Ever since I was young I was always drawn towards anime. Pun slightly intended. Even if you didn’t directly release that you were watching anime, in a way you were. Especially if you were watching Voltron, Thundercats, etc… As I got older I got more and more into anime, which paved the way for my love & appreciation of the sub-culture, all of the Asian cultures, which all of it truly fascinated me and still does. It gave me a bigger and deeper understanding of the world around me. Opened my eyes to other cultures, other experiences.
One of my favorite things of the watch community and having my blog is all the people I get to meet from all different cultures, countries, religions, races. We all come together and share a common love of watches. I have been fortunate enough to build some amazing and cherished friendships along the way. I really appreciate that even though I am sometimes a world apart, we have been brought together by time itself in it’s mechanical form. Just as the mechanical robot Voltron brought unity to the galaxy, it seems to me that watches possess that same power. The power of unity within the watch community. I am truly blessed to review watches from all over the world, I get to see the beauty of the world through time itself.
“Chinese mythology speaks of a great hero that shot down nine scorching suns to save the human race, and in return for his deeds received an elixir that would make him a god. He offered to share it with his wife, who took it in secret and ascended to the moon by herself, but a hound, loyal companion to the hero, took what little elixir remained and followed her, swallowing both the wife and moon causing the first lunar Eclipse. The celestial army recognized this as a great feat of loyalty and bravery. The hound was made a celestial being and allowed to guard the heavenly gate.”
Today we will be exploring the Vario Eclipse watch that arrived all the way from Singapore. I included the above story from Vario’s website because not only did I think it was incredibly interesting but it is also prevalent to a design element of the Eclipse watch itself. Vario has done something that I have been a fan of for a long time. The extended the Eclipse’s personality to the solid case back. The case back features a hollering wolf, a full moon and Chinese characters that translate to “Heavenly Hound devours the Moon” The case back is what drew me to this watch actually and it is what I immediately went to when I received this watch.
The stainless steel case back is held in place by four flathead screws which is a look that I like to see on watches because not only does it serve a functional purpose but it also adds some detail. The crown is another example of that same function & detail combination. The crown on the Eclipse is much smaller than crowns I am typically accustomed to, though it is proportional to the 38mm case. Even with it’s size, the crown is very easy to use when winding the watch. The crown is a push/pull style. As you know I think that screw down crowns are my preferred choice, but given the size of this crown, it would be a little difficult on then operating end of things had it been a screw down crown. The crown is signed with the Vario ‘V’ logo.
The long rounded curved lugs give the Eclipse some vintage charm to go with it’s 38mm charm. One design choice of Vario’s that I can appreciate about the lugs is the fact that they drilled. Again, bringing some detail/function to the Eclipse. Drilled lugs make changing the strap a breeze. If you use the right tool, you even cut down on scratching the lugs even more. The 20mm lugs have a spring style bar holding the strap. I like the look of the lugs on the Eclipse, they remind me of vintage fenders from a classic car.
Just as the lugs have that smooth, rounded fender feel, the rounded edges of the case itself has that same look and feel. The high polished finish of the stainless steel case really seals that look and feel. Follow the case curves up to the dial side and you will see my next favorite design detail on the Eclipse, the double domed sapphire crystal. There is something about double domed crystals that I love running my thumb across the crystal and looking at its profile. The crystal completes the look and feel of the Eclipse’s case.
Complementing the double domed crystal is the convex sunburst blue dial. It is extremely satisfying to watch the blue change color as you change the lighting. The Eclipse is a simple yet charming 3 handed watch, with a overall clean/sterile dial. The only text that appears on the dial is an applied crome ‘Vario’ that nicely matches the high polished hands. The hands have a very long sleek design, especially the seconds hand which looks like a needle. With no numerals on the dial, Vario utilized printed white line markers, with longer markers at the traditional 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions. Keeping true to the clean aesthetics, the Eclipse’s dial is free of any date window.
Ticking away inside the Eclipse is the Miyota 6T33 hand-wound mechanical movement, which has an accuracy rate -20~ +40 seconds per day and an power reserve of 40 hours. The twead strap that is included with the Eclipse is very cool and unique, the first strap of it’s kind that I have come across. It definitely possesses that vintage professor charm.
The Vario Eclipse is a charming little watch that possesses a bit of a mythological enigma surrounding it. Coming in at 38mm it is the smallest watch that I have reviewed. I didn’t know what to expect when it came in, but I was pleasantly surprised though how charming 38mm really is. This is also my first time reviewing a watch with a mechanical hand wound Miyota movement.
I have two suggestions for design details that I think would improve the Eclipse. Since this watch is themed around Chinese mythology involves the sun and the moon. We see that the sun is represented by the sunburst dial, but it would be cool to have some lume to represent the moon. If not on the hands, the case back or crown would be my next choice. A engraved moon on the crown treated with lume would be awesome. The crown is my second suggestion, an oversized crown would greatly improve winding and setting the time, especially because you have to solely rely on the crown to wind this watch.
Now my final suggestion/recommendation is more of me thinking outside of the box and being a complete watch nerd. But it would be really cool if the case back was hinged, opening up to reveal the mechanical movement. The case back could be the moon and open up the back to reveal a wolf printed on the underside of the crystal.
This is a good watch for a daily wearer for the office or for play and it comes in at $300. This watch can also be worn by men and women. Every day I see more and more women getting into watches which is awesome to see. Vario is off to a good start with their Eclipse and I am curious to see what the future holds for the brand.
I would like to personally thank you all for reading and as always your questions and comments are welcome below.
A special thanks to Ivan from Vario.
Case diameter: 38mm
Height to apex of crystal: 10mm
Case thickness: 7mm
Crystal: 3mm double dome sapphire (anti-reflective coated on inner surface)
Case material: 316L stainless steel
Dial: convex sunburst dial blue
Strap: 20mm harris tweed strap
Movement: Miyota 6T33 hand-wound mechanical movement (4 Hz)