Vratislavia Conceptum is a young watch brand from Poland based in Wroclaw city. You could have heard about the brand earlier thanks to their Heritage Chrono series. It’s a nice sporty quartz chronograph watch, which started as a forum project at zegarkiclub.pl. The model received so much attention from the watch community that currently 4th edition of the watch is being produced. That interest kept the company going and resulted in completely different models being released. At the time of writing this review Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 is already released and sent to everyone who preordered the watch, and another project, Formmeister Bauhaus style watch, is being assembled, as all the parts are already manufactured. It’s a clear sign that we have a new active player on the field of micro brand watch companies.
Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 is a military styled watch, a tribute to a Polish pistol with the same name, which was produced in Radom, Poland since 1935. I admit, I’m not a firearm guy so if you are interested in the history of this unit you can start off with wikipedia. Here is a short quote from the Vratislavia website:

The inspiration to create a VIS1935.X watch was Polish automatic pistol VIS wz.35 also called “Radom” Pistol. The cult weapon, of great historical interest for Poles and Poland. The gun was used in a defensive fight in the Second World War. This weapon is regarded today to be one of the most successful designed pistol, was characterized by high accuracy and durability. Watch case was coated with a special DLC coating having as faithfully as possible correspond with oxide coating on the gun. Watch caseback has been enhanced with a pad which have identical knurling like on the plates of the VIS pistol handles.

On the other hand, I’m a watch guy so lets dive into the watch details instead.

Packaging

Vratislavia Conceptum pays much attention to the packaging of their watches. VIS comes in a really nice cardboard box with Vratislavia logo and a green sleeve with a drawing of a VIS pistol on the outside. In the box we will find some nice foam padding which ensures that the watch is safe during transportation. Underneath the padding we will find the watch itself and short user manual in a form of a leaflet. It’s printed on a really nice and thick brown paper which looks as if it came straight from 1930’s. It’s small things like that which make the product complete. Great job there.

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS packaging

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS packaging

Case, crown, caseback, crystal, bezel

The case of the Vratislavia Conceptum VIS is a really interesting creature. It’s 43mm diameter and 50mm lug to lug chunk of stainless steel. The case is also 15mm tall including the bezel. Although the case is chunky, it wears really well on the wrist due to short lug to lug distance. On the left side of the case you will find a number of limitation. My model is 97th out of 350. The case has a black DLC coating but it’s not your usual coating. It’s been designed to look like a firearm which has seen some action, and they got it just right. It looks like it’s been worn off by the passing years. It’s got that vintage look but it looks really classy. It’s hard to describe in words, especially because I bet you haven’t seen anything like that on a timepiece. On the other hand, I can imagine it’s not something that will appeal to everyone but if you enjoy your tool watches, there is a high chance that you will love it.
Another interesting touch is the crown. Yeah, you got it right, it looks just like a tip of a bullet. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how it was made but I believe it’s a stainless steel crown with a gold rose coating. Despite being almost entirely polished, the crown is actually quite easy to grip and operate. The bullet like crown is protected by the crown guards protruding from the watch case. Moreover, it screws down since the watch is 200m water resistant. Not too shabby for a non-diver watch.

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS crown

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS crown

The watch is full of little things that make it interesting. The caseback is no different here. It’s a stainless steel screw down case back (by the way, there is no DLC coating on this one). And this is where things are getting interesting. The caseback has a black polycarbonate insert installed in it. In the middle of the insert there is Vratislavia Conceptum logo stylized to VIS pistol logo. Furthermore, that black insert has nice texture to it, which resembles a texture of a pistol grip. Again, I haven’t seen anything like that on a timepiece before.

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS caseback

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS caseback

Dial of the watch is protected by a domed crystal. It’s not a sapphire unfortunately. It’s a mineral crystal with blue/purple anti reflecting coating on the inside. This is the weakest point on the watch in my opinion. And not because it’s a mineral crystal. It’s protected by the fixed bezel and does not protrude above its level so I wouldn’t worry that it will scratch easily. My main complaint is the AR coating actually. It simply doesn’t do its job. Instead of lowering reflections, it increases them. Not to the point that it’s hard to read the time but you can easily use it as a portable mirror at times. It makes the dial busy and create some interesting visual effects, which my appeal to some. On the other hand, it makes it really hard to take a nice picture of the watch because of all the reflections you are getting. I also noticed some minor quality control issue. There is a small speck of dust on the inside of the crystal in my watch. It’s not a big deal but I like to mention such issues, it seems fair to me.
As I briefly mentioned, the watch is equipped with a bezel protecting the crystal and the dial. It’s a fixed bezel with some nice knurling at 9 and 3 o’clock. Again, it’s a nod to a pistol design. There is no other markings on the bezel whatsoever, which gives it a clean and tool look.

