The Accessible Blazer Collection from Korean Microbrand Varon Chiri
The inaugural watches were developed using feedback from 750 watch enthusiasts.
It’s not unusual for new microbrands to leverage crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to launch watches. Korean brand Varon Chiri has done just that, but its inaugural collection, Blazer, was designed around feedback from 750 watch enthusiasts, which certainly differs from the norm. Case size, crystal shape and even lug-to-lug length were decided by the survey, although many design elements are also unique to Varon Chiri. A lot of thought went into the overall package and there’s a deeper meaning behind much of what you see, from the chapter ring pattern and caseback design to the logo and even the brand name itself.
The stainless steel case of the Varon Chiri Blazer watches is 38.5mm in diameter and 9.7mm in height – lug-to-lug is 45mm. The diameter was chosen based on an average between 36mm and 40mm from user feedback. 45mm was chosen as the optimal lug-to-lug length. The lugs have polished bevelled edges on the inside for an upscale aesthetic, while the 20mm steel bracelet features a glidelock clasp for quick micro-adjustments and quick-release levers. The double-locking buckle has a signed grip that helps with opening (without needing a nail to pry). The V-shaped links were also modelled after rafters used in Korean palaces.
The solid, 12-sided case back has a circular brushed pattern and shallow engraving of the brand’s logo. A special pattern engraved at the perimeter was inspired by the walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace in northern Seoul, built in 1395. A flat anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the dial, chosen by enthusiasts over domed, and water resistance is rated at 100 metres.
The sunray dial comes in five colours, black, navy, white, green and ice mint, but the last two are limited to the crowdfunding campaign. Applied silver indices and Dauphine-style hour and minute hands contrast well against all colours, and the overall look is a bit dressy without lume. There are two chapter rings – an inner minute track and a raised outer ring with a detailed seconds track. A second “Korea Edition” will have a special pattern on the raised chapter ring with solid marks every five seconds.
The brand’s logo is below 12 o’clock and was inspired by the sword pommel (fitting at the top of the handle) of the “Sainchamsageom,” which was produced every year of the tiger (every 12 years) from the Joseon Dynasty. Both Sainchamsageom and Varon Chiri have the same general meaning in Korean, “Repel Evil with Right Will” and bring positive energy & peace. 2022 is also the year of the tiger, which is very fitting for the launch of Varon Chiri and the Blazer collection.
Powering the Varon Chiri Blazer is the Miyota 9039 automatic, a part of the premium movement line that debuted in 2018. It has 24 jewels and beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 42-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and hacking seconds. It’s only 3.9mm in height, allowing for the sub-10mm case height.
The Varon Chiri Blazer has a preorder price of USD 420 via Indiegogo (30% discount) with a final retail price of USD 590. A black alligator strap with quick-release bars will also be available at a preorder price of USD 89 (retail is USD 150), although this is currently an Indiegogo stretch goal. Please visit Varon Chiri’s website and the Indiegogo page for more information.
Sponsored post: This article is sponsored by Varon Chiri. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.
Way over priced. Seiko would be much better.
Proof if need be that 750 people can be wrong! Just kidding, I would maybe have added a bit of lume and mixed brushed and polished surfaces for greater overall legibility, it looks a bit too blingy but that’s just a personal thing. Otherwise from some angles it reminds me of my 36 aquaterra.
So what? Another brand for an already crowded low priced market ( Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Chinese brands ). Low cost Miyota movement encased in something likely made in China or another low cost E Asian country, finishing touch is to market as “Korean”. No Thanks