AEVUM Apex hands-on review
This is the first time that I cover AEVUM, and before going into the details about the Apex, let me start by giving you a bit of background info on this Canadian microbrand. Bryan Farquharson, the founder, is an avid automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for 70’s to 90’s Japanese cars. What do you think a guy like him was doing for a living? For several years, he was a Toyota mechanic, I can’t think of a better job for him. What was he driving to work? Bryan was the proud owner of a 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-Apex Panda, but when he moved to Japan with his wife, he had to sell his dream ride. It was back in Japan that he picked up leathercraft as a hobby, and since 2011, Bryan has been making custom watch straps, but he wanted to take it even further by producing a line of watches that would appeal to car enthusiasts. To quote him,
The goal of AEVUM is to produce great quality and affordable timepieces for all petrolheads.
And here comes AEVUM’s debut model, the Apex, that got its name, as Bryan explained it to me, from the clipping point of a racetrack corner. Following the apex line allows the car to achieve the quickest time in and out of a corner. The 1st lap edition is limited to 50 pieces with silver and 50 with black dials and after they are sold out, these colour pairs won’t come back. When lending the silver dial version for this review, Bryan asked me to pick a leather strap, a silicon strap and a NATO strap from his store, because this is how the Apex is sold, buyers can pick from a wide selection of hand-made straps.
The watch arrived in a branded EVA carry case that because of its carbon-fiber imitation surface immediately made me think of car racing. I really like the EVA case as a solution, especially when it comes to a tool watch, it’s a great idea to make the presentation case practical too, instead of a box that will collect dust. Inside the watch was carefully arranged in a compartment and next to it, there was the two extra straps and the strap changing tool. The warranty card is actually made from carbon fibre, another racing clue.
The Apex reminds me the Hamilton Pan-Europ Auto, the barrel-shaped cushion case, the large angled chapter ring with notches that make the place for the applied indexes, the red second hand. I would not go as far as to say that it’s an homage, there are quite many differences and I don’t mind these similarities, after all, the Pan-Europ is one of my favourite watches, and it’s not a bad source of inspiration.
The case has a diameter of 42 mm and it’s 47 mm from lug-to-lug, with a height of 11 mm which makes it easily wearable. The surface of the case is brushed, offering a nice contrasting background for the polished bezel ring. The Apex is water resistant up to 100 meters (330ft) because of the watch gaskets sealing the back and the screw-down crown. The crown itself is placed between two crown protectors, but because of its size, I had not difficulty unscrewing and winding the watch.
The 120 click unidirectional rotating bezel has a firm and precise click, I’m very impressed, no wiggle at all. I really like that it has hour markings instead of minutes, this way the Apex can keep track of two time zones when travelling, which I find it to be a lot more suitable for an everyday user than measuring dive time.
The dial is protected by a flat sapphire crystal. The silver dial features a sunburst texture offering a lot of fun when checking the time and light bounces back in different ways depending on the angle. It is surrounded by a large white chapter ring with minute marks and notches for the hour indexes. Between 12 and 3 o’clock, the minutes are marked with red, another subtle hint to racing cars. The hour indexes are polished black, the hour and minute hands too are black, and they are all filled with lume. The contrast is fantastic! The Apex is easy to read, from every angle and in any lighting condition. The lume is used strategically and it works great!
The solid back of the watch is decorated with the drawing of a corner on a track, illustrating the racing line and the apex point. Under the hood, you will find beating an automatic Seiko NH35A, offering about 40-hours of power reserve.
You can’t get bored by a watch that comes with three straps. The AEVUM store is offering two packages: Entry that comes only with a NATO strap for $298 CAD ($224 USD), and the Enthusiast that comes with three straps for $348 CAD ($261 USD). For the extra $50 CAD, you get two extra straps that were designed for this watch. As you see, the Apex was priced to offer a fantastic value for your buck.
The black, white and red colour combo is the hallmark of the 1st lap, the first edition of the Apex. I’m curious to see, what will come next because this colour combo won’t be easy to beat.
Petrolhead or not, the Apex is a fun watch to wear. For a debut model, I’m very impressed by the attention to details, there was nothing overlooked, from the buckle(s) to the crown, or the packaging, everywhere I would look, I could find the marks of a meticulous craftsman. Well done AEVUM, keep up the good work!