Vario Watches

Vario Watch Empire Review

Today we have a new brand to review. We have been looking forward to reviewing a watch from this brand for quiet a while and today is the day. Vario Watch was founded in 2016, when the founder, Ivan,  couldn’t find a watch strap that shouts out his personality. Being an award winning graphic designer, with is own studio, along with Judy, they set out to create Vario Watches. Designed in Singapore, the brand has been in the watch business successfully for five years.

The watch we are going to be reviewing is the Empire Black Tuxedo Chronograph, Onyx Black. The last chronograph watch we reviewed was the Roue TPS 3, let’s hope the Empire Black will be on par or better.


Diameter: 38mm
Lug to Lug: 46mm
Thickness: 11.5mm
Strap Width: 20mm
Movement: Seiko VK64 MecaQuartz movement
Crystal: Sapphire with inner AR coating
Water Resistance: 5 ATM
Strap: Vintage style Italian leather with slight bi-colour effect (20mm taper to 16mm)

First Impression

The packing was definitely of interest to us. Vario Watch come in a travel cases, which can also be bought separately, and it was very different to other packaging. The watch itself looks very classy. The small casing along with the different colour theme is alluring and just looks good.

Vario Watch Empire Black Tuxedo Unboxing


This has to be the only place to start. There are two index on the dial. The outer index is to measure the minutes/seconds and it is a mixture of batons and numbers. The numbers are in five minute intervals and the batons in between. The outer index has a black background, while the numbers and batons are in white. The outer index is legible, despite the small casing.

The inner index on the Vario Watch is the show piece of the watch. The inner index has shinny silver metal ring with black numerals on it. The contrast against the black background brings out the inner index and breaks away from the black theme. In a way the silver inner index does make the watch look like an actual tuxedo. The font used on the numerals is different. To be fair, we do not know the name of the font, but different is looking good.

Vario Watch Tuxedo

The center of the watch is also another interesting feature. A geometric design has been used and gives off a 3D effect. Given Ivan’s background as a graphic designer, we know where this design comes from. It definitely adds to the allure of the watch.

There are two sib dials near the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position. The background design is simple and black. The hands are silver and the numerals are white. The sub-dial are also of a large size and do take a bit of space on the dial.

The choice of the hands have been well thought of. The minute hand has a baton design while the hour and second hands have a sword design. Both the minute and hour on the Vario watch Tuxedo is open and do not have a luminous coating.


We are looking at 38mm by11.5mm for the casing. It is not the biggest casing but it enough for the Vario Watch, Tuxedo Chronograph. The watch is more focused on its design and style, hence the 38mm casing fits the watch. The watch is comfortable around the wrist and the curved lugs helps to press the casing to the wrist.

It looks like three casing has been used in making the watch. You have the lower level with the curved lugs, the mid level is a polished bezel and it is topped off with the flat sapphire crystal glass with AR coating. The layer helps to bring out the watch more into focus and adds character to the watch.

The crown used is on the bigger size and followed a flight deck design. It is easily manageable and the it is a push/pull crown. The two crowns for the sub dial have a rectangular design and breaks away into a more modern design.

The back casing is closed off and we cannot see the mechanism power the watch. However, a design has been embossed at the back.


Power the Vario Watch is a Seiko VK64 MecaQuartz movement. This movement has been used a lot with startup brands and it works well. Given this is a hybrid movement, the time accuracy is expected to be less than +/- 20 seconds per month at normal temps. The life expectancy of the battery is around 3 years, which is the average for this movement.


Genuine Italian leather has been used for the strap. It wraps around the wrist well and does not need breaking into. Vario Watches do have a ranges of straps available when building your own Tuxedo Chronograph watch. The strap does not need breaking into and there are enough holes available, if you have a small wrist. Quick release pins have also been added to the strap, so you can easily change the strap, if you do not fancy the Onyx Bkack.

Strap Vario Watch

Buy, Shortlist or Avoid?

As always, let us discuss the price. The Tuxedo Chronograph starts from £264/ $298/ €300. Given the price, this is a ‘buy’ watch. The main reason is because of the design of the watch and it just looks classy. You will also be wearing a watch which has not been mass produced but released in small batches and limited.

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