If you haven’t been hiding out in the basement in the last year or so, there’s a massive chance you’ve come across an advertisement for Vincero watches.
Whether we’re talking about ads on social media (particularly Facebook) or in the search engine, Vincero is everywhere. The brand’s marketing campaign is some of the most aggressive I’ve seen over the years.
At one point, just to make sure I’m not a victim of round-the-clock stalking, I checked the inside of my fridge. To my delight and relief, nothing apart from the weekend’s pizza leftovers was there. Not even Vincero!
It’s hard to argue that at first glance, there’s nothing not to like about these timepieces. Especially when all we have is well-edited pictures online. They have a catchy exotic-sounding name, boast a luxurious appearance, and, most importantly, are available at affordable price points. Doesn’t it just sound too good to be true?
Whilst the brand regularly scores thousands of positive customer reviews every month, there’s also a big bunch of those that feel let down.
If you’ve been pondering your first Vincero purchase, not knowing which side to believe isn’t going to make the decision any easier. Hence, in this Vincero watches review, we will dive deep into the brand’s image – starting from its relatively short history. Later we will have a close look at the much-discussed quality of these timekeepers.
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Vincero Watches Background & History
Judging by the number of sales and reviews on Vincero watches you can find online, you’d never suspect that Vincero is one of the youngest worth-of-note brands in the watchmaking industry.
The journey of Vincero began in 2014 courtesy of a group of three friends with a massive passion for horology. Prior to going ahead with the launch of the brand, the co-founders Tim, Sean and Aaron had been studying the watch market trends for 4 years.
To explore ways of improving the quality of wristwatches without skyrocketing prices, they decided to move to China. There, the trio began designing and manufacturing their own products, playing with
Fixed on the end-product quality, the goal of Vincero was to avoid cutting corners on the quality of watches thanks to a small batch manufacturing process. With this strategy, Vincero would be able to inspect each and every watch they design and then sell, ensuring the quality they promise so hard to deliver. According to Vincero, even though 7 years have already passed since its foundation, this strategy is still in place.
For sure, what’s impressive about the brand is that it’s hands-on present throughout the entire watch production process. Unlike many competitors, all Vincero watches are designed in-house, in the San Diego headquarters.
The company might have an Italian-deriving name (Vincero meaning “I Will Win) but the watches aren’t 100% Italian.
Vincero sources its own materials that arrive from well-respected factories around the globe. And so, all the watch movements (both mechanical and quartz) are sourced from Japan – a country held in high regard in terms of the quality of calibers. As far as the genuine leather bands and marble elements are concerned, they arrive from Italy. Finally, stainless steel cases and crystals are produced in China.
The fact that 100% of Vincero watches go through rigorous quality checks is a huge incentive as well. This is made possible thanks to manufacturing in small batches. You might have to wait for your product a few days longer – but at least that reduces waste from the returns.
To be fair to Vincero, they’ve never claimed to be a luxury watch brand – like many other low-to-mid budget competitors do.
The watchmaker knows its place in the industry and it seems it was aware of it right from the get-go. According to the official website, Vincero was created to separate the unattainable-for-most top-end watches such as Rolex from the super-affordable ones that are bang average at best or incredibly poor at worst. They wanted to be the middle ground that they felt was missing. Have they achieved that yet? Continue reading to find out.
Are Vincero Watches Any Good? Quality Review
Enough of what Vincero has to say about their watches.
How does that relate to reality? Is Vincero a good brand? One you can trust to deliver on the promise of making above-average timepieces available at below-average price points?
To answer these questions we will take a detailed look at all the aspects contributing to the overall score of any watch brand. Like in any other review you will find on my website, the quality-price ratio is the biggest indicator of how good a brand really is.
Like Vincero said themselves (and rightly so), they don’t want to be compared with top-end watchmakers. They don’t stand a chance. However, they wouldn’t be classified as a cheap brand either. That would go against their mission.
Hence, we will see how Vincero watches fare against watchmakers in the same price range. And that is the low-to-mid price category. Do these watches offer quality above their price tag? Let’s find out.
Design & Durability
You can only make a first impression once, right? Let’s start with how these watches look on the outside and how much they can endure.
