About this project
VAPAUS Ltd is a British independent watch company, founded by brothers, Oliver and Rudi. The founding of VAPAUS is driven by a desire to create a legacy of magnificent, vintage-inspired mechanical timepieces; a European brand placed to sit beside NOMOS, Stowa and Sinn in terms of beauty, quality and technical specification.
“they nailed the vintage-inspired modern watch. Add in the attractive and well executed dial, unique hands, that crystal and the quality Swiss movement, and you really have a great package.”
“Luckily Vapaus has priced the watch with value in mind, keeping it under $1,000. That’s a great deal at this point for watch with those specs. To make it further tempting, during their Kickstarter campaign prices start at £499, which is about $650.”
“With their first watch Vapaus has proven that they are not your typical crowdfunded brand. They are setting out to establish something real that will endure… Swiss-made with a Sellita hand-wound movement and a domed sapphire that rivals what you’ll find from old, established brands; the Veli is a well-made, well-designed watch.”
"Vapaus offers two different types of hand… Each gives the watch their own character, each is absolutely correct, but the 2050 really elevates the design to another level, from period-hommage, to masterpiece in its own right. "
"To top it off, Vapaus nailed the dials! Not only do they have a slight curve, they also come with a subtle sunburst in ice silver, space black, deep blue and slate grey. The best thing about the dials? They have a date-wheel to match, a feature that can absolutely make or break any watch, yet even some very, very established brands sell watches 5 to 10 times more expensive as the Vapaus, without them. "
"This, ladies and gentlemen, is a minimalist watch! It’s so rich in thought through details that it will captivate your attention, and probably that of the generations after you ."
"Vapaus designed a quality minimalist timepiece that measures up to exactly what a modern vintage-inspired dress watch should be. A classy 38mm round case, 20mm at the lugs, and under 10mm tall on the wrist – almost 3mm of which are from the high-arched sapphire crystal.
The dial and hands run parallel to the scratch-resistant dome above. The beautiful sunburst effect that shoots out to the far edges of the face is what really got our attention. You get a crisp view into this uncluttered dial thanks to the double anti-reflective coated crystal."
“Influenced by Bauhaus design principles, these strikingly beautiful wrist watches feature high-domed sapphire crystals, wire lugs, textured yet minimal dials, and beautifully engineered Swiss Sellita SW215-1 hand-wound movements.”
STRETCH GOAL 1 - £80,000 - Super-Luminova Upgrade - upgrade to the world’s brightest lume on the hands and dial! COMPLETED!
STRETCH GOAL 2 - £90,000 - each backer receives a free additional strap (value of £25) - choice of Brown Calf, Black Calf and Grey Suede - COMPLETED!
SURPRISE! - our Emerald Edition (limited 16 timepieces) drops tomorrow (11 August) at 4pm BST
Full explanation here:
1. Exquisite 1950s-inspired design with sunburst dials
2. High-arched Sapphire Crystal with anti-reflective coating
3. Premium Swiss movement with smooth-sweeping hands and colour-matched date wheel
4. Ultra-Slim at just 9.65mm including apex of crystal
5. Remarkable value at 1/3 the price of comparable watches
Our first watch, the VAPAUS Veli is a mechanical hand-wound Swiss watch. The Veli features an exquisite design, Sellita 215-1 movement (with a colour-matched date wheel) and beautiful high-arched sapphire crystal.
High-arched sapphire crystal is an extremely desirable and rare feature in modern watchmaking. The reason for this is quite simple - they are extremely expensive. In the modern watch landscape it is difficult to find comparable examples, but one timepiece that does come to mind is the Oris - John Coltrane (Limited Edition), which features a stunning high-arched sapphire crystal similar in profile to the Veli. The Oris John Coltrane, which also features a Swiss Sellita movement (albeit re-labelled as the Oris Caliber 733), is simply out of reach for many, with an RRP of $2,200. Our KickStarter launch price for the VAPAUS Veli is £499 GBP (~$650).
Further, the timing of our offer could not be better. We are a British company, pricing our watches in British Pounds Sterling. Britain recently voted to leave the European Union. This political move has resulted in the British pound falling to a 31 year low against the United States Dollar. The stunning plummet in the value of the pound, the extraordinary feature set of the watch and our attractive KickStarter promotional pricing; makes this very moment a truly remarkable time to purchase a launch edition watch from an ambitious, new British watch brand.