Dial, hands, lume

The dial on Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 is beautifully made. Altogether, there are 6 variants: black, brown, and green all with date or no date options. The one I got is black dial version with no date. It’s the most conservative of them all but it looks fabulous either way. It’s a sandwich type dial with numbers 12, 3, 6, 9 cut out as well as 12 hour marks in form of small dots. The numbers have really interesting font to it, it’s not another Panerai copy. You can clearly see that Vratislavia pays much attention to all the details of the watch. The lower part of the dial I covered with beige lume, which doesn’t glow strong nor long but we will get to that in a moment.

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS dial

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS dial

Besides sandwich style numbers and dots, there is also some printing on the dial. Beneath the 12 o’clock marker you can spot a grey logo of Vratislavia Conceptum and above the 6 o’clock there is a model name – VIS 1935.0. At the bottom of the dial there is company name printed with a small font. All the printing is nice and crisp, and what’s more important, it doesn’t steer your attention away from the watch itself.
The handset on this watch is a typical military pencil style set. Probably it’s the only standard looking thing on this watch. And I think it’s for the best because pencil hands work really well with the military style of the watch. Hands have the same golden shiny feel to them as the crown and reflect light beautifully under certain angle. They are filled with the same beige lume as the dial markers. It’s also worth mentioning that the tip of the seconds hand is also covered in the same beige lume.

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 lume

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 lume

Speaking of which, if you are after lume in this type of watch, I have to say you are going to be disappointed. Lume is quite weak even after charging it with a sunlight or a flashlight and it doesn’t glow long neither. Of course, you can get some nice lumeshots with long exposures but bear in mind it doesn’t look the same in person. Personally, I don’t mind the weak lume, it’s not a diver’s watch after all.

Movement

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 is powered but extremely popular TM NH35A automatic movement by Seiko. It’s 21 600 beats per hour movement with 41 hours of power reserve with hacking and hand winding options, a true workhorse as we tend to speak. It’s worth mentioning that all movements for VIS were tested by watchmaker in Poland and adjusted if needed to. Again, it shows how much attention the manufacturer pays to his offering.

Straps

VIS is shipped on a 22mm canvas strap with a DLC black buckle. The colour of the strap depends on which dial version you choose. Basically, you get a strap that matches your dial, for black dial you get the black strap, for brown dial you get the brown strap, and of course for green dial you get the green/olive canvas strap. I have to say that I’m quite disappointed with the strap actually because it’s too short for my wrist. I have 7.5 inch wrist and I was barely able to strap it on leaving only 2 holes left. As a result, I immediately searched for other options. I tried the Isofrane strap that way laying in my drawer and it turned out to be a great match. Because the watch is quite chunky, it need a thick strap to balance the overall look of the watch. Isofrane is quite thick and it complements the watch head perfectly in my opinion. Of course, when I posted some photos of my combo on watch forums people were like “what the hell, rubber on a VIS, you are a mad man!” Well, I like it and it’s all that counts. A nice and thick leather strap would also work really well with this watch, however, I didn’t have anything I could try. On more note here, keep in mind that there is not much space between the spring bar and the case, which means you might have problems fitting a thicker strap. I didn’t have trouble putting Isofrane on but I read that some people did have troubles with putting their leather straps.

Vratislavia Conecptum VIS

Vratislavia Conecptum VIS

Conclusions

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 is an interesting watch for various reasons. First of all, it’s a tribute to Polish history and the famous pistol. This fact alone could attract many people to this watch. Furthermore, manufacturer of VIS has come up with some really neat design choices, starting with unusual DLC coating and going to bullet like crown or a polycarbonate caseback insert. On top of that, it’s just a solid timepiece with a great value for your money. Watch is priced at 1200 PLN, which is approximately $300. For that price you get a nice package coupled with an automatic Seiko movement. I think it’s a steal.
Vratislavia Conceptum proved that is not a one watch company. They got some really interesting ideas for their watches and they are not afraid to make them a reality. I believe they found their place in the watch market and they are going to surprise us with more interesting designs. Meanwhile, I’m really looking forward to seeing their upcoming Formmeister watch, which also looks promising.
Pros:
+ interesting design (DLC coating, caseback, crown)
+ tribute to Polish history
+ great value for money
+ beautiful sandwich dial
+ adjusted Seiko movement
Cons:
– very reflective crystal
– stock strap will be too short for many
– small QC issues (i.e. speck of dust under the crystal)

7.0 Good

Vratislavia Conceptum VIS 1935.0 is an interesting watch for various reasons. First of all, it’s a tribute to Polish history and the famous pistol. This fact alone could attract many people to this watch. Furthermore, manufacturer of VIS has come up with some really neat design choices, starting with unusual DLC coating and going to bullet like crown or a polycarbonate caseback insert. On top of that, it’s just a solid timepiece with a great value for your money. Watch is priced at 1200 PLN, which is approximately $300. For that price you get a nice package coupled with an automatic Seiko movement. I think it’s a steal.

  • Design 7
  • Quality 6
  • Value 8
  • User Ratings (3 Votes) 8.7
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About Author

Watch enthusiast who loves to take photos of his watches, blogger, and founder of Lug2Lug.