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Vertex M100 Watch Review

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex watches was “re-founded” by Don Cochrane of London, whose grandfather Claude Lyons (also of London) originally founded Vertex watches in the early 20th century. The brand’s rebirth indeed has a romantic twist, but the formula of bringing back a vintage timepiece is tried and true. Here is a guy who learned his grandfather started a now defunct watch brand with a neat military history. Just when vintage-style timepieces are in, and given the fact that producing timepieces in Switzerland has theoretically never been as democratized (if you have the money), this guy had an opportunity to bring something neat to the market. Did he? Let’s find out what the Vertex M100 limited edition “need to know someone” watch is all about.

As I understand it, the original Vertex was brought to market in 1944 as one of twelve companies selected by the British government to produce specially-designed military-specification timepieces. These watches were sold to the military, and issued to soldiers – who were not typically allowed to keep them. The “broad arrow” symbol on the dial under the logo (which isn’t unique to the Vertex M100) was the indicator that something was “property of the crown.”

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Apparently, several thousand original Vertex military watches were made, and after World War II, the brand continued on for a while (until the early quartz crisis). When Mr. Cochrane decided to bring the brand back, it was probably an easy decision to go with this original field watch design. The military-spec history means that it is a real tool watch, and many men today appreciate sensible retro-style sport watches on their wrist. With that said, the Vertex M100 isn’t just another re-issue of a military watch that was never supposed to be a luxury. Instead, the M100 is a sort of higher-end re-imagination of the original Vertex watch – specifically imagined for watch collectors.

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At 40mm wide, the Vertex M100 is larger than its 36mm ancestor, but it wears modestly in a well-constructed brushed steel case. The case alone demonstrates a large attention to detail. Vertex doesn’t claim to be an in-house manufacturer, but they did clearly spend considerable time and resources looking for good Swiss suppliers. This applies to the dial quality, and the overall presentation.

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The most common complaint watch enthusiasts will have about the Vertex M100 is the price. I promise this won’t be the most money that the majority of the M100’s owners will have spent on a watch, but they might expect something like this to go for a bit less. With that said, given the production costs (recall, Swiss assembly and suppliers) the Vertex M100 doesn’t seem to have an unethical margin. This is just often the cost of the little guy doing something nice in Switzerland.

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

If you do like the core design of the M100, I really do think that you’ll like the detailing. The most impressive element is the set of molded, applied numerals that are produced out of solid luminant (made with Super-LumiNova) material. This doesn’t just help give the dial a welcome sense of visual depth, but it also makes the dial easier to read. More so, who doesn’t like three-dimensional luminant? In the dark, the M100 looks really cool – and for watch nerds, that goes a long way. Honestly, the solid lume-material-cut numerals are a clever trick, and one that more brands should consider. Isn’t it time we moved past… lume paint?

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vertex M100 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

No date, and not even an automatic movement… at least a few horological purists I know just got perky. For the subsidiary seconds position and to maintain the original watch’s manual-wound movement, Vertex opted for a Swiss ETA Peseux 7001 mechanical movement. This is basically a smaller-sized pocket watch movement operating at 3Hz (21,600bph) with 42 hours of power reserve. The polished hands don’t harm legibility, and the overall composition of the watch feels like a very good way of enjoying the function and nostalgia of a mid 20th century WWII era military watch design (that sounds amusingly narrow but in the watch world, that is a big category).

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  • Mikita

    Handsome watch, for sure: the revival done right. Love the ultra-legible dial, nods to the historical model and best of all – the molded lume markers. But 2.5k gbp is steep for a simple watch from a newly revived brand. Actually, I would have accepted even 1.5k, but 2.5k opens the doors to some brands with pedigree.

    The lumeshot and lifestyle photo from their FB:

    • Pete Pete

      not my style, but for those who are into this kind of watches it seems rather convincing. looks like a high quality product. but 2.5k for a no-name watch with a pedestrian movement, that’s indeed a tall order.

      • Mikita

        Personally, I like the military (field) watches – my daily beater is the BR123, and I also wanted to get something like the Guinand 31.HS-02, based on a big hand wound caliber. So I can appreciate the Vertex M100: it looks like a very high quality military watch. The case, dial and hands all are finished nicely and the 7001 is a descent accurate caliber. Okay, the box-shape sapphire crystal is kinda expensive and rarely seen (Panerai cost 10k, Bell & Ross and Seiko Astron around 2k). But indeed – for 2.5k they could have used some special order caliber from Eterna, Technotime or Synergies Horlogeres. Or, even better – they could have made it slightly cheaper 🙂 At the current price it feels like something is missing.

  • ???

    Screwed down crown with a manual-wound movement(esp. a normal power reserve one) is impractical. Because you have to unscrew-screw the crown for winding the watch everytime.

    • farar

      Why would that be impractical? Why is a problem to unscrew-wind-screw the crown once in a day?

      • ???

        Because the threads of the crown/stem may wear too quickly.

