When you have tons of watches in your collection, it takes something really special to get you excited. I’m glad to say, the Vario 1918 is one of those watches.
From the second I got the tracking number, my thoughts were consumed by this peculiar watch, but before even getting to this point, I had a really hard decision to make: choosing my 1918’s colorway.
I spent days carefully pondering on the model I was going to get. The light grey dial & blue strap make for a heavenly combination, the white dial with the red 12 o’clock numeral is so quirky, and the medic/pulsometer one is in a league of its own. However, the white dial/orange numerals/brown bund strap combination spoke to me in a way no other combination did.
As you can see below, the enamel white dial is so crisp, so clean, and oh-so-refreshing compared to the usual sunburst dial that plagues 80% of affordable watches nowadays. And then you get the creamy tangerine numerals that make my mouth water as they remind me of a fresh bowl of peach yogurt.
With the 1918, Vario tried to give a modern makeover to a 100+ year-old trench watch. Spoiler alert: mission accomplished. Vario kept historically-significant aspects like the cathedral hands, Arabic numerals, and small seconds subdial.
When it comes to things you can feel but not necessarily see, Vario gave a hundred-year-worth of technology to the 1918 trench watch. For instance, the modern domed-sapphire crystal provides top-notch scratch protection and a styling to kill for. The anti-reflective coating applied to the underside of the crystal negates the only inconvenience that comes with sapphire; visibility.
The screw-down crown is buttery smooth and neat-looking with the engraved Vario logo. Paired with the 100m water resistance rating, this crown makes the 1918 a perfect fit for me. Indeed, I work in the waterjet cutting industry so I get my hands wet constantly.
Another great improvement over the original World War 1 watch is the Superluminova C3 Lume, which is not only brighter than radium lume, but it’s also much less nocive for your health.
Another amazing addition is the modern 82s5 Miyota movement. This puppy beats at 21,600 bph, lasts for over 40 hours, and can be manually wound & hacked. I’ve heard several times that Miyota movements could be noisy, but I never experienced it first hand until I strapped the Vario 1918 around my wrists.
It’s not a displeasing sound by any means, but you will definitely hear the rotor swirling around the case the moment you move your wrist abruptly. I’m fine with that and I might even say that I enjoy hearing it working hard.
All this talk about specs and materials, but what about the wearability of the timepiece? Well, like everything else on this watch, it is flawless. This is my first experience with a bund leather strap, and boy have I been missing out.
This thick piece of leather straps the 1918 securely to your wrist while providing a soft cushion to ease the contact between the case back and your wrist. The only negative I can see to this strap is that it hides the gorgeous case back engraving of a World War 1 soldier.
The watch is offered in two sizes: 37mm or 40mm. My 6.5” wrist forced me to choose the smallest one, and I must say that it was the right decision. It lays perfectly flat in the middle of my wrist and it looks wonderfully proportionate.
The bund leather strap does add a bit of heft and thickness to the piece. This makes it stand out in a meaningful way that will direct eyes towards it. If you’re looking for something a bit more subtle, the white numerals version with a Nato strap will make it fly under the radar.
What took the experience to the next level for me was the kindness of Ivan and Judy, the people behind Vario Watches. They were communicative and could always be reached within a reasonable time frame. The quick shipping from Singapore and the 1-year warranty are the cherry on top.
In conclusion, the Vario 1918 trench watch is an outstanding timepiece that I can barely find a flaw in. Even the $368 price tag is reasonable considering the amount of bang-for-the-buck you get with this timepiece. In fact, the only disappointing thing about the 1918 is that it made my other watches a bit duller than before I experienced this jewel of a watch.
If you’re interested in adding this work of art to your collection, head on over to Vario’s website and order yours now!