Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! This Sunday, I’m reviewing the Aevig Valkyr.
Aevig describes the Valkyr as “a retro styled sports watch”. Let’s see if it’s any good!
Aevig – the Brand
I actually covered Aevig as a brand in detail in my review of the Aevig Balaur last week – if you haven’t yet, do read the article here!
Aevig Valkyr – Build Quality
Like the Aevig Balaur that I reviewed last week, I’m pleased to report that the build quality of the Aevig Valkyr is similarly excellent.
Like the Balaur, the Aevig Valkyr uses double-domed sapphire crystal to protect the watch face. Compared to flat or single-domed sapphire, a double-domed sapphire is stronger, and possess less optical distortion (especially when you look at it from the sides). As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to their inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. Furthermore, the underside of the sapphire crystal is AR-coated, preventing the bulk of any possible nasty reflections. Water resistance on the Valkyr is 100M, which is good enough for most everyday events except swimming!
The Miyota 9015 is probably the most bang-for-buck movement out there, being generally seen as a more affordable alternative to the ETA 2824. It has a high beat rate of 4Hz (same as the ETA 2824), 42 hours of hour reserve, 24 Jewels, and features hacking seconds. If you would like to know more about the movement, A Blog to Watch did an in-depth article about the Miyota 9000 series here. However, I am a tad disappointed that despite the slim proportions of the Miyota 9015 movement, the case of the Valkyr still remains rather chunky at 14mm. Not only does the watch struggles to fit under a shirt cuff, it also breaks away from the retro styling that is its inspiration. Most vintage watches (vintage Seikos, HMTs, etc) come in slim, often below 10mm, or at least gives the impression of being slim – the Valkyr feels like an unapologetic slab of steel on your wrist in contrast.
The Valkyr comes befitted with a rally strap. While I appreciated the sporting/racing aesthetic, the actual quality of the leather is rather average. I can’t find detailed information about the strap on Aevig’s webpage, but the leather feels stiff, slightly cardboardy, and of “genuine leather” quality. For the uninitiated, leather generally comes in three tiers: genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather. Full-grain leather are viewed as the best, due to the presence of stronger natural fibers, resulting in a more durable, supple strap that would patina beautifully. As with the Balaur, I will probably be swapping out the strap on the Valkyr as well. Furthermore, the buckle of the stock strap comes unsigned, which is a shame.
Like the Balaur, lume remains a strong suit for the Valkyr. While it is admittedly not as bright as the C3 lume on the Balaur, the BGW9 lume used on the Valkyr is still definitely above average amongst the watches that I’ve reviewed thus far.
Overall, the Aevig Valkyr remains decently well-built for the its sticker price of 371 Euros/~$599 SGD, excluding VAT. It features a double-domed sapphire crystal, a high-beat, reliable Miyota 9015 movement, and strong lume. Again, the strap isn’t the best, but it’s nothing that can’t be solved with by an aftermarket solution!
Aevig Valkyr – Design
I was enamored with the Valkyr since I first laid eyes on it. It looked vintage, yet felt modern on the wrist.
The Valkyr comes in either black or brown dial, but my preference is strongly with the brown. It’s rare to see a watch with a brown dial in this day and age, as it is a dial colour that seems to belong to a bygone era. In addition, I absolutely adore the applied indices! Not only do they add depth to the dial, the boxy, rectangular indices clearly pays tribute to the indices design of vintage watches (vintage Omega Seamasters, Geneves, HMTs, Rolex 1601s, etc). The same can be said of the hands, especially in the way the lume is contained. It is extremely evident to me that Aevig has studied the designs of various vintage watches thoroughly when conceptualising the Valkyr – its retro inspiration shines through. Elsewhere, I like the applied red logo. The red of Aevig’s logo, combined with the red second hand, adds a touch of modern sportiness to the watch. Lastly, I also like the implementation of a white minute track around the dial. The white serves as a sharp contrast to the brown dial, whilst the use of rectangles as 5 minutes interval indicators keeps the theme of retro, boxy shapes going. Overall, I’m absolutely in love with the dial of this watch – I literally wouldn’t change a thing, and that’s not something I say often about the watches I review!
The brown dial version of the Valkyr is paired with a blue ceramic insert, which I think is a great touch. The blue ceramic insert forms a nice contrast (in both colour and texture) to the brown dial as well as the stainless steel case, effectively framing the dial in order to focus the wearer’s attention to its beauty. The black dial variant of the Valkyr is paired with a green ceramic insert instead, which I personally find a bit weird. In addition, I love the retro boxy shaped case of the Valkyr – again, it’s very reminiscent of vintage watch cases of bygone eras. This is a case design that we simply rarely, if ever, see in modern watches anymore. I particular like the short lugs, which is full of vintage charm. Again, it really brings to mind the lugs of vintage watches such as a 1970s Omega Geneve, for example.
