VPC is a new brand founded by Thomas van Straaten, who may be familiar to some readers as a longtime writer at Fratello. The first watch from his new endeavor, the Type37HW, feels very much like the type of thing that someone fully engaged in this community would bring to life as a passion project. It has many of the hallmarks of an enthusiast focused watch, with lots of little details that get people in the business of writing about these things excited. Most of all, it feels foundational, like the beginning of a platform for future expansion. If there’s one thing watch writers can’t abide, it’s a watch that feels like a one off, vanity project, and, unsurprisingly, VPC doesn’t even have a whiff of that sentiment.*

The VPC acronym that gives the brand its name stands for “Venustas Per Constantiam,” which equates to “charm through restraint,” and if you look at the overall presentation of the Type37HW you can really feel the restraint. The watch is sober but doesn’t feel boring, and each individual component part seems to be well considered and thought through. Whether you like the design or not is of course subjective, but I don’t think anyone could reasonably argue that the watch doesn’t have a coherent aesthetic.*

The broad conceit here is that the Type37HW is a “go anywhere, do anything” style watch, and the specs reflect that. It’s 37.5mm in diameter and measures 9.8mm tall (including the crystal). The stainless steel case and bracelet have been given a hard-coating treatment meant to protect against scratches, and the watch is rated to 120 meters of water resistance and has a screw down crown. It runs on a chronometer certified, manually wound Sellita SW216 movement.*

I mentioned the small details that can only come from the perspective of someone who has seen as many watches at Thomas, and there are a bunch of little things that set the Type37HW apart, and probably account for the $2,700 asking price. Some of the key design elements that give this watch a unique flavor include a prominent “ledge” at the top and bottom of the case that the bracelet tucks underneath, which is meant to make for a look that’s completely seamless. We also get two sets of lug holes to accommodate different types of straps, including those with curved ends. VPC also notes that all of the steel components of this watch come from the same supplier, and have been finished in a uniform manner for a consistent look and feel. This is somewhat uncommon at this price point and the type of thing that will likely appeal primarily to longtime collectors with a real focus on microbrands and independent watches, but it’s nice to see VPC call it out. It almost goes without saying considering the enthusiast focus of the Type37HW, but bracelet has been designed with quick-release end-links and a toolless micro-adjust mechanism on the clasp.*

There are three dial options in this initial release, each with a contrasting running seconds indicator at the 6:00 position: silver and gray, dark sage and anthracite, and blue and silver. The dials are two layer designs with a stepped outer minute track and a slightly sunken 6:00 subdial. Each colorway has a frosted texture on the main dial, and applied indexes at the hours crafted from solid blocks of lume (yet another enthusiast focused detail).*

It’s fun to see someone in our little community of watch writers create something new, and the Type37HW has a lot of promise. It’s easy to imagine Thomas continuing to iterate on this format, adding complications, or moving to more specific genres within the sports watch arena. For now, the Type37HW serves as a notable debut, and we’re excited to see where the VPC project goes next.*

VPC is currently in a pre-sale phase for the Type37HW, with 300 total watches promised in this initial release (100 of each color). Delivery is expected by the end of 2024, or very early 2025. More information here.*

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