We first presented the VAULT V1 watch concept in July. We were intrigued by the interesting interpretation of time telling. The new independent brand works with the great master watchmaker Andreas Strehler. We visited his atelier – Uhrteil AG, in Sirnach, Switzerland to talk with him and Mark Schwarz – VAULT Watches’ CEO and to understand more about this special project. Since our initial talk in June 2017, the project contoured quite well, evolved to the point we were able to see the prototypes at the official Swiss release. This is our report on the event.
We photographed the latest version of the VAULT V1. The VAULT watches evolved from an almost impossible to produce concept to an impressive design. From the first clips and design ideas we saw, the V1 was improved technical and visual. The timepiece has an ergonomic case that does not denote the real size of the case, otherwise generous (46.7mm length, 39mm width and 15mm thickness).
Nothing, but a dream!
VAULT V1 is a story about a dream came true. It started with Mark Schwarz at some point in his life. He realised that life is precious and personal for each and one of us and time is measured in moments. We might have watches that reveal us the cruel and cold passing time, measured precisely by that wrist object, but our perception is tied to the moment, good or bad, as we experience it. Mark wanted that also for the machines to be more personal, to show time in the same precise manner but in a unique way, dependent on owner’s preference. In the end, we cannot change the way time flows, but we can change the way it is displayed.
With this idea, Mark turned to his close friend Philippe Schmid and they both started a journey to make the dream come true. With the help of talented designer Laurent Auberson, master watchmaker Andreas Strehler and his team at Uhrteil AG, the dream is now in his final steps to become reality.
The Casio G-Shock GW-9010 and the pin Mark wore in the line of duty. Despite the harsh life in the line of duty of a policeman, the watch is in a good condition. It was part of Mark’s inspiration for VAULT concept.
VAULT V1 Launch
The Swiss launch of VAULT V1 watches comes just a few days after the brand presentation at Salon QP. As location for the launch was chosen Schmohl AG, the Swiss official dealer of Bentley, Bugatti, McLaren and Rolls-Royce. Mark explained that the reason for the location choice was the beauty of the mechanical art represented by these fine, luxurious automobiles. He considered that automotive and horlogerie go well together.
Mark has made a four-part presentation before revealing the V1. Every part took place at a different point of the showroom, each part was accompanied by one of the great auto names present at and presented by Schmohl AG.
Mark Schwarz, CEO of VAULT Watches, explain the principle behind VAULT V1 concept. The design is inspired by a vault closing mechanism. The vault/safe concept has a deeper meaning: time is precious.
Mark Schwarz close to his favourite automobile brand, McLaren, talks about hopes and dreams, the stories how the team got together and about the people behind VAULT Watches.
Andreas Strehler is the watchmaker mastermind behind VAULT timepieces. Andreas told us that, in the beginning, the V1 concept looked almost impossible to build, but he liked the idea and got involved. Andreas is “guilty” of many gimmicks present in the V1 timepieces. As an example, setting the watch will do also a winding, just enough to give a boost (e.g. after the watch was not used and the power reserve is depleted). The rest of the winding is realised by the automatic system.
VAULT V1 is a wristwatch with many details displayed. The hour markers are in Arabic, and move around the dial as the time is set. It is carried on a sapphire disc to partly reveal the gear system responsible for keeping always the numbers in the upright position. Central minutes indication mechanism is easily visible, as well the finishes of different constituent parts.
The back of the V1 is a complete piece. Six bespoke screws are used to close the case and another four normal screws are used for the strap changing system. In this way, the strap can be easily changed by any watchmaker or, even by the collector itself. At the same time, the bespoke screws keep the movement away from non-authorized eyes. A design with show-off sapphire crystal back might be also brought into the discussion, as variation.
The VAULT V1 has a robust feel due to the size and construction and it wears smaller as expected due to interesting case design. Taking into consideration the rectangular shape and complex case construction, the watch feels very well in hands, almost unexpectedly so. The reason for this remark is the nice design of the case that overcomes the size and the complex construction.
The crown has an interesting design and great ergonomics. It is relatively big, but well proportioned with the case. The crown permits an easy use, although the resistance in handling caused by the complex planetary gears and small ratio winding is felt by turning – perfectly understandable for the complex system. The sunk logo is detailed and easelly visible.
The wrist feel of the VAULT V1 is appropriate as a sports watch (with the remark that this is still an haute horlogerie piece and not a Casio G-Shock and must be treated as such), but also as a more business-oriented piece. Even if the display shows only hours and minutes, saying that V1 is a dress piece is a bit of an exaggeration. VAULT V1 fits perfectly as a daily piece of a busy man. Passing through time zones and setting the correct time could be the best moments to forget about everything else and focus only on the watch.
A pleasant surprise was the see V1 fitting well a small lady wrist. The V1 was positively received by the feminine presence at the launch
More information can be found on the VAULT Watches Website.
VAULT V1 Specification and price
The price for the VAULT V1 in steel is CHF50,000, limited to 99 pieces. The rose gold V1 is limited to 66 pieces and has a release price of CHF60,000. V1 in titanium with a weight of only 83grams will be available in a 99 pieces limited series for a price tag of CHF50,000. A limited series of 33 pieces will be manufactured in platinum and will have a price of CHF68,000.
Calibre: V01, exclusively made for VAULT by Uhrteil AG
Type: Self-winding movement
Power reserve: 50 hours
Frequency: 3Hz / 21’600 vph
Functions: Hours and minutes
Material: Stainless Steel / Rose Gold / Titanium (83 grams) / Platinum
Dimensions of the case: 46.7mm length, 39mm width and 15mm thickness
Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Crown: In case material
Caseback: Solid case back
Material: Rubber strap (different colours, leather options available)
Buckle: Pin buckle in case material