Versace has a lot more legitimacy in producing wristwatches than some give the Italian fashion house credit for. While Timex Group Luxury Division (with design based in Milan and headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland) designs and manufactures Versace watches, my understanding is that Timex actually formed that company out of Veritime, which is a watchmaking firm originally founded by Versace itself. The relationship between the partners has been very good ever since, with Versace being able to offer a broad range of often very funky wristwatches that are not ultra-high-luxury priced or particularly pretentious. Of key importance is that Timex Luxury is based in Switzerland and Italy works very closely with the brands it makes watches for (which also includes Ferragamo). More recently, Versace DV One Automatic Watch has been trying to focus a bit more on enthusiast appeal, in addition to Versace-branded watches primarily meant to appeal to clothing shoppers who are already making purchases in boutiques. This DV One product is one of these more enthusiast-leaning Versace watches, and it is primarily intended for women. Versace first introduced the DV One watch collection in 2005, and since then, the DV One model has had a lot of forms and a lot of movements. The relaunched 2023 DV One debuts in one 36mm wide case size that comes in one of three colors. Each of the new Versace DV One Automatic Watch has a mostly ceramic case with a matching ceramic bracelet, and the tones it is offered in are black, pink, and white (as photographed). In a lot of ways, it is correct to say that this generation DV One (not the first ceramic model) is a Versace response to the very popular Chanel J12 (which was first introduced in around 2000, I believe). Even though this is the new DV One, it feels a lot more restrained and classic than earlier models. Versace and its watch designers made some very deliberate choices about making sure much of the watch’s design was “familiar.” On top of that familiar watch platform is built some Versace brand elements. This combination of distinctive Versace brand visuals, and underlying classic watch is the formula upon which the DV One seems to be based. Given the taste of our time, this approach has a lot of merit. The DV One isn’t the latest wristwatch art imagined by a progressive-thinking fashion house. Rather, it is a Versace watch meant to look as though it has been around for years and attempts to marry the hallmarks of established good taste with the lifestyle appeal of Versace.
The most risque design element of the Versace DV One Automatic Watch is the fully-engraved Versace “maze pattern” (“Greca”) ceramic bezel. Versace has experimented with implementing this brand-distinctive Greca texture on its watches in many ways, but this style on the DV One feels particularly successful. For the most part, this is the only serious Versace styling cue on the DV One watch aside from the graphic Versace medusa head logo, as well as the text-based Versace logo (which, yes, is printed a bit larger on the dial than most other watches might do — we have to give allowances for this to be an Italian design, right?). Versace’s Medusa head logo makes an appearance both as the applied gold-toned 12 o’clock hour marker, as well as the ceramic cabochon insert in the gold-toned steel crown. This latter design element is a bit tricky to notice – as in white the details of this cabochon are hard to see. Given that most crowns and accompanying cabochons tend to be round or at least symmetrical, at first it might look as though the DV One’s crown has been damaged. Upon closer inspection, however, you realize that there is a tiny Medusa head logo even there. It certainly is fun and adds more personality to the watch overall. Otherwise, the dial is very classic (again, on purpose) with applied baton-style hour markers, dauphine-style hands, and a flange ring that contains small bits of luminant painted on it (about the same as the small amount painted in the middle of the hour and minute hands). The dial also has a date indicator window at the 3 o’clock position. The DV One case is 36mm wide, making it on the large side for a woman’s watch and on the small size for a men’s watch. I do think there will be plenty of men who can wear a black or even white Versace DV One if they like the size, especially, as there is nothing inherently feminine about the design. The ceramic case (which is water resistant to 50 meters and has a sapphire crystal over the dial) comes paired with a matching ceramic bracelet. The bracelet is meant to look like a three-link but is really a single-link, so it looks nice but doesn’t wrap as finely around the wrist as a bracelet with more articulation might. The bracelet closes with a butterfly-style deployant. This generation Versace DV One isn’t the first automatic model, but they are relatively uncommon in this style for women from the brand. You can see the automatic mechanical movement through the window on the otherwise steel caseback. The movement inside of the DV One is still pretty uncommon being the Swiss Made Ronda R150.2. The R150 family of movements came out around 2015 and was Ronda’s answer to being able to offer a Swiss Made automatic movement at scale, that was able to be purchased for less than what an ETA might cost you (if a brand can get an ETA in the first place, that is). Ronda is mostly known for quartz movements, but the company has competency in mechanical movements, as well. The R150 operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve. They are decently made and intended mostly for entry-level luxury mechanical watches.
No “One” Versace watch can please everyone, and yet I think Versace did its best here to have a crowd-pleasing timepiece. The Versace DV One Automatic Watch is admittedly good-looking, easy to read, very fashionably versatile, and comfortable. It isn’t going to win any originality contests, but that isn’t what Versace was going for here. My instincts tell me that this model will actually sell well, and I look forward to polling Versace about it in the coming months. On the sensitive topic of price, Versace timepieces have never offered the most aggressive pricing. Accordingly, cost is an area where the DV One will have to work the hardest to compete.