I’ve reviewed other Versace timepieces before, but this is the first sports watch. I began my experience with the Sport Tech Diver knowing that it would be a polarizing timepiece with traditional timepiece enthusiasts, simply because of its association with a brand that is not a traditional watch designer. So is the sentiment of many watch lovers (and frankly, I don’t think they had too many good reasons for it). It is true that fashion watches have a poor reputation when it comes to almost every element of watchmaking, from design to pricing, but it is unfair to make all fashion watches guilty by association. In most respects, the Versace Sport Tech Diver VERC00218 is a very comfortable, decently legible, and neat-looking dive watch. That it’s Versace should have been a plus, not a minus.
Be that as it may, there are a few areas that I think could have been improved with the Versace Sport Tech Diver. And yeah, that wasn’t one of the minuses I alluded to. While I love the interesting case design, I think skeletonized lugs with what appears to be a spring-style tube on either end are a bit much. In the abstract, I don’t mind decorative aesthetic elements, but at times, these look like mere cladding and seem like an add-on for visual complexity as opposed to something that really helps make the design of the watch better.
The 45mm-wide case is also on the larger side for many wearers. In Italy, the size likely would have worked, and in fact, I think the Sport Tech Diver as a product would probably have done best in its home market. The anodized aluminum yellow ring around the crown doesn’t quite match the yellow on the rest of the watch, but that is a minor thing. While Versace opted for a flat sapphire crystal with AR coating over the dial, I think more AR coating could have been used in order to keep some of the dial glare down. I also feel that the Versace Medusa head logo at 12 o’clock on the dial should not use a polished finishing since it makes the motif blur into the dial and makes it hard to see the details (which should be important to any Versace fan). Finally, as a sports watch, the strap uses a mere tension deployant without any locking mechanism. This is usually not recommended for actual sports activities.
None of the design issues of the watch are fatal to my interest in the piece; I just see it as a characterful timepiece with some flaws. Most watches have flaws. The 45mm-wide case is cut away on the side with a view of what looks like a carbon fiber middle section, and the watch is water-resistant to 200 meters. The steel case is ion-plated to achieve the deep blue color, which is a big part of what makes this timepiece unique. Around the dial is a unidirectional rotating diver’s style bezel with a lume pip at 12 o’clock. Even though this is a fashion diver, I appreciate how Versace watches make it a functional diver, as well.
The dial is set deeply into the case within a sloped flange with Arabic numeral minute markers at each five-minute point. This is an interesting departure from most designs that have a complete minute track here, as opposed to on the dial. I actually rather like the design choice. The hour markers and hands on the dial are easy to see and filled with luminant, and all the hands are properly sized, making for good dial proportions.
Inside this Swiss Made Italian fashion watch is a Swiss ETA 2824 automatic mechanical movement. It operates at 4Hz with 42 hours of power reserve. Attached to the case is a custom-fitted blue fabric strap with yellow rubber lining that has a nice look to it, and celebrates the overall theme of the piece.
Price is a bit on the high side when one compares the Sport Tech Diver to a lot of the competition that was available in 2019 when this watch was released. I wouldn’t call the Sport Tech Diver overpriced, per se, but it is certainly priced with the brand cachet in mind. This “all-blue” reference VERC00218 was in fact part of a limited edition of just 250 pieces, so it did have some actual exclusivity behind it, but it also meant that if it had been successful, Versace would have returned to the concept again soon. Looking at the current collection, though, the only Sport Tech models are three GMTs, with no divers (Sport Tech, or otherwise) to be seen. Take from that what you will. The Versace Sport Tech Diver reference VERC00218 was originally priced at $2,395 USD, but can now be found for around $1,000 USD. See more at the Versace website.
>Model: Sport Tech Diver reference VERC00218
>Price: Around $1,000 USD(Original retail $2,395 USD)
>Size: 45mm-wide, about 13mm-thick, and about 55mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: When blue is in order and a larger, fashion-focused sports watch is appropriate.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Dive watch-lover with an affinity for Italian brands who adores the color blue.
>Best characteristic of watch: As a fashion watch, it also managed to be a good diver’s watch. Fun mixture of fashion and tool watch themes, and the blue colors with the slight yellow accents are both attractive and distinctive.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Being a luxury watch from a brand not known for luxury watches gives it a disadvantage for timepiece enthusiasts. Some “over-designed” case elements. The next time around, the strap should be a bit more appropriate for an actual tool/sports watch.