Take a guess: which price range represents the watch market’s most competitive area these days? If you guessed either the cheap or the luxury market section, then you’re slightly off the bullseye: it is actually the middle one. To be precise, in today’s industry you can find the majority of customers searching for a watch in the lower-mid-range watch market.
Rather than sacrificing quality or reliability, we instead seek out the highest value watches within this range.
Due to higher demand, many watchmakers have flocked toward production in this mid-range. Even I get overwhelmed by the sheer number of watchmakers offering products in the $100 to $500 price variety.
Veteran brands like Citizen and Seiko have dominated this market for many years. But things have changed drastically in the last few years. Now, you can find brands like Vincero, Invicta, MVNT, and countless others offering great, yet affordable, timepieces.
Among these new players, Vincero has become extremely popular. With increasing interest in Vincero as a brand, it’s time to take a closer look at their products. So let’s get started with the Vincero Chrono S review.
The Chrono S is the most popular collection from Vincero. Let’s put this watch to the test today and see if it’s the best purchase for your money.
Is Vincero a Good Brand? The Company History
Vincero is a fairly new name in the watch industry. Three friends from the USA, Tim, Sean, and Aaron, moved to China in 2010 with a dream to design and manufacture their timepieces all on their own.
At the same time, they wanted to uphaul the traditional third-party based supply chain system.
After four years of constant struggle and determination, the team of three came up with the brand Vincero. They envisioned bringing the sophistication of Italian craftsmanship to the masses. Even the name Vincero comes from the Italian phrase “I will win.”
The name Vincero is also related to that famous quote – Veni. Vidi. Vici. It translates to I came, I saw, I conquered. The Latin also makes a tribute to the marvels of Julius Caesar.
This is a very clever marketing trick as a lot of people think that Vincero is an Italian brand. But in reality, Vincero is brand founded by a group of Americans who operate out of China.
Some reviewers even mistakenly state that the Vincero watches are designed in Italy.
Again, a big misconception. All the watches are designed and 3D-rendered in their San Diego HQ.
Apparently, the only Italian aspect of the Vincero watches is the choice of leather used for the straps. They use top-grain Italian calfskin leather in the straps.
So, what does all of this mean for you, the consumer?
First, Vincero is a young brand in the watch industry. And second, if you think that Vincero is an Italian brand, you have fallen for their smart marketing gimmick!
This isn’t meant to start off our review with a negative tone – clever marketing serves a great purpose. It is simply to make you aware of the brand’s origin if you are planning to buy a Vincero watch.
Now, let’s focus on the next “issue” that certain watch aficionados take with Vincero products. Where are Vincero watches made?
You might have guessed it already – China. The company makes and fashions its watches entirely in China, building Italian-themed watches, originally designed by US-born founders.
In short, Vincero is a brand that has received quite a bit of criticism for trying to promote or represent itself in a way that isn’t 100% transparent. However, as you may have heard from their advertisements, their rigorous marketing practices have in fact been quite successful in bringing the brand popularity among customers.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Watch
When planning to buy a new watch, it is important to take a deeper look at some of the specifications.
Here’s a list of the characteristics that you need to consider (based on priority level) –
- Movement – This is the mechanism that drives the watch and keeps time.
- Case and Bezel – The choice of material and the design of the case and the bezel can affect both the look and durability of the watch.
- Dial – This includes design philosophy and the features of the dial. Plus, the choice of crystal can be significant, as it acts as the primary defense of a watch’s dial against damage.
- Type of Strap/Band – The type and quality of the strap matters both for style and functionality. It could be made of metal, ceramic, leather, nylon, PU (polyurethane), or resin.
- Other Features – These are the “extras,” the special features, like the water resistance rating, presence of lume, extra design features and so on.
Among these specifications, the choice of movement is perhaps the most important to consider when buying. If the movement of the watch is poor, then you can safely assume the watch will be poor in its entirety.
There are three main types of movements –
Automatic and mechanical movements hold the status of aristocracy and traditional pride in the watch communities.
Quartz movements are the latest innovations. These are cheaply made, of course meaning that most of the inexpensive watches in the market come with quartz movements. You can even buy your own quartz movement at around $3 to $5!
