In their ongoing mission to offer watches for active use and outdoor adventures, Vaer has introduced the D4 USA Solar Diver. And, according to the brand’s founders, it may be their most ideal adventure watch to date.
The American assembled D4 builds on the Vaer D5 and D7 divers, a capable collection of vintage-inspired dive watches. Check out The Watch Profiler’s review of the Vaer D5 Atlantic Diver to learn more about the stylistic inspiration behind the D4.
A quartz movement recharged by light
While the D5 and D7 use automatic movements, the Vaer D4 Solar is a solar-powered quartz watch. This might also be the D4’s greatest advantage. Powered by a Japanese-made Epson VS22 solar movement, the watch runs perpetually charged by light, with no need for winding or battery changes.
And once fully charged, it has a claimed power reserve of 6 months. That means you could put the watch in a dark drawer and it will still tick months later when you take it back out. Just don’t let it run down to empty, as the founders warn this could damage the battery.
Familiar design with a few changes
The Vaer D5 Solar uses an aluminum bezel insert instead of the ceramic insert found on the Vaer D5 and D7 collection. This will make the bezel a little less shiny, give it a bit more of that vintage feel, and probably helps keep the cost of the watch down. It won’t be as hard-wearing as ceramic, but aluminum is a classic material for dive watch inserts, so the Vaer D4 is in good company here.
And unlike the fully brushed cases of the D5 and D7, the twisted Speedmaster-like lugs of the Vaer D4 are polished, upping the bling factor here just a little. And because the watch uses a quartz movement, the case back is solid but nicely engraved.
The Vaer D4 Solar is also smaller than the D5 and D7 divers, with a case measuring 38mm wide and just 45mm lug-to-lug. The bezel is slightly wider than the case, measuring 39mm across. The case is just 10.6mm thick, making the watch 12.7mm thick with the domed sapphire crystal. And the lug width is 20mm.
These differences aside, the Vaer D4 Solar shares many of the same specs as the automatic D5 and D7, including hacking seconds, double-domed AR-coated sapphire crystal, 20 ATM / 200M water resistance, stainless steel case construction, a 120 click unidirectional dive bezel, and X1 C1 Super LumiNova. While the D5 and D7 have lumed markings on the bezel, only the pip at 12 o’clock is lumed on the D4 Solar.
The Vaer D4 Solar Diver comes standard on a rubber tropic strap, with a choice of an additional nylon strap or, for an up-charge, a steel bracelet or Horween leather strap. And all Vaer straps are quick-release, making swapping between them fast and easy.
And, like many Vaer watches, the D4 Solar Divers are fully assembled in the USA, continuing the brand’s efforts to support domestic jobs and the American watchmaking industry.
Vaer D4 Solar Diver Dial Options
One thing that stands out about the Vaer D5 and D7 collections is the variety of dial designs available. However, at least with the first release, the D4 Solar will be only available in two designs: the Atlantic and the Arctic dials. The Atlantic dial is the same dial on the Vaer D5 Atlantic USA Diver that we reviewed here, while the Arctic incorporates brownish, faux-patina lume.
Personally, I’m not a fan of fake-aged lume. And while the Atlantic dial is uncluttered and easy to read, the wider hands of the Arctic White version, only found in the D7 collection, would probably be the cleanest and most legible hands available on any Vaer diver. It would have been nice to see that dial variation offered on the D4 Solar.
But overall, the Vaer D4 USA Solar Diver seems like a smart addition to the Vaer lineup and will probably be a very popular model in the company’s lineup. Vaer established its brand and has earned many fans with quartz watches for active, outdoorsy people, after all. And a solar-powered quartz dive watch is pretty close to worry-free when it comes to outdoor activities and extended adventure travel.
The size is great too, small enough that it won’t get in the way, and with proportions that will fit a wide range of wrists.
The Vaer D4 Solar Diver starts at $279 with the rubber tropic strap and a second nylon strap. Select the steel bracelet instead and the price climbs to $329. And if you go for the Horween leather strap option, it jumps to $359. Not the least expensive quartz watches available, but not the most expensive.
Considering the watch’s design and specs and the number of fans leaving rave reviews on the Vaer website, if you’re considering an analog quartz watch to accompany you on your adventures, the Vaer D4 USA Solar Diver could be a great choice.
Learn more at vaerwatches.com.