Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Video Review

Straight from South Korea, the Surprising Valérarch Serenity 39

A watch that migth come from an unexpected place, but has a lot going for it.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

We all know the mechanical watch industry is no longer solely for the Swiss, even though Switzerland is still very much the epicentre of all things watch-related. Nevertheless, we’ve seen brands from all corners of the world making watches that can measure up to mainstream ones on multiple occasions. New to us, and no doubt a lot of you is Valérarch, a brand that comes from a seemingly unexpected place when it comes to watchmaking; Seoul, South Korea. The brand was founded in 2022 and the Serenity 39 we’re featuring today is Valérarch’s first model. Let’s take a closer look.

The name of the brand is derived from the Latin words for value, or fearlessness (Valére) and chief, principal or ‘the first’ (Arch). From the outset, the Serenity has a distinct sporty-chic vibe to it, inspired by the arches found in classical gothic architecture on one end, and the shapes of the Aston Martin DB12 sports car on the other. The arch motif is very much reflected in the brand’s logo, but also in details such as the shape of the lugs for instance. The principle for Valérarch, who designs all its watches in South Korea, is to strike a balance between contemporary elegance and sartorial finesse.

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It all starts with a very elegantly proportioned case in polished & brushed stainless steel. Subtle characteristics such as the crown guards, elongated lugs and curvature of the caseband give it a lovely and serene flair. At 39mm in diameter and 9.2mm in height, it’s pleasantly compact. Even though the lug-to-lug size is a substantial 50mm, at no time did it feel out of balance or disproportional on the wrist. The shape and strong curvature make sure it still fits snugly on most people’s wrists. The crown is flanked by a pair of guards that protect it from unwanted shocks, and a sapphire crystal covers both the front and back.

The dial for the Serenity comes in one colour so far, which is a mid-grey rhodium-coloured dial with a lovely sunray-brushed finish. On the perimeter of the dial, there’s a printed minute track in white. The generously sized polished and applied indices are finished with Super-LumiNova. The polished logo on top, the secondary 24-hour scale and the white crosshair-style decoration on the dial all bring life to the Serenity. The hour and minute hands are easily distinguishable thanks to the difference in design and are also finished with Super-LumiNova.

Hiding in plain sight is the Calibre 3301, which is based on the top-grade Sellita SW300-1B movement. This automatic movement is Sellita’s version of the good-old ETA 2892, known for its slim construction. This no-date three-handed movement comes with an updated power reserve of 56 hours and has an elevated level of finishing. This includes decorations such as heat-blued screws, polished bevels, Côtes de Genève, perlage and so on. The entire movement, as well as the signature skeletonized rotor (inspired by trusses found in Gothic churches), is finished in a 4N gold-plating.

What makes the Valérarch Serenity 39 an attractive package is the fact it not only comes on a comfortable black leather or rubber strap, both fitted to a pin buckle but even on a stainless steel bracelet. It’s widely known that a bracelet is one of the most challenging elements of a watch to design, due to its relatively complex nature. It needs to flow nicely, but also be robust enough to withstand daily wear. And the one on the Serenity is indeed very good and closes with a butterfly clasp. Each link in the bracelet is vertically brushed on top, horizontally brushed on the sides and polished on the edges.

The price for the Serenity ranges from USD 2,680 on the leather or rubber strap, to USD 3,300 on the bracelet. This might seem steep for a start-up brand from South Korea, but take it from us that the watch is built to a very high standard and has enough personality to justify the price. When we recorded the video, the pre-order campaign ran until the 15th of January but that has since been extended to the 31st of January instead. There’s also a nice discount for customers during that period, which means you get USD 180 off your first watch, and on top of that Valérarch throws in a complimentary strap.

For more information, and to put down a pre-order, please visit Valé

Sponsored post: This article is sponsored by Valérarch. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.

4 responses

  1. Korean watch brand with french name and “swiss made” on the dial? Someone is having a crisis of personality…

  2. On top of that, the dial is cluttered, in the video it seems like the hands don’t offer any contrast vis a vis the dial, rendering the watch cluttered and illegible. The logo at 12 won’t win any beauty contests either, and the lugs look ill proportioned. Those points aside, it’s a completely generic sports watch.

    If I were in the market for a somewhat more characteristic sports watch, this would face stiff competitiion from both the Nomos Sport (for much less money) and the Formex Essence 39 (for even less money than the Nomos).

    Sorry folks. Hard pass here.

  3. A new brand with no heritage, messy proportions, bizarre rotor, sloppy bracelet, basic design, ordinary movement, dial with unknown purpose, indices that seem to float in the air, yet, pricing is for the best.
    just a comedy.

  4. Impressive watch. I think the design is well proportioned and offers something unqiue to the market. The details are well thought out and the movement finishing is on a level found above this price range. I agree with monochrome that the price is well justified.


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