The Vario Eclipse is a very interesting watch which, in short, I like very much. Coming in at about 38mm in diameter, a 45mm lug to lug width, 10mm high including crystal, and 20mm lug width the watch wears very well and is more classically sized than a lot of other Bauhaus and retro inspired watches of today. I used to have a Junghans Max Bill handwind and that is a very key point. I used to have one. Comparing the two they both have similar styling, each has a printed dial and silver hands, both are more modestly sized (although the Junghans much smaller at about 34.5mm), and in my case both have grey dials. The Junghans has a pleasing darker grey flat colored dial while the Vario has a really nice lighter grey sunburst dial which brings to light multiple shades of grey throughout the day.
Now is the Junghans an arguable better watch, with a better movement, from a more historically important company than the Vario? Yes, but I find the Vario with, in my version, the sweeping quartz movement to be both interesting for the scarcity of this movement use in watches and the practicality of having a sweeping seconds hand on a battery operated watch. You don’t have to worry about accuracy, winding, power reserve, or mechanical fragility. The Vario I would say also pulls ahead by having a 3mm double domed sapphire crystal with ar coating on the inside compared to the plexiglass crystal of the Junghans which while historically accurate, is also more delicate. This inner ar coating is my favorite method of application due to the fact that having a coating on the top could lead to scratches in the coating despite having a sapphire crystal which is meant to deter scratches in the first place.
A marmite point of the watch may be the teardrop-esque lug shape. This design I feel helps the watch wrap around the wrist and worse comes to worse disappears as seen from the “top view” sitting on the wrist. The lugs look far more straight when looking at it straight on vs having a “weird shape” as some may say with the teardrop style. I do think that the lugs actually look better straight on because the thickness towards the case base thinning out near the end gives it a very Art Deco feel and is a nice departure from the normal straight thin lugs seen on many lower end watches.
The fact that the Vario Eclipse, I feel, offered better quality for the money, at about $208 with the 5% discount code, made me ok with selling the Junghans, which is really closer to $600 if not more new, in order to try and purchase other pieces. Is the Vario perfect or at the very least superior to the Junghans? No not at all. The Junghans does a much better job at giving an all dial design with a practically nonexistent bezel and the hands on the Vario while nice are a little plain. But the beautifully executed sunburst dial, the great case shape, and interesting movement made me veer towards the Vario. Not to mention the fact that the Vario has drilled lug holes which makes strap changing that much easier and fun.
Some negatives of the watch in general would be sometimes the sunburst dial is a little aggressive which is fine really and the fact that the all polished case will scratch easily. And really in the end, it is a dressier type watch which is echoed by the fact the water resistance is only 50m. For those who don’t like quartz watches they also offer a handwound Miyota movement that runs at 28,800 bph for around 312 with the 5% discount code. At that price you are coming under even the quartz versions of the Max Bill which really drives home the point of value. I think the best buy is the sweeping quartz because once you get to the 300 dollar mark you have watches such as Orient, Seiko, Toc watch, Tissot, and others who make compelling alternatives. But if you like the design I find that the Vario is a great buy for either price point.
A side note
I opted to order the Harris tweed strap option they offer and I feel it is a very, very nice strap. There is a confusingly small selection of tweed straps on the market and the fact that this strap has the Harris tweed stamp on it which represents that it has come from a very historical handwoven tweed producer in Scotland makes it that much sweeter. Each color way is unique, nicely colored, and a good buy all around I would say.
Customer Review written by Xavier Sanchez
For the full range of Vario's Eclipse Sweeping Quartz dress watch, please visit
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