Vaer D4 Meridian Solar Diver Review

An affordable and attractive solar quartz dive watch

There is no denying that mechanical watches have captured our hearts in a way that quartz watches cannot quite come close to. With that said, quartz watches have a soul all their own and bring some much-needed affordability to the enthusiast watch space. Some brands realize this and offer both mechanical and quartz options of some of their models.

Vaer have fully embraced this and offer quartz counterparts to a lot of their offerings. The Vaer D4 is not only a perfect entry into the brand itself, but also into watches in general. It is affordable, good-looking, and brings the same level of quality and features as its mechanical cousins. Let’s take a closer look at the D4 Meridian Solar Diver.


On the Wrist

This was my first experience with Vaer watches outside briefly looking at them at Wind Up a few years ago. I didn’t remember how they were on the wrist, and I certainly did not have the opportunity to size it. Once I sized the bracelet, I was pleasantly surprised with how the D4 felt on the wrist. It sank into the top of my wrist which brought the total case height (including the crystal) of 12.7mm down to a lovely wrist-to-crystal measurement of 10mm.


I have a habit of looking at watches on my wrist from the side of my wrist to see how the lugs turn down to hug my wrist. The D4 not only looks like it was custom-made for my wrist, but it also has a beautiful side profile. I’ll discuss the case design more in a few minutes, but Vaer did a great job in taking a classic case design and making it their own.


Everything about the D4 feels solid, tactile, and satisfying from an on-wrist perspective. The bracelet features a 20mm to 18mm taper, the bezel action is tight, and the crown is large and easy to use (not that you’ll be using it a ton). It isn’t an easy task, although it should be, to nail these things for a watch to feel great on the wrist. With Vaer bridging the gap between a microbrand and a larger traditional brand, you can see and feel where their ability in crafting a solid watch has been refined.


The D4 is about as grab-and-go as you can get. It features a solar quartz movement so unless you tuck it away in a drawer for 6 months, it will always be ticking when you want to wear it. Vaer also omitted the date from the D4 so no need to worry about that, either. The movement does feature a date wheel so there is a ghost date position, but this doesn’t bother me considering it is quartz and I don’t need to set the time every time I wear it.


Dial Details

Much to my delight, Vaer went for the simple approach for the dial of the D4. It has a simple yet effective layout which seems to be something a lot of brands have trouble executing. Their branding is at 12 o’clock with the water resistance rating and USA Assembled at 6 o’clock. They’re bragging about the right things at the bottom of the dial and leaving it at that.


The markers and hands are all gilt and while gold isn’t always my thing, I found it to work here. Perhaps it is the dark blue dial or the lack of any fauxtina, but I didn’t find the gold as offensive as I do on other watches. You heard it here first, a watch with gold on it that I would actually consider purchasing. This is all placed on top of a dark blue sunburst dial. The sunburst is beautiful, especially when you can see the subtle grain texture on the dial.


The D4 has a dichotomy going on regarding the legibility. The gilt hands and markers shine brightly and contrast with the dark blue dial, which makes the watch easily readable. However, the double domed crystal creates a mountain of reflections. At a quick glance, it is easy to check the time and move on. When I was in brighter lighting (like outside on a sunny day), I found that the reflections could be distracting. With that said, I didn’t find it to be a deal breaker, but I would love to see how this watch would look with a flat crystal, especially given the vintage aesthetic the D4 is going for.


The bezel of the D4 is solid and frankly better than I was expecting. The 120 clicks all feel solid and have a nice punchy click to them. It is easy to grip thanks to the knurling and how much the bezel overhangs the case. You can grip the bezel from any position and get a good grip on it. The only negative thing I can say about the bezel is that the lume pip on this example was ever-so-slightly misaligned. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t notice it until someone commented on one of my photos about it, so there’s that. The bezel printing is perfectly aligned to the dial.


Case & Bracelet

Most of Vaer’s dive watches carry twisted lyre lugs and the D4 is no exception. This lug design is one of my favorites because it creates contrasting areas of finishing that are pleasing to look at. It also adds dimension to the case that you typically don’t get with traditional lug designs. The lugs don’t turn down dramatically, but the design gives the effect that they do.


The polished chamfer is wide and goes the entire length of the case…or dare I say it? Lug to lug. This chamfer creates an inward angle at the top of the case that slopes in towards the bezel, which gives it the grip I discussed above. Vaer mirrors this angle below the chamfer on the bottom of the case as well. This creates an illusion that the case is smaller than it is and takes up less real estate on the wrist. It is a clever design that is comfortable and visually appealing.


Vaer is adept at creating multiple entry points into their brand. If you like their watches but don’t want to spend a fortune, Vaer has many ways for this to happen. The D4 comes standard on a tropic rubber strap, and you can select a second strap. Their nylon straps are no extra charge. A leather strap will add around $90, which isn’t worth it when you can get their “standard” bracelet for $10 less. This version of the D4 came on their “premium” steel bracelet which is still $20 less than the leather strap. This is a bit confusing, and I would encourage you to click through the options on their website. The bottom line is the premium bracelet is the way to go.

The premium bracelet gives you screwed links and a push button, foldover clasp. Those upgrades are worth the upcharge over the standard and all in all, it’s a nice bracelet. The links articulate well; the clasp is attractive and balances the watch well on the wrist. I wouldn’t mind seeing Vaer introduce a bracelet with chamfered edges to complement the lugs, but we can’t have everything, can we? I would really love to see Vaer switch from male endlinks and use female endlinks on their bracelets. The male endlinks create a slightly awkward look on the wrist because of how the links fall away from the endlink. It would also increase the comfort and perceived lug-to-lug of the watch.


The tropic strap is nothing to write home about, but it is comfortable. The strap and bracelet are both quick-release, so it was easy to change between the two without breaking out the springbar tools.

Final Thoughts

In a world where everyone is trying to figure out what the best affordable automatic dive watch is now that the SKX is gone, Vaer is hard at work giving an answer to that question if you remove the automatic part. The D4 is one of the best quartz dive watches I’ve come across. It isn’t boring and has some real thought put into the case design. There are more expensive automatic dive watches that aren’t doing it.

Are there a couple things I’d change? Sure. But what watch doesn’t have some things you’d want to change? My only real concern on the entire watch was the slightly misaligned lume pip, but I would still recommend this watch even if I knew every one of them had that issue. The D4 is affordable, packs a great feature set, and if you’re looking to go beyond what the D4 offers, Vaer has you covered in spades.

Check out more dive watch reviews at The Watch Clicker

Check out the Vaer website

Vaer D4 Specs

Case Width





Lug Width

59g (Watch head)



Bracelet & Tropic Rubber Strap

Water Resistance

Super-LumiNova X1 C1


Epson VS22 Solar


*Height of the watch from the wrist to the top of the crystal

More Images of the Vaer D4

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