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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello WUS!

I'm the Founder of VAPAUS watches and I am delighted to share the specifications for the first VAPAUSA watch with you.

VAPAUS, meaning “freedom” in Finnish, was founded in pursuit of a dream, to design and build beautiful watches and share them with watch enthusiasts around the world.

The design, and the brand, are inspired by the stunning watches of the 1940-1950s, with their textured yet minimal dials, domed crystals, slim profiles, polished metal and beautifully engineered movements.

Our vision is to gently modernise this elegant aesthetic with the latest materials and movements to create strikingly beautiful timepieces.











Further images can be seen on our website, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Specifications

Case Diameter: 38 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Lug to Lug: 44mm
Crystal: Sapphire, high-arched dome
Case Material: 316L stainless steel (mixture of polished and brushed)
Dial: sunburst dial - 4 colours - Ice Silver, Black, Deep Blue or Slate Grey
Strap: 20mm tapering down to 16mm - full grain leather (no externally visible stitching) (or potentially shell cordovan)
Manufacture: Swiss Made

The striking face is almost all dial, so the 38mm will wear much larger than you may first imagine. We experimented going smaller, down to 36mm, which is more in tune with the smaller dials of the 1950s; but found that the 38mm, combined with the rich enamel sunburst, resonated perfectly with our desire to modernise the designs of this period.

Movements

We will offer the watch in two versions:

Hand-wound:

ETA 2804-2: a fantastic hand-wound movement, which at just 3.35mm thick, is perfect for the slim profile of the watch.

Automatic:

We are currently deliberating between two high-quality Swiss automatic movements. Our choice is between:

ETA 2824-2: a solid and extremely well-known movement used in countless luxury watches

OR

Soprod A10: a slimmer and highly accurate Swiss automatic movement (3.6mm thickness compared to the ETA 2824-2 at 4.6mm).

My personal preference, having appreciated both movements in person, is the Soprod A10. It's a fantastically engineered movement, and the slimmer profile works beautifully with the design. However, I am very aware that watch lovers place a great deal of faith in ETA. I'd therefore love to hear your thoughts on this issue.

Design and prototypes

Over the last few months we have been carefully refining the design to ensure we capture the aesthetic at the heart of VAPAUS. In doing so, we have been through several interesting design iterations. Most recently, we have been experimenting with the hands. Below are some images of an alternate set of Dauphine hands:



While the Dauphine hands are beautiful, in our hearts we prefer the original hand design, due to the wonderful juxtaposition the blocky hands create with the smooth, curving lines of the watch. That being said, we wanted to share this design concept with you and open a creative dialogue.

Feedback

In order to make sharing your feedback easy, we have created a very short survey: VAPAUS design survey (completion time ~ 60 seconds). Please do fill it in if you want to have some input on our design (we will share full results from the survey in due course):

We would also love to get some discussion going on this thread. Please let us know:

  • which is your favourite colour?
  • what other colours would you like to see?
  • do you like the original hands or the re-designed Dauphine hands?
  • are you interested in a watch with a hand-wound movement? Or do you prefer automatic?

Our next step is moving to final version fully working prototypes, so please consider this an opportunity to have your ideas incorporated into the very first VAPAUS watch.

I look forward to discussing our designs with you all!

Oliver
Founder VAPAUS watches
 

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I've been following this one on Instagram and I'm pleased to see the progress and that prototypes are hopefully not far away.

My favourite is certainly the blue - it's quite striking - and I prefer the old hands as opposed to the restyled 'classic' looking ones.

I've never had a Soprod A10 so can't really comment on the auto movements. Will the auto and handwind share the same case? If so, I assume going with the Soprod auto means the case will be thinner than with the 2824-2. Do you have an idea for what the thickness will be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Brad

Thanks for your feedback - glad you like the designs!

If we go down the A10 route, then yes the hand-wound and auto will have the same case, which has obvious benefits. Thankfully, from responses received to date, the A10 has been an overwhelming favourite over the 2824-2.

I've been following this one on Instagram and I'm pleased to see the progress and that prototypes are hopefully not far away.

My favourite is certainly the blue - it's quite striking - and I prefer the old hands as opposed to the restyled 'classic' looking ones.

I've never had a Soprod A10 so can't really comment on the auto movements. Will the auto and handwind share the same case? If so, I assume going with the Soprod auto means the case will be thinner than with the 2824-2. Do you have an idea for what the thickness will be?
 

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It's good to see a designer who really gets what 'thin' is all about on the wrist. It's not about calliper measurements (where thinnest is best achieved with a flat crystal and caseback), but rather about the visual impression.

Soprod is definitely the right choice for the auto as the ETA would have too much bulk to hide on the underside of the case.

Your renders appear to show the hands to be straight, rather than curved to fit the dial. Will you be using curved hands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Chascomm,

Thank you for the kind words. I'm pleased to hear that you feel the Soprod is the right choice, it also my personal preference.

Yes - all of the hands are curved! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Stunning. I like the original syringe style hands. Also a sapphire case back would be fantastic!
Thank you - there's a slight dissonance, a mild incongruence with the syringe hands and the face that I find very an intriguing as a design feature. I am happy that you like this little dash of mystery, because sometimes it is difficult for me to be objective with this passion project!
 

