Portland in the American state of Oregon might not be your first answer when you think of centres of watchmaking. For VERO Watch Company, however, the location is key to all that they do. Every VERO watch is designed to thrive in the rugged outdoors that is one of the primary passions of this part of the world.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream? You'll want a VERO watch on your wrist as a faithful companion. All of this built-in toughness is the result of more than Vero's location. Founder Chris Boudreaux is a keen triathlete and that means VERO's Workhorse and Open Water collections are exactly as their names suggest: designed for your calm everyday, and also ready for when that everyday involves mountains and streams.
Construction is, highly unusually, in Portland itself. The idea of VERO is that as much work as possible on each watch is done in-house. That's meant in VERO's first releases - the Workhorse series, for example - that watches are assembled, serviced and regulated at VERO HQ in Portland itself. As Chris Boudreaux puts it, "the fully US stainless steel cases have a unique weight and feel to them, and the mechanical movement has its own, balanced weight".
Swiss manufacture is used for parts of some series of watches. Open Water timepieces are assembled in Oregon by VERO's technicians but, as the company puts it, "the Open Water is the first series where we haven’t milled our own cases and dials in house”. VERO are refreshingly straightforward about every aspect of the manufacturing process. Each timepiece is hand-finished in Portland.
The result - in all the watches that VERO release - is a sense of the bespoke. "Part of our story," Boureaux has told interviewers, "is the transparency and openness of who our partners are and what we do and don’t do. With every watch, the packaging (which is all done locally in Portland), has an infographic of the watch. So what each part of the watch is, what it’s made of, and where it’s made. That’s pretty unique to us."
The look and style of VERO watches is as particular as the location of their crafting. Functionality brings its own rugged beauty in whichever of their timepieces is your choice. You might never need to ford a stream or indeed to climb every mountain, but it's good to know that should you need to, your personal VERO watch will be right with you.