Minimalism and simplicity are not something that guide me in choosing a watch. Sometimes I look at photos of bauhaus watches and wonder if I can give it a try. Then, however, I quickly say that thin hands and small, painted indices are impossible to overcome for me. For this reason, I also often have problems with choosing a typical suit watch … most of them are just such – very minimalistic. Thanks to Marcin, the owner of the Vratislavia brand, I recently had the opportunity to see if I could wear a watch in this style. Ok. a week ago, the courier brought me a packet with two copies of the Vratislavia Conceptum Form & Function watch – one with a white dial and one with a blue dial. Yes! Now I could test not one, but two watches alternately.
Only that I didn’t feel like it…. For the first time since I am interested in watches, I have encountered a situation that the watch does not meet my taste so much that I didn’t feel like wearing it. It wasn’t easy because I worked from home due to the coronavirus pandemic and wearing my loose casual clothing I had the opportunity to wear watches all day long, which I had worn for several hours a day.
So I won’t lie to you that I wore these watches all the time … I wore them only when I was writing the review.
However, this doesn’t affect my assessment of the quality of workmanship or the design of these watches. Here I will try to be as honest and objective as possible.
Invariably, since the last few Vratislavia designs, we receive watches in a bright, oblong wooden box which, because it is made of thin boards of very light wood – seems to be too light for its size.
At first glance it is one of the simplest constructions I have seen so far, but the devil is in the details and we are dealing here with a well thought out design. The case is 41mm wide and 11.5mm thick. The length of the case with the lugs is up to 51mm, but they are very bent down so tightly that the case placed on the table touches it with the lugs and not the case back, there is then a minimum clearance between the case back and the table. Strong bending of the lugs makes the watch fit well on the hands and the lugs don’t stick out. A similar procedure was used in the Aquatico Blue Angels I reviewed, and here the effect is the same – the case, the size of which can be terrifying on paper, but it fits well live even on smaller wrists.
Returning to the apparent simplicity of the structure; the case consists of a slightly concave bezel that is all polished to a high gloss. Then we have a straight sidewall that is brushed and a short lower section, an case that is slightly narrower and narrows downwards. The trick is that this lower tapered section looks like it’s already a watch case back and not a part of the case, there is no smooth transition between these parts of the case – there is sharp narrowing and indentation. When we look at the watch from a distance, from the bottom it looks a bit like a case back screwed into the case back.
The lugs are completely brushed, they are long and narrow and the transitions between the surfaces on them are sharp. The second surface outside the bezel that has a polished finish is the space between the lugs. The finish of the case is very good quality, there is absolutely nothing to complain about. High quality of cut is already a standard to which we have already got used to a manufacturer from Wroclaw.
On the right side of the case there is a signed crown and 2 chronograph pushers. All 3 elements work properly, nothing special … but I have no complaints. Their work resembles that of mechanical chronographs.
The watch has a WR at 50m, the fact is that you don’t need more for this type of watch.
The watch is driven by a Citizen-Miyota 6S21 quartz movement. The vast majority of Vratislavia watches with a chronograph function are equipped with this movement. It is worth mentioning that this movement, after starting the chronograph, works with a frequency of 4 beats per second.
We’ll start with blue, because I like it more, and although both versions of the watches look very similar, they really are very different from each other.
The blue version has a very clear sunburst effect. It shimmers very much even in the shade, the effect becomes even stronger in the sun and the dial begins to shine. Its color is azure, which depending on the angle of incidence of light on a part of the dial turns into dark blue – this is an unusual solution … I don’t think of any watch on the market that would have just such a shade of the dial. 99% of watches on the market are blue, which with less light turns into navy blue. There is no question here, the color of the dial never looks like navy blue.
Despite the 2 additional chronograph sub dials, the dial remains simple and legible. On the outermost part of the dial there is a tachymeter scale painted with white paint. The indices are slightly below the scale with an additional division for 1/5 of a second. At the same level there are hourly indices which are in the form of silver, metal overlapping rectangles. They are completely brushed and have a small size that makes them fit into the simplicity of the entire dial.
Under the index of 12 o’clock there is the Vratislavia Conceptum company logo, apart from the logo, the only inscription on the dial is information at its bottom “designed in Poland”.
On the right is the modest second hand dial. This sub-dial has the form of white paint with markings every 15 seconds. On the left side there is a sub dial of the additional chronograph hand, which is simply 60 painted lines with a description every 20 minutes and bold lines every 5. All indices are taken impeccably, photos enlarged show what cannot be seen with the naked eye and in the case of this watch, apart from small details on the small hand, there is nothing to complain about.
Hands – the main chronograph, minute and hourly are simple, long and thin … the main chronograph hand is so thin that it even looks like a sewing needle. The hands of the small sub-dials keep the same proportions only for obvious reasons they are shorter … but they reach the very end of the indices on subdials . All hands are silver and polished so that they shine with the dial when we move the watch.
In practice, the white dial has a slightly silver hue. It doesn’t have a sunburst effect, but its surface is metallic. On the outermost part of the dial are minute indices in the form of dots painted with black paint and hourly indices in the form of painted black lines. The 12 o’clock index has the form of a black paint number – the font of this number is thin and tall, which perfectly matches the concept of the entire dial. As with the blue dial, the only inscriptions on it are the company logo and information at the bottom of the dial “designed in Poland”.
The sub-dials have circular grooves on their surface, thanks to which they reflect light in a different way and thus stand out on the entire dial. Seconds dial has seconds markings every 5 in the form of small lines painted with black paint. The additional chronograph sub dial has minute indexes in the form of black dots and dashes every 5 minutes, every 20 minutes an additional digit is placed above the index.
The hands have the same shape as in the blue version, except that in the white version the hands are blue.
The dial from above is covered by a sapphire, slightly convex glass with an internal anti-reflective coating. The convexity is not large, it’s mainly manifested by stronger reflection of the light and enlargement of the dial when we look from a very sharp angle.
The watch was inspired by the WUWA housing exhibition organized in 1929 in Wrocław. For this reason, on the case back was engraved a image with the model house No. 31 which was part of the exhibition. As standard, information about the model was engraved on the edge of the case back. There is also a watch limitation number – white has 100 pieces and Blue one 200pieces so the total watch is limited to 300 pcs.
We receive the watch on a black, thick leather strap with gray stitching. The strap looks very nice, the leather smells as it should, but it’s a little stiff and probably takes time to soften and get better on the wrist. The strap is fastened with a classic steel buckle with the Vratislavia logo. The buckle is completely brushed. After all, this is one of the best straps I have dealt with in this watch manufacturer.
The Form & Function model from Vratislavia Conceptum can now be bought at a price of PLN 980, the manufacturer’s website recently appeared that only 18 pcs of the white version and 62 pcs were left Blue version. Watches sell out very quickly, which is only a confirmation that everyone likes something different and such simple forms in watches also have their crowds of supporters. In my close encounter with this model, I found that if someone liked this design, in the case of this watch should not be disappointed in quality. The Form & Function model 100% meets the assumptions of its creation – total submission of the form to the function that the watch is to perform … no more or less.
From the information received from Marcin, we know that there will be 2 more color variants of this watch that you can see below