Eqvis Varius – A Hands-On Review
Eqvis Varius is probably a brand you’ve never heard of. Neither did we, so don’t worry. The Eqvis Varius reminded me a bit of playing with LEGO: switch and swap straps and bezels on this watch (yourself).
The variations are endless and allow you to customize the watch to your attire, mood and, of course, wallet. Some brands offer customization by changing the strap of your timepiece. Others might have a bezel swapping feature. You rarely find one on the market that has both though…and more. The Eqvis Varius is such a watch. I’m going to start at the beginning.
Eqvis Varius – From Germany with Love
Eqvis is the love child of two German gentlemen – Björn Matthiesen and Simon Schmidt. While Björn is the business mind behind the brand, Simon is the designer and creative thinker. He was also my contact from the beginning. He is a modern time Renaissance man, one who collects contemporary watches, is into punk rock and drives vintage cars. Since I have his watch we’re corresponding regularly. I got to know his personality a bit, understood what drove him when he created the Eqvis Varius. You rarely have an insight like that when reviewing a watch 9 times out of 10. It makes you appreciate the piece more; understand it through the people behind it. This is not Simon’s first project as a watch designer; he’s been in the business for 15 years. However, it’s his first own brand and model. The creation he’s most proud of.
So what is exactly the Eqvis (Emotion Quality VISion) Varius? It is a bold move to create one watch that hopefully gives you the possibility to satisfy your needs when it comes to a watch for most scenarios. Eqvis achieves this by offering you the possibility to change the strap and the bezel of the timepiece. All you need to do is to take the screwdriver that comes with the watch and make it work on the hex screws that you find all around the Varius. One screwdriver to rule them all. From the buckle to the strap and the bezel every screw is the same size and interchangeable. The option to swap things out is not enough in itself though. You need to offer a lot of alternatives. Eqvis does, that’s why you can choose from a huge selection of bezels and straps.
The Eqvis Varius’ case is a blend of titanium (grade 5) and steel (316L), which makes it surprisingly light (117g) for its size (45mm wide and 16.3mm thick). The look of the timepiece is modern. An equal mix of brushed and polished surfaces bevels and edges. At first glance, the edges seem sharp, a feeling that quickly slips away when you hold the watch in hand. It is has a solid and quality feel. It feels great on the wrist. 8 screws hold the bezel (“changeling” according to Eqvis) in place. If you unscrew them you can swap it as well as its divider between the case and the changeling. The huge display case back, just like the front is sapphire crystal. It also has 8 screws, absolutely no text giving an industrial look of the back of the Varius. All text is on the rotor, such a clever touch.
The extraordinary look requires an extraordinary movement. For that Eqvis chose the ETA Valgranges A07.111 as the base of their caliber, EQ-111. It is a time only movement with date at 6 o’clock. Valgranges is a rather new design from ETA, a bigger movement following the watch industry’s trend of larger watches. It has 24 jewels, 28.000 vph and 46 hours of power reserve. Fine Perlage finish completes the look of the caliber. I already mentioned that all the text one would expect on the case back is on the rotor on the Eqvis Varius. Information like the name, the limited edition number – the watch is limited to 500 pieces – the water resistance (100m) the reference number and so on. The body of the rotor is something else itself. It is ruthenium (Google that) and has the shape of the Eqvis logo.
While the main focal point of the watch is the bezel the dial is also worth a few sentences. We are talking about a sandwich dial with cut out indexes and the number 12, all Super-LumiNova painted. The top grey layer has satin finish; the bottom layer is silver with Côtes de Genéve decoration. To display a larger part of the bottom layer’s finishing there is a huge cut out at 6 o’clock. This is also where you can find the date. Again, the main feature of the dial is the changeling surrounding it. Eqvis offers a number of different shapes, colors and materials to choose from. Simon supplied me with a huge number of those. They come as titanium, aluminum, steel bronze and my favorite ebonite, a type of hardened rubber. Colors include gold, pvd black, blue, red and can be shiny or satin. The list is endless.
From Leather to Velcro(tm)
The same clever hex screw system that is on the bezel highlights the strap changing. My favorite detail is the underside of the lugs. They have cuts in the size of the screws. Once you put the screw bars through the straps, you place them in these cuts, lowering the bars into the lugs. Then simply screw the 4 hex screws in through the drilled lug-holes. The design theme of the watch goes onto the buckle. The body consists of 5 pieces; 2 side brackets and 1 buckle pin all titanium. Also 2 of the same steel screw bars you place into the strap. If you want to change the 24mm Italian leather strap to a black nylon Velcro(tm) you can simply unscrew the buckle, remove the pin, re-screw then use this bracket to lace the Velcro through it. This is also a nice design feature and fun to adjust.
What’s inside the box?
As you would expect by the quality of the watch, the packaging is not your everyday carton box ether. The Eqvis Varius arrives to you in a large walnut wooden box. It has a holder for the watch with a plaque that has the limited edition number and a larger compartment to the leather travel case. It is a zip up case not much larger than a passport holder. You can store a few extra changeling or dividers in it, a little tube for extra screws, a few straps, and the screwdriver. While a box is something you rarely use once you bought the watch the attention to details of it tells a lot about the product. The Eqvis Varius is a 100% Swiss Made watch and as such, it lives up to the expectations in terms of design, quality, and usability.
If you want to own the Eqvis Varius you have to pay €6,500. For this, you get the watch in the wooden box with the leather travel case. Furthermore, you get the 2-piece tool, the titanium buckle, the glass tube with extra screws and screw bars, 2 straps (one leather one nylon) and 2 changelings. If you fancy more changelings you can order them through the Eqvis website. The motto of the brand; “your one watches” indicates that once you purchase one (given that you fancy the looks of it) you do not need any other timepiece. Obviously, if you are happy with one watch but still want to spice it up from time to time the Eqvis Varius offers you unlimited options to do so. Simon told me that their future watches would have complete interchangeability with the Varius.
If you wish to check out the website of Eqvis, you can do so by clicking here.