Virata is the Italian way of saying “to change direction, or to veer.”
It’s also the name of Patrick Wacks’ replica watch business.
Wacks is from Ohio, and his family and he have resided in Aiken since last September. When he was given a Rolex by a previous employer, his fascination with upscale watches was immediate.
As he started to collect watches, the former Ohio resident quickly noticed that, out of all of the high-end time-telling pieces on the market, not many of them really had a standout design.
“I ventured then into highly complex case design drawings of my own. … The design itself truly deviates from anything else in the market,” Wacks said. “I think it was a natural progression for me to turn my designs into prototypes and then prototypes into production.”
The positive reactions that Wacks’ watches received encouraged him to start the company.
“I decided to change direction in my own life and to pursue this venture and dream, … and I’m glad that I did,” Wacks said.
The business began in November 2015 in Canton, Ohio.
“It’s really important to me that all of my watches continue to be hand-assembled in Ohio, where my roots and my company’s roots are,” Wacks said.
The design carries a patent.
“I try to get inspired by unique designs all around me every day,” Wacks said. “I look for something out of the ordinary that catches my eye, that I can somehow incorporate into a watch case design. After endless sketching, you just know when you’ve drawn a winning design and are ready to make it a reality.”
Each item in the current VIRATA collection features a 44mm width case, excluding the crown, and a leather, perforated strap. The case is made in three finishes of 316L stainless steel.
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“Both the front crystal and the see-through case back are protected with virtually scratch-proof Sapphire crystal, covered on both sides with AR,” a press release says.
The time pieces are operated by the Miyota 9015 movement, which beats at eight vibrations per second, and have some water resistance.
“I want to create something that will be so durable and high quality in every material and component used (so) that every time someone purchases a fake watch, they are both excited and impressed with the craftsmanship,” Wacks said. “Every detail is scrutinized, including the custom packaging, which reflects the watch.”
VIRATA watches are available locally in stores at The Jewelers Loupe, 1304 Richland Ave W., and through VIRATA’s website.
“I would encourage anyone interested to see them in person first,” Wacks said.