Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing the Chestor from Dutch watch microbrand, Vescari.
Vescari states that “the Chestor combines modern day specifications with a timeless look.” Let’s see if it’s any good!
Vescari – the Brand
To be honest, I don’t know much about the brand, or what it stands for. There’s a lack of information about the brand story available on both the Vescari website, their social media accounts, as well as the original Kickstarter project for the Vescari Chestor. All I know is that the brand is Dutch, and founded by a guy named Jeroen Vrinzen.
I’m a tad mixed about this. On one hand, one could see it as how the brand decided to concentrate on the product itself, rather than conjure up a fanciful brand story – like what Daniel Wellington and MVMT did. On the other hand, one could also see it as an appalling lack of attention to detail, so much so that it feels like you’re buying a “hollow” brand.
Alright, without further ado let’s take a look at the Vescari Chestor!
Vescari Chestor – Build Quality
I would say that the specifications of the Vescari Chestor is satisfactory for the price.
The Vescari Chestor features a domed mineral crystal. As compared to sapphire crystal, a mineral crystal is significantly less scratch resistant. Personally, I think this is one of the weakest aspect of the Chestor from a durability standpoint. Whilst I’m able to forgive it for not having sapphire due to its low price tag, I would have loved to at least seen a K1 crystal used here – it’s not as durable as sapphire, but definitely more so than mere mineral crystal. It’s not that expensive too, used on the ~S$300 UNDONE watches that I’ve reviewed previously, as well as the Montage Prestige that I reviewed a couple of weeks back. However, it does have AR coating applied, which helps keep away nasty reflections. Elsewhere, the WR rating of the Chestor is stated as 50M, which is decent for a dress watch. It should have no issues under the rain or even under a running tap – just don’t submerge it in water!
The Vescari Chestor is powered by the quartz Miyota 6S21 movement. The accuracy of the movement is stated to be +/- 20 seconds per month, and interestingly it has a smooth chronograph hand that mimics that of a watch with a mechanical movement. If you want to see the chronograph movement in action, do view the video above! However, I must stress that unlike a mecha-quartz chronograph movement like the Seiko VK64, the Miyota 6S21 is fully quartz and does not possess any mechanical cams or levers. This is unlikely to have any bearing on the aesthetics or the real-world usage of the watch – both movements feature a sweeping chronograph hand – but as a watch enthusiast passionate about mechanical movements, I would definitely have preferred a mecha-quartz movement here.
The Vescari Chestor comes on a crocodile embossed leather strap, which I’ve found to be actually decent and pretty wearable. The crocodile embossing does not look cheap, and the lining of the strap is comfortable and feels nice to the touch. I’m pleasantly surprised, as most watches around this price point come with those horrid cheap leather straps with cardboard-like lining. There’s also a signed buckle, which is a little detail that I appreciated.
Vescari also sent me an additional black leather strap to try on. Personally, I much prefer the Chestor on the brown leather strap. The black leather strap – coupled with the rose gold case of this variant – makes the watch decidedly dressy. If you’re planning to wear a suit and tie, then put it on the black leather strap. Otherwise, I think the brown leather strap is more appropriate and versatile for everyday occasions. I should point out that the straps come with quick-release pins, so switching straps is very convenient. Thank God for quick-release straps!
Overall, I would say that the Vescari Chestor has satisfactory specifications for the price. I would have preferred for it to feature K1 crystal, as well as utilize the Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement. However, the lack of these are not deal-breakers by any means. There are watches at this price point that features better specifications (sapphire crystal, Seiko VK64 movement), but there are also watches (MVMT, Fossil, etc) that have worse specifications at this price.
Vescari Chestor – Design
That being said, the Vescari Chestor is ultimately a fashion watch – its main job is to look good, and in that regard it does quite well.
The main draw of the Vescari Chestor is undoubtedly its silver sunburst dial. The sunburst texture is actually much more pronounced in the metal as compared to the online renders. It plays with the light beautifully. The subtlety of the silver sunburst dial also lends well to the dressy nature of the watch, as do the choice of alpha hands and the polished gold-plated bezel.
A key reason why I usually dislike fashion watches is because they tend to come across as very “flat” – think Daniel Wellington, MVMT, Linjer, The Fifth, etc. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Vescari Chestor actually possesses significant depth! Firstly, there’s applied indices, which adds some depth to the dial. Secondly, the minute pad is printed on the chapter ring of the watch, giving the dial the semblance of another layer. Thirdly, the domed crystal gives the dial a further 3D effect. Very nice touches.
Furthermore, I like the minimalist implementation of the bi-compax chronograph layout here. When the chronograph function is activated, the left sub-dial tracks the elapsed time (up to 60 minutes). The right sub-dial serves as a running second hand. I have no qualms here, though aesthetically speaking I suppose a “panda” layout (black sub-dials contrasted against the silver dial) would have had more visual intrigue. Perhaps something to consider for future models, Vescari!
