Vario Eclipse Quartz

Early this year, I introduced you to the Vario Eclipse, the first watch from the Singapore company previously known for its patterned NATO straps. The Eclipse is a mid-century styled dress watch, available in both mechanical (Miyota 6t33) and quartz (Seiko VH31) versions. As I mentioned in the earlier post, I did offer so e input during the design phase, but I have no financial interest whatsoever. I just like spouting opinions, so take that as you will. Now that the watch is in production, they sent me a silver Eclipse and a few tweed straps for my review. Proving once again that the universe has a sense of humor, the watch arrived on August 21, the day of the Great American Eclipse. (BTW, here in our nation's capitol, we saw an 81%. eclipse. It was very cool with the right glasses, otherwise just momentarily overcast.)

Vario Eclipse Quartz


I would usually go for a mechanical piece, but in this case, I requested a quartz. I am familiar with the 6t33, and I know how it will act, but the VH31 is a bit different in that it ticks four times a second and I was curious to see how this worked in the real world. No, it doesn't provide the smooth sweep of a mechanical or high beat quartz, but instead moves in a series of tiny steps, creating its own unique rhythm that I find much more pleasing than the jerky jump of a more common one-tick-per-second quartz.




Just as promised, the Eclipse has a polished stainless steel case that is 38mm wide with a 3mm double domed and anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Overall height is 10mm for the quartz, 11mm for the mechanical. The "Heavenly Hound" graces the case back. Water resistance is now a healthy 50 meters. The biggest visible change is the inclusion of drilled lugs. This was a factory error and one of which I approve. I'll always choose drilled lugs myself as they make strap swapping so much easier, but Vario has arranged for new cases for the few backers who dislike the holes.

Vario Eclipse Quartz

The domed dial turned out to be just lovely. When I wrote the preview I wondered if the Eclipse was too simple, perhaps lacking a defining element to give it star power. It seems I was wrong. The sunray effect is stunning and more than makes up for the familiarity of the baton hands and markers. The Vario logo is novel, properly sized, and silver on this silver dial, which makes for a nice effect with the polished handset. Its fine lined markers are printed in black. Overall, it is a clean, effective design.

Vario Eclipse Quartz Harris tweed straps

My one criticism is reserved for the strap. Not that there is anything wrong with it per se, but the 20mm padded Harris tweed, while certainly attractive, is also a shade bulky. The thick, fuzzy fabric threatens to overwhelm the slim, delicately detailed watch. Moreover, tweed is strictly an autumn to winter fabric. As I said, the straps look great, and buyers can choose from a variety of colors, but I'd suggest investing in a leather strap, or one of Vario's own nylon NATOs to get the most out of this watch.

Vario Eclipse Quartz

In addition to the Pyrite Silver featured here, Vario also offers the Eclipse in Emerald Green, Hematite Gray, Onyx Black, Ruby Red, and Topaz Blue. Each one is a limited edition of just 40 pieces. Pricing is hard to beat: Quartz models have a full retail of $218 and a sale price of $178 through the end of September. Mechanicals are $328 retail and $268 on sale.



Vario hit their target dead-on with the Eclipse. It successfully channels many of the most appealing aspects of mid-century dress watches, incorporates some useful modern updates, and delivers it at an affordable price. For more information or to order your own, see Vario.sg.⬩


Vario Eclipse Quartz wrist shot

Vario Eclipse Quartz case back
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