Whether you’re shopping for men’s or women’s Vincero timepieces, it’s clear to see that the vast majority of them oscillate around the dressy watch spectrum. Vincero focuses on design that is first and foremost elegant but at the same time won’t look that out of place in more casual outfits. Recently, the brand upped the tempo in terms of sports watch collections. However, they’re still in the minority.
We will have a closer look at the styles offered by different collections further down the article.
How about durability, Hands-down the most essential aspect of any watch? After all, even the most splendid-looking models won’t count for anything if they will come to a halt after just a few months of use.
As already mentioned, Vincero sources different watch parts from different countries. Let’s start with the most damage-prone part of any timepiece – the dial window.
The dominant glass type used in Vincero watches is sapphire-coated mineral crystal. It’s a mixture of mineral and sapphire glasses – something stronger than mineral crystal but not as solid as sapphire.
Sapphire crystal glass is the most impact-resistant material used in wristwatches (read also: Top Sapphire Crystal Watches Under $300). It’s the usual pick amongst the best in the industry, such as Rolex or Omega. Some of Vincero’s biggest critics feel it’s unfair the brand markets their watches as high-quality but doesn’t use sapphire material. Whilst Vincero has its faults, which we will discuss soon, it’s ridiculous to expect the most premium glass material in watches that barely go beyond the $150 mark.
All dial windows are sourced from China.
Whilst that might raise an eyebrow or two (the prejudices regarding Chinese parts are in some cases warranted), the material is solid and doesn’t stand out negatively from that manufactured elsewhere. Gladly, none of the Vincero collections use acrylic/plastic dials, a common practice amongst some low-budget brands.
b) Straps & Cases
As already stated, Vincero focuses on elegant design. As a result, the lion’s share of watches come with either genuine leather straps or stainless steel bracelets. The former is manufactured in Italy whilst the latter is again made in China.
The type of stainless steel used by Vincero is 316L which has less carbon than the 316 version. Durability-wise, they’re on par. Both the stainless steel bracelets and the cases, made from the same material, possess strong corrosion and scratch-resistant properties.
Since the launch of more sports-oriented collections, silicone straps have been added to the list of choices. Nevertheless, even sports watches for the most part use one of the two materials mentioned above.
And now that we’ve touched on the subject of cases, it’s worth noting that many of them use screw-down casebacks and crowns. This certainly aids the water-resistance capabilities of the watches.
c) Movement & Accuracy
The field in which the more aware aficionados might feel the most let down by Vincero is the movement.
Whilst the choice of calibers is acceptable in this price range, it’s Vincero’s marketing strategy that’s their own undoing here. If the brand wasn’t hyping up these watches so extensively, not many would be having a problem with the movement quality.
If you advertise your watches as high-quality, you can’t expect to get away with low-budget Japanese quartz movements. Granted, they come from a reputable provider in the form of Miyota. However, the same movements can be found in other watch brands at similar or even lower price points.
Despite the disappointment that might arise, considering the low prices of Vincero watches, it’s still a completely understandable choice. Just like the fact that the majority of timepieces use Japanese battery-powered calibers over automatic ones. They are simply cheaper to manufacture and we can’t have complaints in this aspect either.
The line of automatic watches is on the rise, though. During the first few months on the market, the average price of a self-winding Vincero watch was oscillating around $350. For reasons we can only guess, that price has been considerably slashed and is now closer to the $200 mark. That’s more of a fair deal and, dare I say it, a much better value for money than the cheaper (no pun intended) quartz models.
If owning a chronograph watch isn’t a must, I’d suggest going for an automatic model.
I’ve had my moan. But what about the accuracy of these watches?
Vincero timepieces powered by quartz movement deliver an industry-standard accuracy of +/- 15-20 seconds monthly. The accuracy of automatic watches is naturally much weaker. Depending on the model, these are likely to lose anywhere between 30-60 seconds daily.
All Vincero watches, as long as they’re purchased from an official retailer, are covered by a 2-year warranty period. For a brand that’s seemingly confident about the quality of its products, the period seems rather short.
All the well-respected watchmakers in the mid-price region, such as Bulova, Seiko, or Citizen, offer anywhere between 3-5 years. Although not a major flag, Vincero would make potential customers more secure by adding at least another 12 months to that period.
Naturally, the guarantee period covers only manufacturing defects. Any damage to the watch caused by your own negligence, such as a cracked window or moisture inside the watch, isn’t going to be considered for a refund.