- Case diameter: 38mm
- Lug width: 20mm (quick release spring bars)
- Height to apex of crystal: 9.65mm
- Case thickness (excluding crystal): 6.85mm
- Crystal: Sapphire, high-arched dome (2.80mm to apex of dome)
- Case material: 316L stainless steel
- Dial: Sunburst dial - 4 colours - Deep Blue, Ice Silver, Space Black and Slate Grey
- Strap: 20mm premium French calf leather
- Movement: Sellita SW215-1 (hand-wound)
- Water resistance: 3ATM (30m)
- Manufacture: Swiss Made
SUNBURST dial - Deep and subtle, yet striking, our sunburst dials come in Ice Silver, Space Black, Deep Blue and Slate Grey. In sympathy with the domed crystal, the dial itself is also slightly convex. Gently curved hands maintain a parallel with the convex dial, which looks particularly elegant with the extra-long, smooth-sweeping, seconds hand.
HANDS (lumed) - The Veli is offered with either classic alpha hands (Veli 1950), or our signature syringe hands (Veli 2050). The 2050 hands have created a cult following among watch aficionados --- enthralled by the juxtaposition between a classic and modern aesthetic; while the 1950 hands resonate clearly with the legacy of the timepiece
SAPPHIRE crystal - Working in tandem with our sunburst dials, the show-stopping high-arched sapphire refracts light beautifully. The crystal, at its apex, stands 2.80mm above the case, curving smoothly across its surface.
MOVEMENT - In-keeping with the gently modernised 1950s aesthetic, a hand-wound Sellita SW215-1 movement, with a bespoke colour-matched date wheel, sits at the heart of the Veli. A fine Swiss movement, the SW215-1 is close to the ETA 2804-2 in design, save that the Sellita movement has two extra jewels.
STRAPS - the Veli's elegant wire lugs conceal quick release spring bars, meaning straps can be swapped in seconds. With hundreds of 20mm strap options available to choose from, you can dress up or dress down your Veli at will.
To celebrate the launch of VAPAUS, we are offering the Veli, in exclusive numbered 1st editions.
We will produce ten individually numbered 1st editions for each of our eight models (set out above), making eighty 1st edition Velis in total.
Each 1st edition comes with:
- Authenticity card, hand-signed by both VAPAUS founders
- 1st edition artwork engraved on case back
- Individual numbering 1 through 10 for each of our eight models
- Luxury VAPAUS Watch Wallet for storing your watches whilst travelling (sold separately for £95 each)
Our 1st editions will be sold on a first-come-first sold basis, with the engraved numbering reflecting the order in which they are purchased.
Throughout the world the reputation of Swiss Made watches is unrivalled. Know-how, impeccable quality, aesthetic prowess, technical innovation: the indication Swiss Made reflects all this, and much more.
In order to display this famous label, a watch must meet the legal requirements of Swiss Made, including a Swiss movement, the movement being assembled in its case in Switzerland and final inspection of the watch being carried out in Switzerland to ensure that the watch meets the high standards that Swiss Made has come to signify.
While Swiss Made is an internationally recognised mark of quality, we have not chosen to manufacture in Switzerland solely for the purpose of being able to call the watches Swiss Made.
From the outset, we have been focused on creating a beautiful timepiece that captures the magic of the vintage watches we love and are inspired by. Having spoken with countless manufacturers from all around the World, and handled many samples, it was not until we alighted upon our Swiss manufacturer that we truly felt that we had found a partner who understood our design and quality standards and could deliver the Veli as it looked in our mind’s eye.
Our chosen watchmaker is vastly experienced, shares our obsessive attention for detail, and has worked with an array of luxury watch brands to produce stunning, well-known timepieces.
In a world of soulless, disposable smart watches, there is something truly wonderful about a smooth-sweeping mechanical watch movement. Hundreds of tiny parts, whirring in perfect balance to keep incredibly accurate time, a premium movement is a microcosm of perfection which, if cared for, will last a lifetime.
When deciding on our movement, we initially considered offering both an automatic and hand-wound version of the Veli. However, after much reflection, we decided to make the Veli with a hand-wound movement only, for the following reasons:
1. 1950s Style - the gently modernised 1950s aesthetic of the watch is more in sympathy with a hand-wound movement than an automatic.
