Vertigo Tornante

Review and photos by Mike Razak

I’ve had the Vertigo Tornante in for review for an unacceptably long time. And it hasn’t even been sitting in a box. I’ve been wearing it! A lot! Several times a week I’ve strapped it to the wrist in the evening just to have it on, both to experience it further and because I’ve just liked it. I don’t have a good excuse. I’m just slow and the review schedule got in the way.

Vertigo Tornante

I’ve long admired Vertigo Watches’ pieces, but only just had a chance to handle one, thanks to the kindness of brand founder and owner Andrea Crognale. Up until the Tornante, I’ve always been most taken with their Pilot One, a no-nonsense manual wind chronograph with a ceramic timing bezel. But then the Tornante came out and I reached out to Andrea immediately. The sunburst dial and the C1 lume plots clicked immediately for me, as did the $275 price tag. Without further delay, let’s get into it.

Vertigo Tornante wrist shot

The Tornante is presented in a classic vintage tonneau case with pump pushers and a slender crown at three o’clock. It’s all well-proportioned for an excellent wearing experience. A fairly pronounced arc defines the midcase from lug to lug, with the lugs themselves descending to meet the plane created by the caseback. The crown is very thin but thanks to a very narrow tube, it’s easy to pull out and push in with your fingertips. That said, if you cut your nails horrifically short, you may have trouble.

Vertigo Tornante

The finishing on the case is crisp and clear. A circular-brushed top breaks up the polishing throughout the rest of the watch, including on the fixed bezel. A flat sapphire crystal gives a touch of modernity to the watch.

Vertigo Tornante

Through the sapphire crystal, the dial comes alive with its sunburst finish. Available in blue, black, and brown, the Tornante dial is a crisp interpretation of vintage chronograph design (though I’d describe the brown as more burnt sienna, and it’s gorgeous). Starting at the outside, a raised chapter ring features a tachymeter scale, up against the seconds track on the outer edge of the blue main dial. The seconds track features 1/5 hashes as well, ostensibly for more accurate timing readouts.

Vertigo Tornante

On the blue and black model, you’ll find seconds and chronograph hands in a bright orangish-red, while the brown dial will feature yellow hands in their place. The Tornante's chronograph dials are ultra-vintage rounded squares and while I wish they had some sore of texturing, the lack thereof didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Simple white baton hands compliment the dial and much of the dial text. The dial has Super-Luminova C1 lume for a vintage look on the markers, which feature polished surrounds. The lume on the hands is a bit dimmer than those on the markers.

Vertigo Tornante lume

Finishing out the dial is the Vertigo logo at 12 o’clock and the model name and specs (including the 10ATM/100m water resistance) at 6 o’clock, just about the framed date window. You’ll also note there’s no running seconds hand. This, to me, is a plus, as otherwise, you’d have a beautiful dial cheapened by a stuttering quartz second hand. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but the movement affords its omission and I think it’s for the better.

Vertigo Tornante

The screw-down caseback features a very race-inspired design of a checkered flag and wheel spoke and tire, with the Vertigo logo at the hub. It’s a fun design that occupies the entirety of the back for a nice treat if you happen to flip the watch over. Underneath is the laudable Seiko VK64 Mecaquartz, which allows the chronograph hands to sweep along smoothly.

Vertigo Tornante

The Vertigo Tornante features a 22mm lug box. The stock strap is a quick-release color-matched three-hole racing strap that is supple, if not award-winning. A simple branded tang clasp holds it in place. While the lug box appears a bit shallow, it actually accommodated a number of great straps, which was a pleasant surprise. It’s not uncommon for a tonneau case to trick the eye like that, and I’m happy this ended up with ample room.

Vertigo Tornante

So after well over a month with the watch in hand, what’s my impression? The Vertigo Tornante is a great entry-level watch that offers a great vintage-inspired design with some racing flair, and an engaging dial. At around $270, there’s little to scoff at. Even the unbalanced lume can be excused (also that’s the only thing to gripe about, which is pretty impressive at this price point). If the Tornante appeals to you, you will not be disappointed. And I imagine it will appeal to most people. If that’s you, you can go get it right now on the website.

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