Vincero Watch Collections
At the time of writing, the number of Vincero watch collections sits at 17. Eleven of those are men’s collections whilst 6 have been designed with ladies in mind.
Each collection has its own style and tweaks but the main elegant dress-cum-casual theme remains similar across all.
Going through all of the collections would take too much time so I’ve selected 7 of the best-sellers. Find a brief description of each below.
Vincero Chrono S
By far, the Chrono S is Vincero’s most popular collection as of now.
It’s a typical line of masculine watches. Thanks to the combination of genuine leather straps or stainless steel bracelets and chronograph sub-dials, it integrates both elegant and sporty touches.
All watches in the collection come with fairly massive watch cases, measuring 43-45mm in diameter. Such sizing perfectly suits the wrist of a man.
On top of the standard three-hand configuration, watch faces of all models include three chronograph sub-dials for measuring hours, minutes, and seconds. To operate the chronograph timers, two pusher buttons are installed on each side of the screw-down crown.
Additionally, Vincero Chrono S watches are equipped with date display windows. These are positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock.
All watches in the collection include screw-down casebacks with an Italian marble showcase.
Watch the Vincero Chrono S review here.
Unsurprisingly for a watch collection with such a name, it’s full of pilot models.
At the time of writing, the collection is considerably smaller in numbers than the best-seller Chrono S. It consists of 10 models. Similar to the Chrono S, it’s a line of watches designed specifically for men.
As you could expect from pilot watches, all models in this collection are characterized by large and legible dials. The legibility during nighttime is boosted by a strong lume.
Another trademark of Vincero’s pilot collection is the presence of extra markings on the bezel and an oversized winding crown. All models in the collection feature two additional sub-dials. One divides the 12-hour day and night periods, whereas the other allows you to track time in a second timezone.
There are quite a few color variations to choose from, especially when it comes to dials. On the strap front, these are either made from nylon or leather. Because of the addition of the sub-dials, all models are battery-powered (quartz).
Watch the video of the Vincero Altitude review here.
In terms of the level of craftsmanship and movement sophistication, the Vincero Bellwether collection. along with the Apex series which we will discuss in a minute, scores the highest.
Although small in numbers (at present it consists of just 4 models), Bellwether watches are getting positive feedback even from usually harsh critics. Why?
As we already discussed, Vincero’s watch movements are probably their weakest point. Not because they are super bad – but because they are not as “exceptionally crafted” as they are advertised to be. Here I naturally mean the Miyota quartz movements that powered the vast majority of these watches.
That can’t be said about the Bellwether line.
These models run on a mecha-quartz movement type. It’s a hybrid of quartz and automatic movements and offers the wearer the best of both worlds. Mecha-quartz movements ensure the precision of battery-powered timepieces without the need for a battery. Instead, they are powered by the kinetic movement of the wrist – just like automatic watches. The calibers used in the Vincero Bellwether line are manufactured by Seiko which is well-known for the use of hybrids.
How about the design?
At the first glance, because of the inclusion of the two sub-dials, Bellwether models are more similar to the Altitude than the Chrono S series. The chronograph dials, positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock, can be activated by using the pushers located on each side of the crown. They measure the passage of time between activation and deactivation.
All watches in the series come with leather straps and stainless steel cases with screw-down casebacks.
Learn more about the collection by watching the Vincero Bellwether review here.
If you’re a fan of racing-style watches, the Apex series by Vincero is likely to grab your attention.
Because of the inclusion of both the chronograph timers and a tachymeter scale, the faces of racing watches are quite feature-jammed. Hence, they might not be for everyone nor will they suit all occasions. For example, they wouldn’t be the best choices for formal gatherings as they normally require a more minimalistic approach.
Just like the Bellwether line discussed above, all Apex models (and there are 10 of them at the moment), run on Seiko’s mecha-quartz movement.
The inclusion of two chronograph sub-dials, placed at the exact same positions, is another similarity between the two collections. However, all the Apex models boast a considerably more sporty look. For a large part, that’s down to the dominance of stainless steel bracelets. The collection includes just two models with leather bands.
The sundial at 3 o’clock and the hours/minutes complications at 9 o’clock run via the quartz part of the movement. On the other hand, the chronograph second hand is mechanical and will snap back into position when you press the bottom pusher.
