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Biotic Formicidae | VARIO Review

Biotic Formicidae | VARIO Review

I first knew Ryan Lee, the person behind Biotic, as Vario’s customer back in 2018. Throughout the years we’ve messaged each other but I didn’t realize he wanted to start a microbrand himself until a few months ago, when I saw him post his prototype in the FB groups. I was eager to check out his maiden watch, but I was busy with my Trench 1918 orders at the time. I didn’t get a chance to see the actual watch until recently, when he loaned me his Formicidae Fire after it made its way back from a world tour. I...

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Modernity at its best - The Grand Seiko SBGX091 | VARIO

Modernity at its best - The Grand Seiko SBGX091 | VARIO

I have always been an advocate to new design, the reality is that in watches almost everything comes from an older design. Grand Seiko has been making watches for a bit now under the King Seiko and Grand Seiko name, they have quite a bit of a catalogue but they usually don’t look back when they are making a new pieces, this brings me to the Grand Seiko SBGX091, I have been waiting patiently for this watch to pop up on eBay (alerts can be a costly feature), to me it's perfect not only for its size but for its...

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The JLC Reverso - A low key masterpiece | VARIO

The JLC Reverso - A low key masterpiece | VARIO

A lot of stuff has been said about the Jaeger Le Coultre Reverso, but we can all agree that it has been made in a time where sophistication was one of the first things in the designer’s mind, yes it was made polo players and to be used on the field, but it did need to stay on the wrist when those after match cocktail parties kickoff. I have tried many dress watches in my life and for some reason I still do not adapt to the fact that the most expensive piece I own is the one I use...

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The Explorer II GMT, they don’t make it like they used to | VARIO

The Explorer II GMT, they don’t make it like they used to | VARIO

Nostalgia is everywhere in the watch world; you can see brands trying to revive the feeling with new models every year. Beige lume markers, Breguet numerals, domed sapphire crystals … you name it, the cues are everywhere, and the bag of tricks goes deeper and deeper. This brings me to the most unanswered question in the watch world (perhaps the second one), why do people like old designs? It is odd for me to call an Explorer II vintage but given that this beauty from 1991 has aged gracefully I can only take some time to try and understand the...

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Rogue Horology Type 1 | VARIO Review

Rogue Horology Type 1 | VARIO Review

I first encountered the Rogue Type 1 when Min Xiang (MX) from Chrono Design posted about the timepiece, which was to make an appearance on Kickstarter, in a microbrand Facebook group. The design immediately caught my eye, and through a quick follow-up, I found out that Rogue’s owner, Qi Feng, is the cousin of fellow watchmaker Yong Keong (YK) from Feynman. I followed its progress on Kickstarter and was surprised at the very small media spend that seemed to be taking place. Lack of reach is one of the biggest reasons crowdfunding campaigns can fail, so I thought it was a risky move. However, it seemed...

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