Nezumi is a Swedish label that has become a darling of the indie watch scene. It's beloved by those in the know for its premium chronograph watches that offer a contemporary twist on vintage design, drawing inspiration from classic timepieces of the 1960s and 1970s. Scroll on and read our review of the Nezumi Voiture VM1S to get an idea of how this Swedish-designed chronograph looks, feels and functions.
What's the story behind Nezumi?
Nezumi is the brainchild of Stockholm-based fashion designer, vintage car enthusiast and watch collector, David Campo. After a long career in fashion, he founded Nezumi Studios in 2011, originally as a clothing brand specialising in small batch Swedish-made selvedge denim jeans. It wasn't until 2015 that the first Nezumi watch was released – the Voiture (which translates to car in French), so named as an homage to the world of classic cars.
In 2021, to celebrate its 10th anniversary as a company, Nezumi re-released its first model, the car-inspired Voiture chronograph. The result is the Voiture VM1S, which comes in three tasteful colourways – blue, black and cream, of which a limited run of 100 each are available. Each Voiture VM1S is designed in Stockholm, assembled in Germany and powered by a Swiss movement.
Nezumi Voiture VM1S.101
- Movement:Swiss Sellita SW510 Mb manual wound, no date
- Power reserve:58 hours
- Glass:Double domed sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside
- Case:Brushed/polished 316L stainless steel
- Case height:12.6mm
- Diameter: 40mm excluding crown
- Lug to lug: 47mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Water resistance:5 ATM (50 metres)
- Strap: Jubilee bracelet
Reasons to buy
- Easy to read at night, thanks to lumed indices
- Clear and legible dial
- Comfortable stainless steel bracelet
Things to consider
- Better for thicker wrists
The Voiture VM1S measures 40mm across, with a lug length of 47mm, a lug width of 20mm, and a case height of 12.6mm (plus 1.9mm at the domed crystal centre point). While that may sound rather bulky, I found that the curvy case shape – the lugs curve downwards – makes the watch seem somewhat slimmer than it is. This said, I think it's ideal for thicker wrists, or those who want to make a bit of a statement with a watch that offers presence. The finish alternates between brushed and polished, a unique combination that elevates the character of the watch. A sleek jubilee style bracelet ups the sophistication and offers year-round comfort.
My favourite aspect of the watch is the retro-inspired dial, which harkens back to the funky racing styles of the seventies. The matte dial combines muted tones of blue and cream (with a welcome pop of orange in the form of the seconds hand) and boasts a nice sense of depth, thanks to the sunken sub-dials and applied markers. A double-domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating adds to the retro look. A clean and legible dial design overall.
Traditionally, Nezumi has used quartz movements in its chronograph watches, but after many requests from dedicated Nezumi fans for a mechanical version, the company took heed. To mark Nezumi's 10-year anniversary, the brand released its first mechanical chronograph, the Voiture VM1S. The Swiss-made Sellita cal. SW510 Mb manually wound, no-date chronograph movement was chosen for its reliability and relative affordability. It has 23 jewels, a 4Hz beat rate, and a 58-hour power reserve. If you're after the quality of a Swiss-made movement but don't want to break the bank, this could be the watch for you.
Nezumi may not have as much clout in the watch industry as some of the heavy hitting luxury labels, but definitely don't underestimate this fledgling company. I was seriously impressed with the quality of the Voiture VM1S, especially considering its reasonable price point. Key to the brand is its relaxed ethos and personable approach, which I really appreciate. Nezumi is less focused on pumping out model after model than it is on really honing its designs and doing the best job it possibly can. If you appreciate great design and thoughtful watchmaking, this is a watch for you.