Get more familiar with the collection by watching the Vincero Apex review.
With the Outrider collection, Vincero has prepared something really tasty for the fans of field watches. Also referred to as military timepieces, this type boasts a strong masculine look and is built to last. A great adventure companion if there ever was one.
Inspired by the classic field watch style, the Outrider collection consists of six tough-to-beat timekeepers.
Style-wise, it’s easy to notice that through the Outrider series Vincero largely moves away from the dressy elegant style that’s been the core of the brand since the very beginning. The Outrider series is as close to a “tool watch” as Vincero has got so far.
All the Outrider models are equipped with two chronograph sub-dials. By now you’ve probably noticed that this is a reoccurring theme with a few Vincero collections. In contrast to the two previous collections we discussed, the sub-dials in Outrider models have different purpose. The one positioned at three o’clock has a 24-hour function whilst the opposite is a 1-hour dial that marks every 20 minutes.
Gladly, the Outrider is a third collection that uses the mecha-quartz movement by Seiko.
Currently, the collection consists of 6 watch models. All use genuine leather straps, stainless steel cases and sapphire-coated mineral crystal for improved durability.
Feel free to watch the Vincero Outrider review for more info.
We’ve discussed so many chronograph collections that at this point you might be wondering: is there anything else to Vincero?
The Kairos collection proves there is. This series provides some food for thought for those who lean towards the minimalistic watch design. Of all the collections available, its design is probably the simplest. If the second markings and a date window are considered its most “sophisticated” elements, it speaks volumes.
One of the trademarks of the series is definitely the presence of mesh watch bands. Out of 11 Kairos watch models available at present, as many as 6 of them come with mesh bracelets. The remaining models use leather straps.
There are quite a few color variations to pick from, both in terms of the straps and the dials.
With the Kairos collection, Vincero reverts back to the much-maligned Miyota quartz movements. Although not the sexiest, all provide solid accuracy.
Characteristically for Vincero, all models are protected by sapphire-coated mineral glass. The casebacks are also adorned with genuine marble rock.
Vincero Kairos is probably the most “dressy” watch collection currently on offer.
Learn more about the series with the Vinceor Kairos review here.
Last but not least, Vincero also has something in store for diving enthusiasts.
Vincero Vessel is the brand’s attempt at diving watches. We can describe them in many ways but one thing is certain: they look quite distinct.
Whilst I think you can find more capable divers in the ~$200 price region (see also: Top Dive Watches Under $200), from all the collections, the Vessel timepieces are definitely your safest bets to wear while in water. Naturally, that’s down to a higher water-resistance rating. All “Vessels” are water-resistant up to 200m.
The Vessel is another Vincero series that boasts a much more sporty look. At present, it consists of 9 watches. Understandably, none of these use leather straps which are easily damageable when regularly exposed to water. Instead, there are 7 silicone strap watches and 2 stainless steel models to pick from.
Characteristically for dive watches, all Vessel models are equipped with unidirectional bezels that act as 60-minute timers. Whilst that allows for measuring elapsed time underwater, they are operated by the crown. Such a setting is unusual, not to say unheard of, in diving watches.
Many people report that the bezel-operating crown is super sensitive and can lead to an accidental switch. Hence, Vincero Vessel “divers” should be treated more as a fashion statement than a professional diving timepiece.
Movement-wise, all are equipped with the quartz Miyota caliber.
On the other hand, Vessel models belong to the small group of Vincero timepieces that come with a 100% sapphire crystal dial. That’s a step in the right direction for the brand. Let’s hope the number of these increases rapidly.
You can get to know the series better by watching the video of the Vincero Vessel review.
Where to Buy Vincero Watches?
Although on a constant popularity rise, Vincero isn’t enough of a mainstream brand to be found in department stores across the country. At least not yet. Moreover, the list of trusted online retailers that offer a large selection of timepieces isn’t that big either.
Your three best bets are:
1. Vincero’s official website – whether you’re in the world, it’s probably the safest place to order your Vincero watch. The watch arrives in original packaging and with a valid warranty period. The brand offers free international shipping. All the orders within the United States are delivered in 1-5 days, whereas the estimated time of arrival for the rest of the world is anywhere between 5-12 days. Not too bad!