        • farar

          I’m sorry but in the last 40+ years I really dealt with this kind of a problem back in the 80s with Russian watches. Never once since then.

  • $3290 USD at today’s exchange rate. Yikes! Half of that might work. But if their referral services works and people have already signed up for 200 of them, they must be doing something right.

    • Terance Hill

      Come on Mark. If I designed to watch with a dreamcatcher theme on the face I could take it back on the rez l can sell at least 200 of them to my Brothers. And then I take couple hundred more and placement different smoke Shacks, probably get the Canadian and US government to throw some money at me too, damn I’m starting to think I might have another business

  • Yan Fin

    Totally justified price – with Mozer’s NATO.

  • Terance Hill

    Love the write up… Very nicely executed watch clean crisp error correct except for the extra millimeters LOL.
    I would have preferred to see a screw-down crown. 3290 US dollars is pretty darn steep as Mark pointed out. And like the Oracle said for era-correct they should have came out with the proper packaging instead of a cheap plastic box.
    So by the time I sum it all up and digested I think I’d go with the tutor heritage for 3000 & comes in a real pretty box and two straps. And out of the two straps you get to pick the style of the leather one if you wish a bun style or a standard 2 peace strapped. And it has a pedigree of such behind it that you can’t refuse whereas with this watch you get a guarantee that well they might make more. I’m sold LOL

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Appears to be a well-made time piece, but…could use several significant things.
    Screw-down crown.
    A Hacking movement.
    A good steel bracelet.
    A lower (more realistic) price.
    Better sales system.


    • Mikita

      Honestly, I think that 100M/330ft WR is totally enough for a non-diving watch. And the bracelet is a no-go for a military watch due to many reasons. But agree on the other points.

  • Framlucasse

    “This is just often the cost of the little guy doing something nice in Switzerland.”

    No, this is expensive. I know the prices of swiss made components, we have here something like 75% of margin in the price, and not more than 25% of watch, and probably less. I’d say 80/20.
    Or the guy does not know how to negociate, even for 600 pieces.

    But well, there is worst cost/price ratio on the market. And the watch itself is ok, in the military style.

  • Jonathan Smith

    I like it, but personally won’t pay such prices for a field watch

  • SuperStrapper

    Awful straps aside, lots to like here. The numerals seem like a bit of a missed opportunity. Super luminova is no slouch but this would have been the perfect opportunity to utilise that Black Badger luminous composite we’ve seen is some interesting watches so far (sarpeneva northern lights probably being my favourite so far).

    Pricing is steep and his sales method will do a lot to preserve the ask. Fairly tight LE so I’m sure they’ll sell fine, and go toward funding the next release as I’m sure that what this leads to.

  • Mark1884

    “Specifically imagined for watch collectors” – are you kidding me??
    The referral system sounds like a marketing gimmick. Is this watch co-collaborated with Bremont????
    The over 3k price is insane for an off the shelf ETA movement.
    Theres a sucker born every minute.

    • Kuroji

      Moar liek Vertexal Marketing Scheme.

  • “Basically, if you want to buy one, you need to know someone who has one…That might sound a bit pretentious and elitist, but Vertex has noble intentions…it isn’t about the brand trying to be exclusionary…he feels that it will help Vertex watches stay with watch guys.”

    It’s precisely pretentious. Too many upstart watch companies are more interested in selling an image than a product, and this is reflected in everything from their questionable provenance, to their invented heritage (Vertex watches originally imported watches and recased movements in the UK before becoming a sub-brand of the original Swiss Thommen/Revue Thommen company since RT was the movement supplier to Vertex) to their bizarre marketing schemes in an attempt to appear historically relevant and / or exclusive.

    If I called up Vertex today and said, “I have $3200 and I wish to purchase one of your timepieces” and they told me it was impossible without a secret code given to me by a “watch guy” I’m not sure I’d be able to contain my laughter. “Watch guys” looking to buy a field / pilot watch at the $3000-$4000 price point are looking at IWC Mark XVIII’s and Zenith Type 20’s. Heck, original WWII era Vertex field watches in excellent working condition sell for under $2000. I just watched a NOS 2000 Rolex Explorer on a bracelet go for $3700; this company is kidding themselves if they think “watch guys” are going to be scouring the internet forums for a secret code in order to buy a pretend military watch at the price they’re asking.

    • Tea Hound

      Yes all of this. Sad thing is I quite like the watch, especially the dial numbers. But the price is crazy, then adding an extra hurdle to purchase is just plain irritating, and as Valannin writes above, pretentious.

    • BNABOD

      but but it has molded numerals……….

    • Daniel Harper

      Well said.

    • Mr. Snrub

      Nailed it.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Terrible strap, terrible numbers, nice to see proper hand sizes. Price is ridiculous. It’s also a tad boring.

  • Ross Diljohn

    And then I saw the price. Goodnight.