2. Ultra-Slim - hand-wound movements do not have a rotor, meaning that they tend to be slimmer than automatic movements. This meant we could make our case stunningly slim, at just 6.85mm.
3. The Bond - for watch lovers, the true beauty of a hand-wound movement is the incredibly satisfying feeling of winding the watch. Each turn supplying power and energy which will drive the watch throughout the day and night, while deepening the bond you feel with your chosen timepiece.
For these reasons, we decided to place a Sellita SW215-1 movement, with a bespoke colour-matched date wheel, at the heart of the Veli. We selected this movement on the strong recommendation of our Swiss manufacturer. As many of you are doubtless aware, the SW215-1 is a fine Swiss movement, which has been adopted by a number of high-end manufacturers.
Our focus throughout the design and engineering process has been not on how to make the Veli as cheap as possible, but on making the Veli as good as possible, at the fairest possible price.
Our goal was to deliver the Veli for under $1,000. As soon as we begun conversations we knew this was going to be a huge challenge, due to:
i) the premium components (in particular, the Sellita SW215-1 Swiss movement and high-arched sapphire crystal); and
ii) the high quality finish (leading to our selection of Swiss manufacturing)
We could, of course, have cut costs here in lots of different ways.
We could have used acrylic, or mineral glass (the option chosen by German manufacturer Junghans for their iconic Max Bill watches). We could have reduced the curve of the dome (reducing it even marginally would have resulted in a significant cost saving). We could have switched to a manufacturer in the Far East.
However, from the outset of this project we committed to each other that we would take an entirely uncompromising approach in delivering the Veli.
When we first held the prototypes in our hands, and saw the light refract off the stunning high-arched sapphire, we knew we had made the right choice.
We are delighted to be able to offer the Veli at:
- Numbered 1st Editions (10 of each model): £550
- Tier 1 Early Bird Launch edition (limited to 50 watches): £499
- Tier 2 Early Bird Launch edition (limited to 100 watches): £525
- Tier 3 Early Bird Launch edition (unlimited): £545
We feel confident that we have delivered an astonishing timepiece; at remarkable value .
These prices have been achieved due to:
i) our strong relationship with our manufacturer
ii) slim margins combined with KickStarter’s direct-to-customer model
iii) the recent collapse of the British Pound to a 31 year low against the US Dollar
Decide whether you would like a numbered first edition model (dependent upon availability). If you would like a first edition, then you will need to select which model of Veli you would like, from the 8 available (2 hand styles x 4 dial colours - set out above).
If you wish to order our standard launch edition, then simply select that as a reward. All further information, such as dial colours and hand styles, will be collected in a survey once the KickStarter has been completed.
Please note all dial colours and hand styles are available for the Launch Edition throughout the project.
Our wire lugs conceal spring bar releases, meaning straps can be swapped very easily with a simple tool. Since they are so easy to switch, you can buy an extra set, so it will be like having two watches!
Straps are priced at £25 and our options are:
- Black Calf Leather
- Deep Brown Calf Leather
- Soft Grey Suede
As watch lovers and frequent travellers, we have been searching for somewhere to keep our travel essentials - passport, tickets, credit cards and, of course, watches. Unable to find the perfect travel wallet, we decided to create our own.
The VAPAUS Watch Travel Wallet features:
- luxurious milled Napa leather
- soft wool felt pockets to keep 3 of your watches safely ensconced
- dense padding to protect your watches against impact
- passport pocket
- slots for 4 credit / frequent flyer cards
- pen holder for airport forms
We are offering this luxurious leather travel wallet for just £95 (or included free with our 1st Editions).
As KickStarter only allows you to select one reward, if you are ordering a launch edition (rather than a 1st edition, which includes a VAPAUS Watch Wallet) please simply add £95 ($125) to your pledge.
Risks and challenges
With any product design and development project, there are always schedule risks associated with manufacturing and supply chain logistics.
However, we are extremely confident in our experienced Swiss manufacturer and are familiar with how to anticipate and mitigate the types of issues that may arise.
As those who have been following our development of the VAPAUS Veli from beginning know, we have planned this project meticulously and have produced our prototypes with precision. Accordingly, we feel very comfortable that we will deliver the Veli on schedule and as promised.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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