Hands-On With The Vero Meridian Manual Wind
It’s summer, folks, so I hope you have lined up your watches for this special time of the year. Given what we typically do during the summer — visit expansive bodies of water, hike in the mountains, or explore cities — we must strap the right watch to our wrist. Naturally, we tend to seek colorful and comfortable watches since we are in more relaxed and festive spirits. And watches with clean and legible dials also seem to be popular in the summer (after all, we don’t need elaborate complications in order to sun tan!). Although I do not claim to have found the perfect summer watch for you, I do want to share my thoughts on the new Vero Meridian Manual Wind. This watch has a few interesting details that make it a great candidate for your next vacation.
Vero made the news not long ago on Fratello. The brand released a special-edition Workhorse in collaboration with APDT (Worn & Wound). This model comes with an aqua-blue case and dial with red and white accents. This release was positioned as the perfect summer watch, which it could very well be. But the Meridian Manual Wind is more my cup of tea in terms of dimensions and design. It has a vintage racing look, a thin profile, and a good movement. It’s also a strap monster as it looks great on leather, rubber, and metal. It’s the type of watch that seems tick several important boxes to be a great summer companion. Could this be my summer watch or perhaps yours? Let’s find out.
Vero revisited its own catalog
If you know about Vero, you might be familiar with the 36mm Rally and Sunset collections released in 2019. These models displayed clean and simple lines, cream or blue dials (for the Rally and Sunset respectively), and automatic movements. From what I know, these models were extremely popular, and fans asked Vero to bring them back. So the brand did so in the form of the Meridian Manual Wind. The Meridian comes in two colors as well. This particular version is called the Rally and has a distinct cream dial. The other version, the Rambler, has a blue dial, but I’m glad that Vero sent me the Rally as it is my favorite of the two. To make the Meridian more suited for a greater variety of wrists, Vero increased the case dimension by 2mm.
The 36mm Rally and Sunset were Vero’s take on an easy-does-it weekender that could double as an adventure watch. Their dials came with legible layouts, easy-to-read Arabic numerals, and, according to fans, a solid construction. I’ve reviewed two Vero watches in the past (a diver and a chronograph), and I always found the brand’s models easy to wear. Vero also has a particular way of designing dials and leaving out the minute markers, a choice that perhaps not everyone fancies. From my perspective, however, it’s all about the hands and the hour markers and how well they mingle with the crystal and case design. But let’s talk more about that later.
The Meridian Manual Wind is built for adventure
What are good specs for a summer/adventure (“sumventure”?) watch to have? The answer to that is subjective, but I will highlight the things that I believe make the Meridian a great sumventure watch, besides the dial design, of course, First, the case has great dimensions, measuring 38mm wide, 44.5mm long, and 9.4mm thick with a 18mm lug spacing. It fits my 16cm (6.25″) wrist perfectly, and I could see myself wearing the Meridian traveling or at the beach. It features a 100m water resistance rating, a flat sapphire crystal that transitions seamlessly to the fixed bezel, and a medium-sized crown with good grip. In my book, these are great features for this kind of timepiece to have.
If you get bored reading your favorite book by the pool or can’t stand the midday summer heat, turn the watch over. You will be greeted by a clear view of the Sellita SW210-1 hand-wound caliber. The case back features a sapphire exhibition window, and the movement appears to be hugging the crystal to the point that I feel I could touch it. And the version inside the Meridian is quite pleasing to look at. It showcases a mixture of black rhodium-plated parts, blue screws, and snail-finished gears. Furthermore, you should know that Vero regulates the movements in six positions to run at ±5 seconds per day.
Hey, I just dig the dial
To me, the star of the show is the incredibly legible dial. The black baton-style hands and black Arabic numerals contrast superbly with the cream-colored backdrop. The hour hand actually inhabits a central portion of the dial that is recessed. From what I can tell, the hour hand is level with the rest of the dial, but I could be wrong. The black seconds hand is also easy to spot and reaches what should be a minute track. Instead, there are two concentric circles of two different colors (blue and red) framing lume dots marking the hours. The hour and minute hands are also lumed, and the application is rather decent given how small the dots are.
I don’t know what typeface Vero uses for the Arabic numerals, but it works for me. The numerals are small, symmetrical, and perfectly printed. There is nothing on the dial that could negatively impact legibility, not even the branding under the 12 o’clock marker. Deprived of a minute track, one cannot set the precise time between the five-minute intervals, which is something that would normally bug me, but that’s not the type of watch the Meridian is. Given its looks, the Meridian is a timepiece made for casual living, whether indoors, outdoors, on the weekends, or otherwise. It wasn’t made for serious timekeeping but for fun horological experiences. At least, that’s how I see it.
Retailing for US$795, the Vero Meridian Manual Wind gives you a lot for your hard-earned cash besides the looks and movement. It comes with a leather strap and a stainless steel bracelet complete with on-the-fly micro-adjustments (thanks to Vero’s partnership with Nodus). The Rally (cream dial) is paired with a tan ribbed leather strap, and the Rambler (blue dial) with a black one. The bracelet has riveted links, which look great but are tedious to remove when sizing the watch. Luckily, Vero can size the bracelet free of charge. Lastly, the Meridian, like all Vero watches, comes with a “no questions asked” 10-year warranty. That’s pretty neat for a micro/independent brand and a watch that retails for less than $1,000.
So, could this be my summer watch? Definitely. Could it be yours? I would be curious to know in the comments below. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the design and specs of the Meridian Manual Wind. You can also learn more about it by visiting the brand’s website here.