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I've got to say that I really like everything that you're doing here. I like the simple design, the option of a hand-wind movement, the color schemes, either of the hand options and the interesting dial work. I also think 38mm is a great size for a dress watch.

With respect to the questions:

1. The blue is definitely my favorite. I love the shade of the blue you have, the texture of the dial and the interplay between that color and the gold hands. I think it's perfect. The other colors are great too, though, especially the slate grey.

2. As odd as it may sound, I wouldn't mind seeing a tasteful dark green. I have yet to see a green dress watch that I would buy. I think a green dress watch with silver hands would be awesome.

3. I like the Dauphine hands, but I prefer the original hands. Dauphine hands are great, but they're very common on dress watches. The original hands that you have present something different, and different is good.

4. I would love to have a hand-wound movement. My preference is almost always for a hand-wound movement if it's available. With the automatic option, I'd prefer the A10. Yes, the 2824-2 is a great workhorse movement, but I already have that movement in my collection, as do many people on here. Most of us don't have the A10, which I know has a great reputation.

Man, you guys really nailed it with these watches. This is the most appealing offering I've ever seen on here from a micro-brand. I'd absolutely buy one if the price is right. I've been wanting a blue dress watch for a while and have been thinking about pulling the trigger on an Epos ultra-thin, but what you have here is better, and I'd certainly be willing to wait for it.

Great stuff.
 

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Stunning. I like the original syringe style hands. Also a sapphire case back would be fantastic!
Yes, yes, yes on the sapphire case back.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ajax - thanks for much for your feedback, I'm delighted that you like the designs. It is a slightly nerve-wrecking experience to work for months and months on a project and then finally share it with the world, so it is wonderful to meet people who like our work!

I'm glad you like the original hands, they have really divided opinion!

With regards to a sapphire case back, we are considering a highly decorated caliber for the hand-wound version (where there is no rotor to obscure the view). It would look beautiful with engraving, Geneva waves, perlage, gold chatons, blued screws etc.

However, I also love the simplicity and beauty of a highly polished case back, like the 1950s watches we are inspired by. No firm decision has been made on this yet, but the best solution may well to offer the sapphire case back as an upgrade (allowing us to offer the "standard" version at a slightly lower price point).

What do you think?
 

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Wow, it looks great. I just hope it comes in right around what I'm comfortable spending and I might just get in on it.
 

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With regards to a sapphire case back, we are considering a highly decorated caliber for the hand-wound version (where there is no rotor to obscure the view). It would look beautiful with engraving, Geneva waves, perlage, gold chatons, blued screws etc.

However, I also love the simplicity and beauty of a highly polished case back, like the 1950s watches we are inspired by.
As for myself, I find most see-through casebacks to be redundant after a while.

I do not question your ability to produce some nice engravings.

I just think unless the engraving is utterly mind-blowing, I see little point in having a see-through see more of the same that can be had at a reasonable price point. And it's just not going to be mind-blowing unless we go into a stratospherically high price point.

Some people may have this fascination with EVERY movement that's engraved, but let;s face it: unless you are willing to spend tens of thousands, it's pretty much here to there.
Some people can't get enough of blued screws? Well, then, I think maybe they should get out and live more. They're just blued screws - but screws. And they do a nice job of being screws in a watch, but that's about it. I certainly don't need to see them every other day.

I would much prefer a well done, nicely engraved, solid steel caseback any day.
 

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If this project is a success one... it will be a true "PEBBLE" on buyers wrist!
The bezel less crystal, plus the sunburst dial... oooohhh... yummy!
 

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On the choice of the movements... SOPROD movements are on the high price side. But they're slim enough to fit into your case depth design... i suppose so... If you decide to go ETA, even if you choose the rotor-less 2804, it will still be expensive in cost due to limited supply which will eventually jack up the final timepiece price... Thin movements... Sellitas have that. I just can't remember what's the model reference... Does a removal of the rotor, shaves of some thickness of SW-200?
 

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Ajax - thanks for much for your feedback, I'm delighted that you like the designs. It is a slightly nerve-wrecking experience to work for months and months on a project and then finally share it with the world, so it is wonderful to meet people who like our work!

I'm glad you like the original hands, they have really divided opinion!

With regards to a sapphire case back, we are considering a highly decorated caliber for the hand-wound version (where there is no rotor to obscure the view). It would look beautiful with engraving, Geneva waves, perlage, gold chatons, blued screws etc.

However, I also love the simplicity and beauty of a highly polished case back, like the 1950s watches we are inspired by. No firm decision has been made on this yet, but the best solution may well to offer the sapphire case back as an upgrade (allowing us to offer the "standard" version at a slightly lower price point).

What do you think?
I can imagine it would be a tough experience because I'm sure you pour so much of yourself into a project like this. But you're certainly off to a tremendous start.

I don't know they the hands would be so much of an issue. I think either option would be great, but the block hands are unique and give it more of a vintage flavor. However, by no means would Dauphine hands be a deal-breaker for me.

A decorated caliber for a hand-wound version would be outstanding. There are a few things more enjoyable in the watch world than a tastefully decorated manual-wind movement.

My preference is always for exhibition case backs, even on undecorated movements. I simply want to see what's going on in there. There's not a whole heck of a lot to see on a standard polished or solid case back.

I understand that you're paying tribute to vintage watches, which I'm always a fan of, but I think that an exhibition case back would be great fusion of the old and the new.
 
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