Not long ago, I reviewed the women’s version of the new Versace DV One Automatic watch on aBlogtoWatch. Little did I know that Versace would quickly follow up the women’s model with a new men’s version in the same DV One collection. While the “DV One” name is not novel to Versace, according to the Italian fashion company, it has never produced a men’s version — until now. Versace watches are produced in collaboration with Timex Group Luxury Division, which is headquartered in Switzerland, and Versace originally helped set up that operation some years back. I mention this merely to remind people that Versace does have “watchmaking cred.” The DV One as it exists today is more or less Versace’s answer to the Chanel J12. It isn’t a perfect analog of course, but clearly, Versace wanted its ceramic DV One timepieces to appeal in the same way as Chanel’s ceramic J12 watches have for over 20 years now. So, let’s take a close look at Versace’s premium-priced automatic men’s DV One watch that has a ceramic case and matching ceramic bracelet.
Versace launched two 1,000-piece limited-edition versions of the new men’s DV One Automatic watch to start. The brand includes this black ceramic model, as well as a blue ceramic version. Both are given a matte finish, which tends to look much more masculine than when ceramic cases are given an entirely polished surface finish. The watches are also larger than the women’s models, being 43mm wide versus 36mm wide. In fact, even though Versace is going for a more demure men’s look with the DV One Automatic (compared to most of its men’s models), this is still a sizeable timepiece on the wrist. The case is 11.1mm thick and has a water resistance rating of 50 meters. Over the dial is a flat sapphire crystal, while another sapphire crystal is fitted to the steel caseback with a view of the automatic movement.
Most notable to me is how the high quality of the Versace DV One Automatic ceramic case and bracelet feel when you are touching them and when you are wearing the watch. The designers were careful to avoid sharp or uncomfortable surfaces, making the bracelet particularly nice on the skin. Even the case is free of sharp surfaces. This is also mostly true for the precision-cut ceramic bezel with Versace’s popular “Greco” motif, a design also present on the women’s version of the DV One. The watch has a small black ceramic Versace Medusa head logo as the cabochon in the crown, and a fitted metallic Medusa head logo as the 12 o’clock hour indicator on the dial.
Aside from the size and finishing of the ceramic, the main difference between the men’s and women’s versions of the 2023 Versace DV One Automatic is the dial design. Whereas the women’s version goes for a more timeless dress watch look, the limited-edition men’s version of the DV One Automatic is sportier and uses a different layout for the hands. That includes the use of a subsidiary versus central seconds hand as well as a different movement. In general, the dial of the Versace DV One Automatic Gent’s watch is legible and functional. It has a luminant that allows you to read it in the dark (after being charged by light, of course) and a welcome high-contrast look. The dial is even given several layers of depth thanks to the recessed middle section and raised applied elements. All of this makes for a handsome and very un-Versace sense of visual sobriety. At times, I welcome the relatively classic dial, and at other times I want there to be a bit more Versace pizazz, such as on the hands that could have been designed with just the slightest bit more personality and boldness. Then again, this design overall is intended to be a compromise between classicism and Versace-ism, which helps explain the design choices.
Inside the Versace DV One Automatic men’s watch is a somewhat uncommon mid-range mechanical movement, a version of the Swiss Made Landeron caliber L24. The 4Hz, 40-hour power reserve movement has an architecture similar to ETA movements and provides the time with a subsidiary seconds dial and a date window complication. Versace opted for higher-grade L24 movements, which in this configuration are given blued screws and decorated bridge surfaces.
While there are many ceramic watches for men on the market today, to my knowledge, there aren’t many (or any) in this style or size for men that are currently available. The analog Chanel men’s J12 watch hasn’t been produced for nearly a decade, and ceramic men’s watches from most other brands aren’t the same size or style and often don’t include a matching ceramic bracelet (especially at this price point). That makes the Versace DV One Automatic men’s watch a bit special in the market circa 2023. People who want a design like this should give the Versace a good look since watches like this are not easy to find and you can easily spend many multiples of this price to get other luxury men’s watches in ceramic with matching bracelets.
Would I change anything about the Versace DV One Automatic for men? Overall, I like this watch and would only suggest minor alterations, outside of the longer discussion of the many movements that could be put into a watch like this. For one thing, I would experiment with slightly different dial colors. The stark white and steel tones of the hands and hour markers don’t perfectly fit the Versace theme to me. I would have liked to see these parts in perhaps a gold or bronze tone. As I mentioned above, I would also experiment with hour and minute hands that have slightly less conservative shapes to help emphasize the personality buyers tend to expect with Versace products. Then again, I keep having to remind myself that, for Versace, this is intended to be more conservative than most of its other watches. Finally, while I do like it when watches have their model names on the caseback, I don’t often think they need the model names on the dial. Accordingly, I am not sure if I would have left “DV One” on the dial, but that is a personal preference.
Both the blue and the black versions (as reviewed) of the Versace DV One Automatic Gent watches are limited to 1,000 pieces each. These watches are actually a fair price for what you get, even though they might immediately appear a bit expensive if you forget about the case plus bracelet material. What’s best about these watches is that given the scratch resistance of ceramic, they will probably look more or less the same 10 years from now as they do the day they are first unboxed. The price for the limited-edition black ceramic Versace DV One Automatic Gents watch is $3,595 USD. Learn more at the Versace website here. Also available via Saks Fifth Avenue.