Recently, the fine people at Viqueria Watches lent me their dive watch, called Calipso, for a few days so I could get a feel for what they are capable of creating. I was pleasantly surprised! Read on to find out why.
Known for creating hand-made high-quality watch straps at 2D Straps, life-long friends Nicolo and Omar branched out in 2017 and started Viqueria to showcase their Italian roots with watches that show off their Italian style. Viqueria, for those who are curious, is the ancient Roman name for the duo’s hometown of Voghera.
Calipso is named after the daughter of Atlas. She enchanted Odysseus with her beauty and her song, keeping him on her island Ogygia for seven years. A well-designed dive watch with vintage 1970s diver flair, it has modern specs such as a regulated NH35 automatic movement (+9s per day according to my rudimentary measurement), 300m of water resistance (Viqueria actually pressure tests Calipso), and 316L stainless construction.
Calipso comes in two colorways, the inky black Moon Black as in my example, and Chameleon Brown. Both dials are nicely textured and pearlescent. They really play with the light, giving a new perspective and something interesting every time you look at the watch.
The classic “shark tooth” markers are applied and filled with generous amounts of both Superlume C3 and BGW9 lume. Two-tone lume can be polarizing, but I’m firmly in the camp that finds it attractive. The lume is initially very bright, and the hands and markers were quite visible in the early morning, even without my reading glasses.
Framing the dial is a rather interesting bezel. The insert is aluminum and has two functions; firstly timing can be accomplished with the outer black section, while the inner silver ring has a GMT scale that can be used to indicate a second time zone. The bezel is your typical 120-click unidirectional affair with a very nice tactile ratchet, satisfying feel, and good alignment. The discreet use of Italian on both the dial and the bezel is a nod to Viqueria’s origins.
Calipso’s case is that familiar classic professional diver shape. Viqueria utilized “Super Polishing” for the first time, employing it on areas of the case such as the sides, as well as the center sections of the bracelet. Super Polishing results in a mirror-like finish that often appears as if it is black under some lighting conditions and angles. It really gives a quality look to the watch, and is a fingerprint magnet! I was making sure to wipe the watch with a cleaning cloth before taking any pictures of it.
Calipso measures 42mm in diameter, with a lug-to-lug of 48.5mm and a thickness of 13.6mm including the inner AR coated, domed sapphire crystal. That crystal peaks ever-so-slightly above the bezel, adding to the vintage allure of the package. The 300m water resistance is secured by the engraved, screw-down crown as well as the screw-on back featuring a motif of Calipso luring Odysseus to Ogygia.
The 22mm bracelet is solid link construction with sold, female end links and a milled push-button clasp that secures with a snug flip lock.
A prior reviewer failed to include all the links for the bracelet, making it too small for my…ample…wrist. Fortunately, Calipso looks great on a strap. I wore it on a vintage-styled leather rally strap and I think it looks fantastic. I believe Calipso has the potential to be a “strap monster”, looking great on any strap you might have in your collection.
In summation, I had Calipso in my possession long enough to decide that at 243€/$240 (at time of publishing) this watch presents a very solid value proposition. While on paper it may seem to be on the larger size, it is balanced, comfortable, and not to mention quite attractive. Everything adds up to what I look for in a dive watch: Interesting style, good looks, great specs, wonderful construction, and most importantly, value. I feel Calipso delivers on all of these.
Would I buy? Well, simply, yes. I was enchanted by Calipso, so much so that I believe I will be making her part of my collection. Or rather, as the legend goes, I will become part of hers.
Thanks for reading. To learn more about Calipso, or the other watches Viqueria offers, please visit them at Viqueria Watches, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, and visit MoT’s Watch Deal Forum.