The Italian fashion giant Gianni Versace S.p.A. has finally decided to expand their Vanitas collection (the one that was previously known to me only for its fairly expensive fragrances but also happens to include handbags and other accessories) with a fashion watch.
Designed for women and powered by an inexpensive Swiss quartz movement, which is identical to the mechanism that also happens to animate their 2010 Reve Carre model, the new Versace Vanitas Quartz Collection (ref. VK773 0017) sports an attractive design.
Unlike its archrival Bulgari, Versace is not terribly consistent when it comes to the styling of their watches. Still, the brand that stands behind this watch is easily recognizable thanks to the signature Greek Key pattern engraved on the bezel (you have probably seen the same pattern on the brand’s famous Medusa logo).
Set with dozens of diamonds, the enameled dial nicely combines an elegant quilted pattern with a sensual floral motif with the former being reiterated on a fine leather strap, which is color-keyed to the dial soon to be available not only in white but also in black, red and ivory. I am not sure about the studs that cover the strap (they look a bit heavy and, well, over the top to me), but if you don’t mind them the watch looks almost perfect for a modern lady.
According to the press release that I have recently received, the watch is powered by Ronda 762.3 quartz caliber. Retailing for less than 5 Euro, this is definitely a throwaway movement, which means one in two things depending on where you happen to live: if the watch suddenly stops, the movement will either be replaced in no time, or you will have to wait for weeks (if not months) for your local authorized service to get the caliber from some central location and finally repair your watch.
Well, the timekeeper still looks lovely and if you don’t plan to buy this timekeeper as your primary (or even the only) watch, you should definitely try one if the price is right.
See also: Chopard Happy Sport Medium Automatic
Sept. 2017 Update on Pricing: Sporting a sticker price of $1500, it is expensive even for an accessory sold under such a well-advertised brand name.
However, browsing one of the most popular online shops, I have just noticed that the watch was offered at just $495 for the “Labor Day Sale,” so, it wasn’t as popular among potential buyers as Versace has apparently hoped. Well, fifteen hundred bucks for a rose gold-plated steel watch with a cheap mechanism inside does indeed seem like way too, um, optimistic even for a fashion brand of such pedigree. Still, at less than $500 on sale, it may be an interesting choice.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Gianni Versaci
Versace Vanitas specification
Price: $1500 (MSRP, ref. VK773 0017 on white leather strap)
Movement: Quartz, Caliber Ronda 762.3, Swiss Made
Power reserve: A couple of years
Functions: Hours, minutes
Dial: White, Black, or Red enamel
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Quilted and studded leather strap in white, black or red (matching color of the dial)