2. Amazon – if you’re residing in the US, Canada or the United Kingdom, you can safely go for an Amazon order too. Granted, the selection of watches isn’t as huge as on the official website just yet. However, the quality guarantee backed by the 30-day returns and prompt shipping policies is definitely tempting. The cheapest models here start at just $100.
3. eBay – the marketplace offers a similar number of watches to Amazon, although here you will also find many pre-used models. Some second-hand watches can be snatched for as little as $40.
Are Vincero Watches Really That Bad?
Judging by the number of disappointed customers online, you’d think Vincero is ripping people off left and right. And that they’re on par with bargain-basement Chinese “watchmakers”.
The fact is, they’re not. And calling Vincero watches a scam is way, way out of order.
But if you’re going to build your brand up as the Messiah of the seemingly aching horological industry yet fail to deliver on some of the promises, you need to be prepared for a backlash from the better-oriented part of the community.
Quite frankly, it’s hard to say the brand is underperforming given its affordable pricing. They’re not standing out negatively from more popular and higher-rated watchmakers in a similar budget range, such as Invicta (read also: Invicta watches review).
Vincero’s biggest shortcoming is down to its aggressive, over-hyped marketing. Numerous overstatements might get unnoticed amongst the newbies but will be easily picked up by folks with bigger experience in the field.
Are Vincero Watches Worth the Money?
So the next question that arises is: are Vincero watches worth it or not really?
Considering the $100-$200 pricing of the vast majority of models, we could classify the brand as low-to-mid budget. To be fair to Vincero, they deliver quality that’s acceptable for the price – but no more than that.
Granted, the design and styling of many Vincero watches are easy on the eye and will turn many heads. However, once you dig deeper into the complexities of these watches, it isn’t anywhere near as jaw-dropping. Here I’m mostly alluding to the quality of their movements. As already mentioned, the lower-end Miyota calibers can be found in watches at considerably lower price points than Vincero.
That said, with low-to-mid-budget brands, you can’t have it all. Some will focus on the more exceptional exterior whilst neglecting the less visible aspects. Others will do the opposite.
If the way the watch looks on your wrist is of the utmost importance, Vincero watches do seem like a reasonably good deal. On the other hand, if you value higher-standard, more refined movements, you might consider other brands offering models in a similar price range.
Vincero Watches Review: Conclusion
If you’ve been pondering your debut purchase, I hope that my review of Vincero watches has provided you with enough clues to decide whether the brand is worth your time (pun intended) and money.
Rounding up the Vincero review, I think it’s fair to say that the watchmaker splits opinions like very few. Its fans will defend it to the hilt, presenting the eye-catching, classy design as a good enough reason to fork out the $100-$200. That view is completely understandable.
However, the other side of the coin, and by that, I naturally mean Vincero critics, also has a point. Vincero advertises their watches as exceptionally well-crafted – a claim that starts to look rather dubious once we dive deeper into how the lion’s share of these watches is constructed.
By far Vincero’s weakest point is the quality of the movement. High-quality watches, as Vincero advertised theirs to be, wouldn’t be running on lower-budget Japanese quartz movements. Unfortunately, a large portion of the quartz collection does.
That’s not to say that all Vincero movements are cheap. To the brand’s credit, they are constantly increasing the number of timepieces powered by the mecha-quartz calibers delivered by Seiko. These are considerably more complex and in fact, could be deemed good quality considering the price margin.
If you concentrate on the good sides of Vincero timepieces (and there are quite a few) and take the overstatements which flood their marketing campaigns with a pinch of salt, you shouldn’t be let down with what’s on offer. In the very worst scenario, you will always be able to use the 2-year warranty period to cut your losses.
I see Vincero as a brand with enormous potential to grow and one that, I believe, has good intentions. In spite of their mistakes, let’s not forget they’re still making baby steps in the industry. With less than a decade on the market, you’ve got to admit they’ve taken the web by storm. With the right changes to their marketing strategy and the constant betterment of their products, I’m pretty sure a bright future awaits.
Final Say: if the Vincero watches review has persuaded you to get your first timepiece from the brand, great. If you’ve decided against it, I’m equally happy to have helped. Either way, share your decision and/or your own experience with the brand in the comment section below. Let’s interact!