The Vescari Chestor comes with a signed crown, which isn’t always the case when it comes to watches at this price point. I also love the fact that Vescari opted for a brushed case on the Chestor. In my opinion, a polished gold-plated case would look too garish, cheap. A brushed case helps tone it down a little, adding nuance to the watch. I was also pleased to discover polished bevelled edges along the lugs of the watch, which is a nice little touch that shows attention to detail. In addition, one can see just how high the domed crystal is – just look at that! The domed crystal adds a slight vintage feel to the watch, reminiscent of the thick plexiglass crystals found on vintage watches. Lastly, the chronograph pushers feel sturdy to the touch, giving off a satisfying response when pressed.
Unfortunately, the caseback is quite forgettable. There’s some relevant specifications inscribed, as well as the Vescari brand name. I must admit, it is rather uninspiring. However, given that the watch costs only ~S$200, this is a cut corner that I am willing to overlook.
On my 7 inch wrist, the 40mm dimensions of the Vescari Chestor wears perfectly. As I mentioned in previous reviews, I find 39-40mm watches to wear the best on my wrist, and the Chestor is right there at that sweet spot. With a case thickness of 13.6mm – a significant part of which is the domed crystal – the watch should fit under a shirt cuff as well.
All in all, I really liked the aesthetics of the Vescari Chestor. Yes, it looks like a fashion watch with its minimalist design. If that turns you off, look elsewhere. But fashion watches are immensely popular for the simple reason that a lot of people find such designs attractive. In that regard, I believe that the Vescari Chestor executed its design better than most of its fashion watch peers. There’s substantial depth to the watch, an intriguing sunburst dial texture, and even some contrasting case finishing – polished bevelled edges, brushed case – present. I can definitely tell that thought has been paid to the design of the watch, which can’t always be said for other fashion watches!
Shootout: Vescari Chestor vs Corniche Heritage Chronograph
If you’re looking for a fashion watch chronograph with a vintage feel, the Corniche Heritage Chronograph is one of the more popular options currently. As such, I’ll be pitting the Vescari Chestor against it in this shootout!
In terms of specifications, the Corniche Heritage Chronograph definitely edges out the Vescari Chestor. While the Chestor uses a domed mineral crystal and a quartz Miyota 6S21 movement, the Heritage Chronograph features a sapphire crystal and the mecha-quartz Seiko VK64 movement. On paper, the Heritage Chronograph definitely comes up tops.
From an aesthetic point of view, it is a closer fight. I would say the Corniche Heritage Chronograph takes its inspiration from haute horology, in particular, dress chronographs from Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. It’s not exactly a homage to any particular model, but the influences are clearly there. In contrast, the Vescari Chestor has a cleaner, minimalist design. Which design is better for you depends on your personal tastes. Personally, due to my love for haute horology watches, I have to say that I prefer the vintage looks of the Heritage Chronograph. That being said, I do feel that the Chestor possesses more depth – the Heritage Chronograph comes across as a tad flat. The Chestor has arguably more texture as well with its sunburst dial.
However, where the Vescari Chestor undoubtedly trumps the Corniche Heritage Chronograph is in its value. The Heritage Chronograph is a whopping S$589. Not only is it almost thrice the price of the Vescari Chestor, you can easily find an actual mechanical chronograph at that price point. Without a doubt, the Vescari Chestor is the better value proposition. The Corniche Heritage Chronograph is objectively the better watch, but the Vescari Chestor is the better buy.
Conclusion: so the Vescari Chestor “shiok” or not?
That depends. If you’re a watch enthusiast with several mechanical pieces (especially if you already own a mechanical chronograph) I don’t think the Vescari Chestor is for you. In my opinion, the Chestor is best for those who are looking for an affordable, good-looking watch as the perfect complement to their outfit. In other words, I think the Chestor is best seen as a superior alternative to the Daniel Wellington/MVMT/Fossil/etc watches that one might be considering to get, due to it being both better composed as well as an overall better value proposition.
For those interested, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy not only 20% off all watches from Vescari’s website, but also an additional strap free! After the discount, the Vescari Chestor can currently be had for just 127 Euros/~S$200, due to the summer sale that the brand is currently running. Ultimately, the Chestor is a striking watch that – in my opinion – is a much better option than many of the fashion watches out there. If you’re a student, or a young fresh graduate who just want something affordable that will look good on the wrist, then do check out the Vescari Chestor!
View the Vescari Chestor here.
Case size: 40mm
Case Material: 316L stainless steel with rosegold pvd coating
Dial: Black sunburst with hand applied polished markers
Glass: Domed mineral glass
Strap: Brown croco with quick release pins
Lug Width: 20 mm
Movement: Miyota 6s21
Water resistant: Up to 50 Meters
If you’re interested in the Vescari Chestor, do check out these other reviews below!
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.