    I don’t find the offering particularly exciting.
    Exhibit A: the Peseux 7001 is no Testarossa ok it has been around since the invention of the wheel and while reliable it is not a fancy beast. Eterna could have gone a long way here.
    Exhibit B: the molded numerals my apologies but they look cheap. just like the stars you throw on your ceiling that glow at night, same color too, just plain fugly
    Exhibit C: sales method, got to know a bro that knows a bro that has a code yeah ok this is not skulls and bones and you should not need an invite to get shafted of your hard earned rubles.
    Exhibit D: Price must be a typo, I mean really 3 large for this? could care less if the boxed crystal was hand carved by Ricola drinking ferries on the Matterhorn.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Really one of the best looking field watches, but the price…

  • Lurch

    Why don’t you take some notes before doing your video review? In this video and another recent video, you couldn’t recall the number made (this watch) or struggled to confirm whether a watch had a hardlex or sapphire crystal (Seiko Presage Automatic SRPB43). I had to go to another watch site for the official answer. This makes me think the content on your website is inaccurate and unreliable.

    • Kuroji

      Ariel DGAF about this watch enough to take notes.

  • Daniel Harper

    Absolutely love the design here. I cannot see how this price point makes any sense to a buyer, nor do I appreciate the need-to-know someone to purchase idea, but I’d totally buy this if it were closer to the $1000 price point.

  • rainmaker

    Nice watch until I saw the price. Hopefully the surviving brands of the dirty dozen might follow suit with a re-release of the similar watch at a much more affordable price.

  • Sigmund Von Kavignstein

    Dear ABTW,
    “Would reviewer personally wear it?” does not me anything. Let’s be real and change it to ‘Would reviewer actually buy it?”

    Love the indices tho. If one of these come up on chrono24 under the 500eur mark, i’d probably consider it. Perfect watch for a sunday morning hike in the woods with the hounds.

  • Dan Baxter

    Like the look a lot, the price not so much. And, as you make much about the solid lume material, why no lume shot?

  • Jerry Mathers

    Just got my secret code and wanted to share it with all of you guys. Here we go:

  • It all comes together quite well. I like it. I would buy it. But not for $3,000.

  • Ranchracer

    So many other great military style watches out there from established brands, as well as micro brands, for WAY less money. And for those, I can actually just BUY them without having a secret code. Go figure. While decent looking, this is a fail.

  • TrevorXM

    Raised numerals are cool.
    Design is cool enough.
    History is semi-legit so semi-cool.
    Movement is not-so-cool.
    Buying method is wannabe-cool.
    Price is uncool.

  • DanW94

    .Although it looks like a quality piece, it’s ambitiously priced. Smiths through Timefactors re-issued a field watch from the 60’s that’s really good looking and affordable (in the 500 dollar or so range) and Hemel has a pretty nice military watch for a 3 or 4 hundred although that has a Miyota (I believe) movement which might be a deal breaker for some.

    • Mark Goodson

      Got to agree. I have a Smiths Everest on my wrist at the moment. £245 new. One tenth of the Vertex price. Good luck to them, but it’s not for me.

  • Marius

    What’s the point, really? It’s stupidly expensive faux history with a dash of manufactured exclusivity.

    And you can buy one of the originals cheaper.

    • hatster

      Thanks for saving me a few words.

  • I was yawning until I got to the price, then I nearly swallowed my tongue.

  • Anthony Dimaano

    Great looking watch. But the 7001 isn’t the most rugged movement in the world and doesn’t hack – both of which I prefer in a military oriented design.
    The main problem, as others point out, is the price. You can get a Longines Military Reissue for under $1500, Stowa Flieger for much less. Hell, you can get a Nomos Club for around $1500. Why get this?

  • Nice design, but the marketing stunt is patently absurd. As Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t join any club that would have me as a member.”

  • No lume shot, smh, fml, wtf.

  • WatchNeophyte

    Like this a lot, BUT the price, wtf?? As of right now, we are talking about $3,317.71..that is a lot of dough when you can get just as good or better pieces from Lanco, Raid, Junkers, Fortis, Sinn, etc. for less. In fact, you will soon find this selling at an online auction with a low reserve for a little over $1,000 I bet. Ridiculous.

  • R Ramki

    All good until the weirdo referral system and price, a glorious fail

  • Nathan Likes Watches

    Very nice! Love the raised markers and green dial, overall a nice looking watch. I tend to agree with everyone on that the price is a bit high.

  • Ulysses31

    The markers cut out of lume look great, and it is overall a handsome watch. The finish looks dull though, and that cheap nasty strap should be replaced with something else especially at such a crazy price. It’s just too much for something that looks like a Kickstarter watch.

  • Andrew Hughes

    I have to admit that I scan the photos and jump right to the end to see the price. I try to guess what it will be based solely on what I see in the photos. I really liked what I saw, but the price is steep, which seems to be the recurring comment theme. For that kinda money, I’m buying a Sinn or Damasko. Weird referral system… kinda like a watch pyramid scheme?