Monday, August 04, 2014

Vintage VDB 2012 pictorial review

This is not an actual review but more of a pictorial review of the Vintage VDB 2012 Bronze. The unique aspect of the watch on review is that it is a prototype of the serial VDB 2012 Bronze. The main difference between the prototype is that is lacks the milled '2012' on the bottom lug. There is another difference, but that will be explained later. 

The VDB 2012 Bronze prototype. 

The watch is pretty large and well made. As with most VDB watches, this watch is hand made. The case is a 3 piece case design. I am not sure what bronze grade is used to make the watch. 

The watch measures 46mm across the bezel but 43.5mm across the case. The bezel is tapered downwards towards the case. Lug to lug is 55mm and it is thick at 16mm. The lug width is 28mm. The case is well made and even on the prototype, there is no tool marks. The case has started to patina. 

The bezel is also made from bronze. It is a 60 click, uni-direction bezel. There are serrations on the bezel edge and provides positive grip. It clicks in place with a positive and loud click. I like it. The bezel has a large luminous marker at the 12 o'clock position (3.5mm diameter and 3mm thick). There is a chance that the marker could get damaged but the height of the crystal helps to prevent this. 

The other markers on the bezel is rendered in black and they are 5 minutes apart. The markers at the cardinal points are larger in size. 

You can see the downward taper of the bezel and the serrations along the edge of the bezel in the photograph below.

I like the case design. It is VDB's take on a case design from the 70s. As stated earlier, it is a 3 piece case design, bezel, body and case back. 

Closer view of the case. It has a nice matte finish and smooth to the touch. There are two notches at both sides of the case, on the underside. This provides a relief to the wrist when worn so that the edge of the case do not bite into the skin. Cool design thought. 

The straps are held in place by stainless steel screws. The screws are a tad small and thin for the massive case. 

The crown is situated at the 12 o'clock position. Some might find this not to their liking, but I am fine with it. It is a tad difficult to use but the large size does compensate for its position. 

A closer view of the crown. It is a screw-down crown and it is PVD matte black. It measures 8mm in diameter and is 5mm thick. The crown has 3 positions, well, 4 if you count the locked position. Unscrew for winding, a first click (unused) and a second to adjust the hands. 

The other difference from the series production is the case back. The case back is void of any markings. The case back is of the screw-down design and is PVD matte black. The 12 sided case back (dodecagon) requires a special tool to open. I like the fact that the case back is not made of bronze. 

Closer view of the case back. 

The dial of the watch is brown. It matches the bronze. It is not dark brown, but more of a light brown colour. 

The dial has the VDB logo just below the 12 o'clock marker. I like the VDB logo. It looks like a happy face. Makes me happy just looking at it. Just above the 6 o'clock marker you have the year the watch was issued, 2012. It is rendered in red and it is almost invisible from certain angle. The only other marking on the dial is the 'cross-hair'.

I believe the crystal is sapphire. It is double domed and it is very tall. It extends 3mm from the bezel and as stated earlier, it does provide some protection to the 12 o'clock bezel marker. Even though the crystal is domed, it is still easy to read the time. 

The hands are made from bronze (I think). The hands have a brushed finish. It is filled with luminous material. The minute hand extends to the minute markers and it is sufficiently long to differentiate it from the hour hand. The sweep seconds hand is finished in bright orange and has a rectangular luminous plot. 

Oh before I forget, a lume shot of the VDB. 

The watch is powered by an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The movement is unmodified in that VDB did not remove the date complication even though there is no date display. It would have been nice if they had removed the date complication. 

The watch comes with 2 straps, a rubber and a leather strap. The rubber strap is well made but is a magnet for dust and lint. 

The strap has a vintage design in that the ends is reminiscent of rubber straps from the 70s. I like the rubber strap. It is soft and very comfortable. It is 28mm along the length of the strap and is signed on both straps. Nice touch.

The buckle side. Note the VDB logo near the strap mounts. 

The strap comes with a PVD black buckle. It is well made and very very nice indeed. 

The buckle is signed as is one of the floating (both are floating) keepers. 

The bottom of the rubber strap has raised steps to act as grip and also allows for cooling. There are 3 large cooling holes in the strap. 

The holes end of the strap.

The buckle side of the straps. Note the cooling holes and the ribbing. 

The leather strap. As with the rubber strap, it is 28mm wide along the length of the strap. I like the dark brown colour of the strap. It is well made and comes with its own buckle. This is a nice touch. 

The buckle is also PVD matte black and it is signed with the VDB logo on the top. 

On the bottom side, you can find the website address of VDB. Nice. Again the buckle is very very well made. 

I think the watch is a very nice watch. It is not a light watch, it is heavy. It is a also large watch and may not be for everyone. I like it and I find the design, vintage 70s, nice and refreshing. VDB take on the 70s case design is nice. The short lugs makes the watch and easy and comfortable wear. Thank you to MWF Store for the review watch.

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