Yes, it’s that cheap!
Now, moving along to the case and bezel, for the choice of material, 316L stainless steel is a sweet spot. It’s a high-quality stainless steel that offers decent durability and a certain ruggedness to your watch.
For the choice of dial crystal, you should opt for the sapphire crystal. It offers highest level of durability and is considered to be lightly shatter and scratch resistant.
Now, let me warn you about something: some brands offer “sapphire coated” crystals. Don’t let this marketing gimmick fool you! It’s not a true sapphire crystal. Actually, it’s a somewhat sneaky way for brands to sell a mineral crystal with a light coating.
Sadly, Vincero falls into this category.
Vincero boasts of their sapphire coated crystal, which, in reality is nothing more than a mineral crystal with a scratch-resistant coating.
Vincero Chrono S Review: Features and Benefits
Let’s be frank, Vincero is no stranger to being heavily criticized; it is common to see a lot of well-known watch reviewers ranting about the brand.
Well, the good news for Vincero’s product quality is that critics don’t hate the brand because the watches are bad. Rather, it’s because Vincero tries to be something that it’s not!
For starters, Vincero claims to offer luxury at a cheaper price. However, the quality and the choice of material don’t speak to a standard of luxury or elegance. In fact, you can find better specifications in watches half the price.
Let’s take a step-by-step approach for our review and take a look at each component of the Vincero Chrono S.
The choice of movement is Vincero’s biggest mistake in my opinion. Vincero doesn’t produce a single movement themselves; they depend instead on the third-party vendors entirely.
The Chrono S comes with a Miyota movement, made by the Japanese watch-making giant Citizen. It’s true that Citizen produces some of the best quartz movements in the world, but Vincero doesn’t choose to use the best-ranked movements.
Now, the Vincero Chrono S does come with a chronograph feature, but unfortunately the chronograph isn’t very accurate. While using this feature, I saw that it doesn’t hit the second markers accurately.
If you follow my blog, you know that I talk details about the caliber of different watches and the detailed features of the caliber. However, I failed miserably to find out about the exact Miyota caliber Vincero uses in this case.
I really don’t understand the point of keeping this information private – Citizen is quite a respectable name in the quartz watch industry. I can only think of Seiko, ETA, or maybe Ronda quartz that can rival Citizen Miyota.
So, what’s the point of hiding the name of the exact caliber for the movement?
Some users have suggested that Vincero doesn’t even use Miyota, but some unknown Chinese movement. However, this is pure speculation. Given the price of a Miyota movement, I really don’t think Vincero would cheap out here!
The Chrono S does give you a great chronograph with three subdials. But you can get far better movement options in the same price category (even at a lower price point).
For example, the Seiko Series 5, Orient Bambino, Hamilton automatics, and Citizen Eco-Drive all offer much better choices of movement.
Then again, Vincero always seems to place their focus more on the design rather than the engine of the watch.
So, let’s check what Vincero offers in the next specification categories.
Well, enough with the rants! I think Vincero deserves all the credit for the design choices.
First of all, the form factor of the case is just perfect. The 43mm case fits both thin and thick wrists just right. Also, the 10mm thickness gives the watch an elegant feel.
The form of the case leaves us no room for complaints.
Plus, I think 316L surgical grade stainless steel is best case material that you can find in budget watches. Even premium watches use 316L ss as the case material.
The material offers superior ruggedness.
Vincero uses the case back to showcase their branding features. This way, you can enjoy a minimalistic look on your watch and the subtle branding features at the same time.
All Vincero watches have “Veni. Vidi. Vici.” carved on the back. Some find it tacky while some love it – it all depends on your taste. But I give credit to Vincero for putting the engraving on the back of the case so that it remains subtle and hidden while on your wrist.
Vincero has gone for a minimalist design with the dial of the Chrono S. You’ll see batons as the hour markers and the second markers leave minimal footprints on the dial.
Without question, the heroes of the dial are the three chronograph subdials. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more of a gap among the dial positions as it seems a bit clustered.
However, as the position of the subdials are dependent on the caliber, I recognize Vincero’s limitations here.
I also love the off-setting date display. With a minimal dial, you can’t expect truly radical design choices. But these subtle implementations feel refreshing.
