The Egard V1 Class Auto is the brand’s ultimate value proposition, offering great specifications at an ultra-affordable price. Let’s see if it’s any good!
Egard – the Brand
I’ve previously covered Egard as a brand in my review of the Egard Dali. If you haven’t already yet done so, you can read my review of the Egard Dali here!
Egard V1 Class Auto – Build Quality
For the price, I have to say that the specifications of the Egard V1 Class Auto is superb.
Firstly, the Egard V1 Class Auto utilises a flat sapphire crystal. 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. In addition, the WR rating for the V1 Class Auto is 50m, which should render it safe for most daily activities except a trip to the pool or the sea.
The Miyota 8215 powers the Egard V1 Class Auto. Some specifications: the Miyota 8215 possesses a power reserve of 40 hours, has 21 jewels, hacks and hand-winds. I’m usually not a fan of the Miyota 8 series movement – the rotor is loud, and the second hand stutters. It’s not an issue that affects timekeeping, but to seasoned watch collectors it may not be a welcome sight. However, given the bargain bin price of the V1 Class Auto, I’m willing to forgive its usage of the Miyota 8 series movement – I’ll take a Miyota 8 series automatic movement over a Swiss Ronda quartz any day!
Despite the low price of the Egard V1 Class Auto, it actually comes with a metal bracelet (through leather options are also available). I have the say, the chainmail metal bracelet of the V1 Class Auto is surprisingly decent. It’s comfortable on the wrist, feels more expensive than it actually is, and is visually striking as well! The clasp of the bracelet is even engraved with the Egard branding. Talk about punching above its price point!
Overall, I find the Egard V1 Class Auto to be a great value proposition. There’s sapphire crystal, a workhorse Miyota automatic movement, and a pretty decent bracelet as well! I’ve handled watches more than twice the price of the V1 Class Auto that had worse specifications.
Egard V1 Class Auto – Design
The design of the Egard V1 Class Auto is pretty simple.
The dial of the Egard V1 Class Auto is clean and minimalist. Firstly, the dial features a sunburst pattern. The sunburst patterning is subdued on this black variant that Egard sent me, though it looks more obvious on the blue dial variant. Secondly, the indices on the V1 Class Auto are applied, which is a nice touch that adds some depth to the dial. I also appreciated the dual layered dial, which further enhances its depth. If you look closely, the minute track is painted on a raised sector around the outer portion of the dial. Lastly, I found the use of shapes in the minute track to be intriguing too, with batons indicating minutes and squares representing 5 minute intervals.
I’ll admit – the Egard V1 Class Auto isn’t exactly one that will turns head with its design. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to its aesthetics, and would probably be mistaken for a fashion watch upon first, or perhaps even second glance. If you’re a watch enthusiast, this probably isn’t a watch for you. However, the V1 Class Auto isn’t aimed at watch enthusiasts anyway – it’s billed as a “first watch”, an affordable mechanical alternative to fashion watches such as Daniel Wellington, etc. In that regard, I think that the minimalist aesthetics of the V1 Class Auto would appeal to a large swathe of millennials and teenagers.
Despite the low price tag of the Egard V1 Auto Class, there’s not much to complain about. The applied indices line up perfectly with the printed minute track, and even the date window lines up well with the 3 o’clock indice too! Everything is executed pretty well here. My only knock is the white date wheel, which sticks out like a sore thumb on the black dial – I would have much preferred a black date wheel, which would have allowed it to blend in better with the black dial.
The case of the Egard V1 Class Auto is brushed simply throughout. There’s a lack of detailed polishing techniques on the case, but at the price it’s a very forgivable omission. There is however a signed crown, which I would say is a rarity at this price range! The crown is also grooved and nicely sized, making hand-winding the watch an ease.
At the back, a polished exhibition caseback allows one to see the mechanical movement within. I like the polished caseback – which is a nice juxtaposition to the aforementioned brushed case – as well as the relatively large exhibition window. However, the Miyota movement is pretty bare-bones, devoid of any forms of decoration whatsoever. Some may argue that it might have been better to have a closed caseback given the lack of movement decoration, but I think it’s still a nice touch considering the fact that the watch is supposed to be the first mechanical watch for most of its buyers.
On the wrist, the Egard V1 Class Auto wears pretty well with its versatile 40mm dimensions, which should fit a wide variety of wrist sizes. It’s pretty slim as well at just 11mm thick, and should have no issues fitting under a shirt cuff, rendering it a viable option as a dress watch too!
Overall, I think Egard was smart with the aesthetics of the V1 Class Auto. It caters heavily towards the current minimalist designs of fashion watches, but with its own little touches – such as a sunburst dial, applied indices, and a dual layered dial – to differentiate itself by having a tad more detail in its execution.
Shootout: Egard V1 Class Auto vs Aries Gold La Oro
Like Egard, Aries Gold offers watches that follow the fashion watch aesthetics, but with a mechanical heart and backed up by solid specifications. Their latest offering is the Aries Gold La Oro, which shall be what I pit the Egard V1 Class Auto against today!
From a specifications standpoint, both watches are fairly equal. Despite their low price points, both watches features sapphire crystal, and uses workhorse Japanese movements. If I have to pick, I would say that I prefer the Seiko NH35A movement found in the Aries Gold La Oro over the Miyota 8215 of the Egard V1 Class Auto as the Miyota 8215 movement is prone to stuttering and does not hack.
In terms of aesthetics, while both feature fairly minimalist designs, I would say that I prefer the look of the Egard V1 Class Auto. The Aries Gold La Oro is just a tad too minimalist for my liking, though they do come in several interesting colours (with a sunburst pattern) like the brown dial shown above. In comparison, I think there’s more detail to the dial of the V1 Class Auto, and looks a tad more intriguing. The chainmail metal bracelet is pretty interesting too – the Le Oro does not have a bracelet option. Of course, some might prefer the cleaner, sleeker look of the La Oro, so this boils down to personal stylistic preference.
Both watches are similarly priced, though the Egard V1 Class Auto is a tad cheaper. It has more detail in its design, but the Aries Gold La Oro uses the (in my opinion) slightly better movement in the Seiko NH35A. As such, which watch is better for you depends on your priorities, but I would say that both are stellar watches given their sub-S$200 price point!
Conclusion – so the Egard V1 Class Auto “shiok” or not?
I think it depends. If you’re a seasoned watch collector looking to add something different to your collection, the Egard V1 Class Auto is probably not the watch for you – you would be better off with something like the Egard Quantus V3 instead. However, if you’re someone on a tight budget looking for your first “real” watch to wear to school/work, I think the V1 Class Auto is a great option under S$200. It uses sapphire crystal, has an automatic Miyota movement, and even comes on an interesting chainmail metal bracelet. Instead of opting for a Daniel Wellington (which happens to be twice the price of the V1 Class Auto) or a MVMT watch, I highly suggest opting for the Egard V1 Class Auto.
For those interested, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” to enjoy 15% off all Egard watches site-wide! After the discount, the Egard V1 Class Auto would cost a mere $116 USD/ ~S$161, which I think is a great price for its specifications. I view the V1 Class Auto as a great “gateway watch” – a watch that introduces the wearer to the world of mechanical horology. All around, the watch is a fantastic value proposition, and an easy recommendation to anyone looking for a bang-for-buck timepiece!
View the full range of Egard watches here.
Case: 40mm 316L stainless steel case
Case Thickness: 11mm
Strap: Chainmail metal bracelet
Lug Width: 20mm
Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Movement: Miyota japanese automatic movement – no batteries needed. 40 hour power reserve
Water Resistant: 5ATM | 50 meters
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!