Vapaus is an independent watch company based on British soil. Owned by brothers Oliver and Rudi, they started the company with the aim to craft beautifully, vintage-inspired watches, and they did so with the Veli 1950 Slate Grey. If they were aiming to leave a legacy that can only be matched by brands such as NOMOS, Stowa, and Sinn, they might have achieved it with this one.
Peculiar enough, the crafting of the watch was initially launched with a Kickstarter campaign, and seeing what came out from it, it is clear that the campaign was a success.
The Velie Look
The Veli 1950 Slate Grey has its frame made from stainless steel, beautifully polished on all sides to give you a sheen quality that is reminiscent of timepieces of old. Moreover, with a diameter of 38 mm and a thickness of 6.85 mm, this kind of construct does not make it bulky, making it easier to use for any occasion you choose.
On the left side of the case features a crown that has the Vapaus brand engraved on it.
Moving on to the face of the watch, in line with the movement that it was made from, it features an aperture right in the middle where the six-hour indication is. It might be small, but it is just the right size to for it to avoid obstructing your view from what is important – time.
Speaking of indices, the Veli 1950 Slate Grey does not have much of it. It opts for a clean look that is classic of timepieces of old. Moreover, it does not have a moving bezel, which again, is an homage to classic dressy timepieces.
What we found interesting and peculiar about the vintage-inspired watch is how its 20 mm lug is crafted differently than most modern timepieces. The lugs are each individually hollow in the middle, which reduces weight on the wrist and increases comfort.
It gives you that airy feeling that we normally do not find with modern time pieces because their lugs are closely attached to the casing that it does not give your wrist room to breathe. Additionally, so as not to gloss over it, the strap is guaranteed leather, that means, its quality gets better as time goes on, which is just what you would want on a high-quality timepiece that Vapaus is trying to achieve since the company’s inception.
On the other hand, this feature of the watch may make it look awkward to look at, at first glance. That could simply be brushed off to what we have become accustomed to, and that is alright because aside from its aesthetics, the Veli 1950 Slate Grey has more that it can be proud of.
This must be the best feature that Vapaus’ Veli 1950 Slate Grey has. Its crystal is made out of sapphire which helps with the clarity. However, what Vapaus attributes to its timepiece being able to tell time clearly is a combination of how the crystal is imbued with an anti-reflective coating.
In addition, it is arched 2.80 mm above the case, to give you that beautiful light refraction preventing reflections on its crystal’s surface.
Time Clear as Day
Moreover, the Veli 1950 Slate Grey has its dial made out of sunburst technology, which, along with how the crystal is designed, gives you time that is clear as day. It is also crafted to be slightly convex. Normally, this would interfere with how the hands run on it, however, the hands itself are also curved to accommodate the design of the dial, allowing for a smooth run on its face.
Vintage Inspired Movement
The Vapaus’ Veli 1950 Slate Grey was inspired by watches in the 50s which were run on an ETA 2804-2. However, this is where one of the subtle modernized changes were made. Instead of the ETA movement, Oliver and Rudi opted for the Swiss made SW215-1 Elabore movement which is the closest thing to the ETA 2804-2 movement in the modern era.
Also, with this movement, the Vapaus’ Veli 1950 Slate Grey timepiece is made more powerful with two additional jewels in its movement. Maybe that is why, in spite of its curved construction, the time piece continues to run smoothly which it should not considering that the hands were curved to accommodate the convex nature of the dial.
The only problem that I have with the movement is it does not allow for sub-dials to be added to it. We know that it is supposed to mimic a vintage feel to the watch, but if they were going to adopt it to the modern look of timepieces today, then, adding at least a sub-dial or two would have been a welcomed addition. However, if they were looking for a timepiece that can tell time clearly without the added distractions from sub-dial, they very much achieved it.
If Oliver and Rudi were trying to come up with a modern classic, they have definitely achieved it with the making of the Vapaus’ Veli 1950 Slate Grey. The modern touches make it appealing, and the classic look make it a timepiece for any occasion.
To think that it only started out as a Kickstarter project, and eventually coming up with this is what truly leaves us speechless.
To have a look at the Vapaus official website click here.