Today, the American independent brand Vero is launching an exciting collection of watches for those who live and breathe the outdoors. Whether that’s in a professional capacity or a recreational one, these modern field watches should resonate with people who love nature. These watches are robust, colorful, and affordable. Not only that, but they also have a fairly uncommon and interesting kinetic caliber inside. If that sounds intriguing, join me for a quick look at the new Forest Service Edition watches from Vero.

Vero Forest Service Edition Hotshot pocket shot

A different kind of partnership 

This new collection follows in the footsteps of the Smokey Bear watches that Thomas wrote about last summer. Today’s models are the first officially licensed timepieces of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. While Smokey Bear was invented with the specific goal of preventing wildfires, the Forest Service is in charge of protecting and restoring the nation’s forests and grasslands. If you have spent time in the great American outdoors, you most likely are very familiar with the Forest Service. The organization has a presence at any national park and forest, and its friendly rangers guide you through the trails and parks. 

The four variations of the Vero USDA Forest Service Edition 

The Forest Service is vast and comprises several branches, each represented here through different color schemes. First, there are the Hotshot Crews, who are experts in the behavior of forest fires. They wear brightly colored “Hotshot Yellow” uniforms. Then, there are the Rangers, who are the foot soldiers of the Forest Service and wear a distinctive uniform of forest-green pants and khaki shirts. Next are the Airtankers, who carry bright red fire retardants in their white air tankers. Last but not least, there are the Forest Service utility trucks. These are easy to identify thanks to their Service Green color. As you can see, each variant of the Forest Service watch proudly bears these colors. That’s very appropriate for Vero, a brand that rarely shies away from utilizing unique color combinations. 

Vero Forest Service Edition Hotshot on wrist

A distinct Vero design 

These models are based on the Workhorse that Thor reviewed a while back, but they are significantly smaller. Vero reused its unique template for a field watch to create a more approachable version of it. The Workhorse had a 44.5mm diameter, which is quite large by today’s standards. The Forest Service Edition, on the other hand, measures 39mm wide, 45.25mm long, 12.5mm thick, and 18mm between the lugs. With the short tip-to-tip measurement and simple, thin lugs, the Forest Service watch should be comfortable on a variety of wrists. The strap certainly has a charm of its own. It fastens with Velcro and is somewhat reminiscent of a Bund strap, with its wider (22mm) layer running underneath the case.

Visually, the Forest Service Edition appears tall and robust. The colored ceramic-coated part of the stainless steel case is one piece, while the case back is flat and screws in. The case was designed this way to accommodate the large pusher and crowns, which are easy to operate. Each version comes with the pusher at 2 o’clock color-matched to the seconds hand (more on that later). As this is a modern field watch, the dial is clean and legible. Its painted Arabic numerals sit lower than the central portion of the dial, while the bezel sits at the highest point. The large baton-style hour and minute hands are easy to read, and they contrast nicely against the matte dial. Equally legible is the framed date window at 3 o’clock with white printed numerals and a black date wheel. 

Vero Forest Service Edition Service Green

The kinetic movement inside

Besides its unique looks, the Vero Forest Service Edition is also a solid piece of horology. It’s powered by the Seiko Epson PX82A caliber, a kinetic quartz movement with a six-month power reserve. It ticks like a standard quartz movement but has a rotor that recharges the capacitor inside. This technology seems to predate solar movements. It’s a fascinating combination as it gives the wearer the accuracy of a quartz caliber along with the rotor wobble of a self-winding mechanical movement (maybe that’s not for everyone, though). Furthermore, the Vero Forest Service has a 120m water resistance rating and two screw-down crowns.

The crown at 3 o’clock sets the date and time (this kind of movement does not wind), while the crown at 9 o’clock operates the bidirectional inner rotating bezel. The pusher at 2 o’clock activates the power reserve indicator. Upon engaging it, the seconds hand moves to certain hour markers to show how much power is left and then resumes its ticking duties. Underneath a flat piece of AR-coated sapphire crystal, all of the hour markers, the hour and minute hands, as well as the markings on the bezel are filled with BGW9 lume. 

Vero Forest Service Edition Ranger pocket shot

Pricing and availability

The Vero Forest Service Edition debuts today, February 16th, for a price of US$475. All four colorways will be available for purchase exclusively through Vero’s website, with a portion of the proceeds directly supporting the USDA Forest Service and its admirable work.

What do you think of these four new models from Vero? Are they the ultimate modern interpretations of a field watch? As always, let us know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Forest Service Edition
Hotshot / Ranger/ Airtanker/ Service Green
Matte gray with blue-gray bezel (Hotshot), black with green bezel (Ranger), bright red with black bezel (Airtanker), black with black bezel (Service Green), Super-LumiNova BGW9 indices
Case Material
Ceramic-coated stainless steel in yellow (Hotshot), khaki (Ranger), blue-gray (Airtanker), or green (Service Green) with contrasting rubberized steel bumpers,
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 45.25mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.5mm (thickness)
AR-coated sapphire
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-in with USDA Forest Service logo engraved
Seiko Epson PK28A: kinetic (self-winding) quartz caliber, six-month power reserve
Water Resistance
Yellow (Hotshot), khaki (Ranger), blue-gray (Airtanker), or green (Service Green) Velcro, 18mm between lugs with 22mm lower layer
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), date, sweeping power reserve indicator, 60-minute bidirectional inner bezel