The excellence continues. Firstly, we get a nicely sized signed crown in red. The red of the crown (meant to evoke the red Aevig logo) adds a touch of modern sportiness to the watch, with its adequate proportions translating to a hassle-free winding process. Secondly, I really love the high dome of the sapphire crystal (see image above) on the Valkyr. Again, it’s a retro aesthetic that pays tribute to the domed/box acrylic crystals of vintage watches. I must stress that I really appreciate the fact that Aevig chose to still adopt sapphire crystal in this regard (as a high-domed sapphire crystal is much more expensive to implement than a acrylic one) – modern functionality, but retro aesthetics. The Valkyr looks like a vintage watch, but unlike a vintage watch, you can wear it out and about as an everyday watch without worry. Lastly, like the Balaur, I’m very pleased to see some contrast in case finishing here as well, even at a lower price point. The main body of the case is brushed matte, with thin polished stripes along the bevelled edges. It’s a small detail, but it makes a world of difference from an aesthetics standpoint!
The caseback on the Valkyr is rather pedestrian. We get a high polished caseback, with an artwork of wings of the Valkyrie depicted on the back. The Valkyr derives its name from the Valkyrie of Norse mythology – the winged female warriors of Odin. There’s also some useful information surrounding the depiction, such as its 100M WR rating, Miyota 9015 movement, and the usage of sapphire crystal on the watch. Overall, the caseback is decent, but nothing mindblowing. In addition, the polished nature of the caseback means that it’s quite a scratch magnet (see image above)!
Overall, I’m in love with the design of the Valkyr. The vintage aesthetics of the watch shines through, and I love every element. Like the Balaur, the design of the Valkyr comes across as well thought through. Vintage aesthetics is currently on a resurgence, with many brands releasing vintage-inspired models – the Aevig Valkyr shows how wonderful a retro-modern watch can be, if done right!
Shootout: Aevig Valkyr vs Autodromo Group B Evoluzione
Autodromo is a microbrand known for retro-styled sporting watches – as such, I felt that they (the Group B Evoluzione watch in particular) were the natural comparison to pit the Aevig Valkyr against in today’s shootout!
In terms of build quality, both watches are similar in that they both use the Miyota 9015 movement and feature sapphire crystal. However, a key difference lies in the material used for the case of the Group B Evoluzione – the Evoluzione is made out of a titanium and aerospace aluminum bimetallic case construction, which results in the watch weighing in at just 46 grams! In addition, the Evoluzione takes advantage of the slimness of the Miyota 9015 movement, housing it in a case just 9mm tall – that’s a full 5mm slimmer than the Valkyr. As such, due to its unique case construction, as well as svelte proportions, I’ll say that the Group B Evoluzione has the better specifications on paper over the Valkyr.
From a design standpoint, I think that both watches are executed really well! There’s plenty of vintage styling in both. The oval case shape of the Evoluzione, combined with its internal crown guard, really harkens back to a bygone era of watch design. The use of a raised sector dial, combined with applied indices provides the dial with depth, while the brushed silver dial heightens the retro feel. I think that Autodromo did a great job with the design, which is evidently meant to resemble the speedometer of a race car. Like the Valkyr, the sapphire crystal looks to be high domed as well, evocative of the raised acrylic crystals typically seen on vintage watches. I truly think that its a tie in the design regard – both the Evoluzione and the Valkyr manages to inject their own brand of modernness into their respective retro-inspired watches. Both are beautiful timepieces – which looks better depends on your personal taste!
However, the Aevig Valkyr does present a far more attractive value proposition than the Autodromo Group B Evoluzione. The Valkyr can be had for just 371 Euros (~$599 SGD), excluding VAT. In contrast, the sticker price of the Autodromo Group B Evoluzione is a whopping $1100 USD (~1499 SGD). That’s right – the Evoluzione costs almost thrice as much as the Valkyr! Personally, I think that’s too steep for a watch that uses a Miyota 9015 movement. Sure, the watch is made from a titanium composite – but as the Scuro Volante shows, that should no longer automatically represent a price premium! As such, I think that the Valkyr has the Evoluzione soundly beat in the value department.
Conclusion – so the Aevig Valkyr “shiok” or not?
Hell yes – in fact, it has been one of my favourites amongst my review pieces thus far. The Valkyr is chock-full of vintage inspiration, and everything comes together well in a composed package. I can’t seem to get it off my wrist in the past week – that’s how much I enjoy this piece! For ~$500 SGD, I do believe that the Valkyr is one of the best microbrand watches that can be had in the price range. If you’re a fan of retro styling (like me), you will love this watch!
For those interested, you buy the Aevig Valkyr here.
Material: 316L stainless steel
Dimensions: 39mm width x 48mm length
Dial diameter: 32mm
Movement: Miyota 9015, automatic
WR: 100 meters
Crystal: double domed sapphire, AR coated on the inside
Lume: luminova BG-W9
Strap: premium leather rally strap
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!