My name is Stefan Wojciechowski, and I am the creator of Virtus, a boutique watch company. For the ancient Romans, one was said to have “virtus” if they possessed the combination of traits found in the ideal citizen: integrity, courage, self-worth, and social conscience. These same ideals served to inspire and guide my team and I as we directed our time and effort towards the creation of our first watch.
To encounter a master of these virtues was considered rare; even emperors aspired to them. Yet, the honor and reward of a life lived in pursuit of these values was not out of reach for the ordinary citizen. At Virtus, this principle of attainability has informed our choices as well. Our goal was to create a watch situated between the entry to mid-level watch market. We wanted to make something that was worth possessing – a timepiece that captured the artistry, history, and quality of high-end brands, but that did not cost the equivalent of a midsize sedan. To meet this goal required excellent suppliers and assemblers in Switzerland and China capable of both realizing our vision and providing consumer service long after the initial purchase.
As for our team, we handled as much as possible in-house including website development, video production, photo shoots, editing, and marketing, ancillary work to watch design, but necessary to ensure a low overhead and fair pricing for our customers. After two years of development, and a continuous stream of input from friends, family, watch enthusiasts, and trusted suppliers, I’d like to present you with the V1.
Designed for everyday and formal occasions, the V1 sports a polished stainless steel case with a 38mm diameter and 10.5mm height dimensions. We chose 38mm as a nod to vintage timepieces that were of smaller diameter than their modern-day descendants. The watch remains understated but noticeable. The movement is held secure by a screw down caseback, ensuring a tight seal for the 5 ATM rated case. The trim crown maintains a slim profile but is large enough for practical manual winding, date setting, and hand adjustment.
The V1 is issued with a five-link steel bracelet with contrasting polished and brushed gently curved metal links. The bracelet is secured with a custom clasp decorated with the Virtus logo. The V1 is also available with a leather strap complete with a butterfly clasp for formal occasions. The leather strap is issued in black and brown colors, and features a convenient release pin for quick changing.
The dial sports a guilloche pattern in jet black and azure colors demarcated with applied indices. Classic dauphine hands mark the minute and hour. The face of the watch is protected with a 0.5mm domed sapphire crystal. The reverse features an exhibition caseback that displays the Sellita SW200-1 in Elaboré configuration. We chose the Elaboré configuration for its detailed finishing, three position regulation for accuracy, and Incabloc shock absorber for durability. Circumscribed on the case is a Latin aphorism: “Vita brevis, ars longa, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile.”
The aphorism translated reads: “life is short, but the art long, opportunity fleeting, experimentation dangerous, and judgment difficult.” We take this adage as a reminder that although time limits our accomplishments, the world is full of opportunity; and that the right mixture of mindfulness, integrity, and conscientiousness can enable anyone to achieve their goals. The Virtus V1 is available for pre-order on Kickstarter starting at $499. May the V1 inspire the wearer, as the citizen’s virtue inspires us in their pursuit of personal excellence. virtuswatch.com