Like I said earlier, Vincero uses sapphire coating on the crystal. It’s basically a marketing stunt but some users have actually said that the coating helps a bit.
Now, let’s move on to the strap. Vincero proudly presents their top grain Italian leather strap here. Technically, top grain leather is a grade above the common genuine leather.
Does this mean that Vincero has used the best of the best material here?
Yes and no!
Yes, top grain is the finest choice as far as quality in the leather strap department. But the leather strap in Chrono S seems very stiff – so stiff that I had a hard time wearing the watch the first time.
I like leather straps plush and soft, personally. I understand that some love the strap stiff and strong. If you belong to that category, you’d love it.
There’s one more characteristic about the strap that you should know. The strap only mimics alligator embossing, it’s not the real thing. Of course, original alligator embossing would cost a lot more.
Product Specifications and What to Expect
|Feature Type||Feature Specs||What to Expect?|
|Movement||Chronograph Quartz (H800 Caliber)||The high-quality movement that offers the highest level of accuracy without the need for a battery.|
|Caliber Model||1 second in 100,000 years||Atomic time synchronization makes the watch extremely accurate.|
|Case and Bezel Material||316L Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel||Very sturdy, can withstand the toll of regular usage. Two-tone color complexion offers better design.|
|Case Diameter||43mm Diameter and13mm Thickness||Suitable for both thin and thick wrists, you can find your suitable size option.|
|Case Height||23mm||Standard size, the strap can be replaced with aftermarket custom straps.|
|Strap Material||Faux (Artificial) Leather||Cheap and weak; leather, stainless steel, or nylon would’ve been a better option.|
|Clasp Type||200m/660ft.||Superior WR performance, suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and low-depth dives.|
|Water-Resistance||Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal||Very sturdy, it’s rare to find such anti-reflective features.|
|Dial Protection||3.06 Oz. (Approx.)||Lightweight and comfortable to wear.|
|Weight||Hands and Markers||Offers time visibility in the dark.|
|Luminosity||Hands and Markers||Offers time visibility in the dark.|
Community Opinion: What Do Other Customers Say?
Vincero doesn’t have the best reputation among users. In their earlier days, Vincero watches seemed to offer better quality. But customers have been very disappointed with the newer watches they’re releasing on the market.
In fact, some advanced users have found unbranded watches that look the exact same in Chinese markets that cost about $10 to $20!
Take a look at some of the reviews from the customers –
Alternatives to the Vincero Chrono S
Power users have suggested over and over again that it’s best to find a good alternative to Vincero watches. The main reason behind the grudge against this brand is their pricing. Vincero watches are in the budget category but you can find a lot of options with much better quality in the same price category.
People think they’re not getting the value that they should be able to expect from a budget watch. This is the core reason for the negativity surrounding the brand.
You can even find decent quality automatic watches priced less than the Vincero Chrono S.
So, what are some of the better options out there?
Whenever watch enthusiasts talk about Vincero, the name Fossil automatically comes to mind as well. These two watch brands hustle in the same market segment and offers watches with similar features.
Fossil Men’s Grant is very close to the Vincero Chrono S in terms of features and looks. However, Vincero’s timepiece costs about twice as much!
Like I said earlier, customers don’t generally have complaints against Vincero’s watches or their features: they just don’t understand why a Vincero costs so much.
If you fall into that category, you should take a look at the Fossil Men’s Grant watch.
We know from our review that Vincero uses Miyota movements. So, let’s take a look at the manufacturer of the Miyota movement – Citizen.
Citizen Watches Men’s CA0621-05L Eco-Drive is everything Vincero Chrono S dreams to be and more. It’s also a chronograph movement but the accuracy is far superior.
Instead of Miyota, Citizen uses Eco-Drive movement that powers itself off light’s energy. This watch is a class apart – a much superior watch.
Do you know the best part?
It costs less!
We’ve now reached the end of my Vincero Chrono S review. I apologize that I came off so negatively about the watch; I only want to do justice to my readers.
The thing is that Vincero Chrono S is good – but not good enough. If you want to buy this watch, go right ahead. There’s nothing inherently “bad” about it. But just know that there are watches out there that offer better value for your money!