I’m surprised we’ve never covered the previous version of Vero’s Open Water. It’s a no-nonsense 41mm watch with a DLC-coated bezel and a selection of colorful dials. I remember it was quite a hit on Instagram when it came out. Now, based on that predecessor, the US-based brand is introducing the Vero Open Water 38. It has a similar clean design as before, but it comes in a smaller 38mm size, has a Cerakoted dial and bezel, and features an updated bracelet. Today, I’ll take a quick look.

Vero calls itself the champion of the modern American field watch. That’s quite the statement to make, but I think I have to agree with it. Watches like the USDA Forest Service Editions and the Workhorse are completely different from what’s already out there. The Vero Meridian is an example of a more conventional watch, yet it’s still a field watch with a modern and clean twist. The same goes for the company’s Open Water. It’s based on the classic dive-watch design, but it doesn’t feel like your average vintage-inspired diver. Let’s take a closer look at the new Vero Open Water 38.

Vero Open Water 38 Cove on wrist

The Vero Open Water 38

Vero’s previous Open Water debuted about three years ago, but the brand has updated that model based on feedback from customers. As a result, the case diameter went down from 41 to 38mm. Also, the new 46.5mm lug-to-lug span and 10.75mm thickness (including the flat sapphire crystal) have slightly decreased. The case is still made of bead-blasted stainless steel, which gives it a matte, almost titanium-like look. Instead of the 60-minute scale on the bezel of the previous Open Water, there’s now a 12-hour scale with which you can track another time zone.

In addition, that bezel has a layer of Cerakote rather than the previous DLC treatment. To ensure the color of the dial matches the bezel perfectly, the dial also has a layer of Cerakote on top. You can choose between an off-white version called Cove and the more striking Swell option, which comes in (what I would describe as) an emergency yellow color. The date-less dial layout looks very similar to the Open Water 41’s, but the applied indexes are now more uniform than before. This accentuates the Open Water’s clean and minimalist design approach.

Same movement, updated bracelet

Powering the Open Water 38 is the same Sellita SW200 automatic movement as before. It runs at a frequency of 28,800vph, features 26 jewels, and holds a power reserve of 38 hours. Vero advertises that it should be accurate between ±5 seconds a day. The movement is operated via the black-coated and guarded screw-down crown. This component carries over from the previous version. The stainless steel screw-in case back states the most important features of the watch and helps keep it water resistant to a depth of 200 meters.

The Open Water 38’s bracelet has the same Oyster-style design as the previous version, but it did receive quite a few updates. First of all, it now starts at 18mm instead of 20mm wide and tapers down to 16mm at the clasp. It’s equipped with quick-release spring bars for easy strap changes. Also, the clasp now comes courtesy of Nodus and allows for on-the-fly micro-adjustments without tools. Finally, the links utilize screws for more rigid construction, and the end links are now of the female kind for a better wearing experience on smaller wrists.

Great update

I like what the team at Vero has done to update the Open Water. Its new 38mm size suits the trend of smaller watches, and the colors used match the company’s outdoorsy character. The dial design and layout are even cleaner than before. The small index at 6 o’clock is a fun interruption of the pattern that aids orientation and readability in darker situations. While the Open Water is more of a classic watch than some other watches in Vero’s portfolio, I like how it takes a more modern approach to the classically styled dive watch.

The new Vero Open Water 38 is now available for US$795. It comes with a very respectable 10-year warranty. For more information, check out Vero’s official website.

What do you think of the new Vero Open Water 38? Let me know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Open Water 38
White (Cove) or yellow (Swell) Cerakoted dial with applied luminous indexes
Case Material
Bead-blasted stainless steel with Cerakoted bezel
Case Dimensions
38mm (diameter) × 46.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 10.75mm (thickness)
Flat sapphire with internal AR coating
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-in
Sellita SW200-1: automatic with manual winding and hacking, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
200 meters (20 ATM)
Stainless steel
Time (hours, minutes, seconds) and 12-hour bezel
10 years