxury sports cars in general and the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team in particular, the watch is designed with the world of automotive racings in mind.
Its feather-light case is made of some sorts of light-weight alloy, which is used in Formula 1, while the bezel and the case-back are crafted of more common Grade-5 Class AA titanium.
The body of this particular Ref. I05003 model is PVD-treated in light-grey Sky Chrome color, but there are two other versions in a darker shade of grey, which is called “Gun Metal,” and in a simple black PVD finish.
As you can see on the photos, the sides of the case are machined to look like a passive heat-sink and the setting crown looks like a tiny alloy rim wrapped in low-profile rubber.
It must be noted, that the watch is big.
According to official specs, the device is presented in a case, which is whole 48 millimeters long, 42.5 millimeters wide and 14.3 millimeters thick.
So, if you happen to own a rather thin wrist, you should definitely try this one on you before reaching for the credit card.
There is a good way to do the trick without actually visiting the store that sells the model. Just copy a picture of the watch, scale it in Photoshop or Gimp to the actual size, print it, and then try it on your wrist.
The dial features a whole three sub-dials: a retrograde date indicator at 3 o’clock, a more traditional “days of week” indicator at 9 o’clock, and a dashboard-style power reserve display at 6 o’clock.
Resembling the old-school speedometers on the old American muscle-cars, the power reserve indicator looks daringly anachronistic here, like a custom 1935 Ford pick-up track on a Formula 1 circuit.
The honey-comb “grille” at 12 o’clock, as well as the perforated hands (all of them luminous, by the way), make the connotations with the exciting world of motorsports even stronger.
All this machinery is working powered by the Soprod 9094 self-winding movement that we have recently seen in the Cuervo Y Sobrinos Historiador Retrogrado, Ernest Borel Jules Borel Retrograde, Cimier Retrograde Automatic and a whole lot of other watches.
The movement is based on the well-known ETA 2892-A2 blank movement with date and power reserves modules on top of it. Accurate and reliable, the Soprod 9094 is popular among independent watchmakers.
Summing it all up, I must admit that the new Vergo Avius Leonardo series falls into the “love it or hate the guts of it” category. But what it is certainly NOT is yet another dull and uninspiring creature that simply wants to make your wallet lighter with the help of the over-abused “Swiss Made” inscription.
Limited to only 99 pieces, the watch will sell at a price of only €6250, which makes it affordable even for budget-conscious collectors.
* UPDATE: Well, after some fast googling, I have the impression that the brand didn’t make it: as of October 2017, their website was closed.
Photos: Vergo Avius
Vergo Avius Leonardo (Ref. I05003) Limited Edition specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber Soprod 9094, based on ETA 2892-A2, 28,800 vph, 30 jewels, Glucydur balance, Nivaflex M spring, Incabloc shock absorption, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded winding rotor, circular graining
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, retrograde date, power reserve, days of the week
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Special lightweight alloy
Crown: Stainless steel
Dial: Dark grey
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Grey thermoplastic elastomer strap with double safety clasp in titanium
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides