Boldr makes quite the variety of watches, and even makes many different variants of the Venture. This Boldr Venture Field Medic is one of their Meca-Quartz options, and as such, has a pretty low price tag. The one you see in this review is the camo dial (you can see it right?), and starts at $299. Other dial colors are available though, so if camo is not your deal, make sure to check out the Boldr Website. These Field Medic versions have a few options for timing using the 60-minute chronograph and graduated markings around the dial. The entire case is bead blasted titanium and comes standard on a Nato strap, and you can purchase an optional titanium bracelet. At 38mm, this watch is smaller sized and extremely lightweight, something many seem to be looking for these days.
Case: 38mm Titanium Case
Movement: Japanese SII VK64
Water Resistance: 200m (660ft) / 20ATM
Crown: Screw-down crown with custom embossed BOLDR logo
Dial: Custom camo dial with Japan Superlume
Hands: Custom hands with Japan Superlume
Lens: Flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Strap: Nylon NATO strap with custom titanium buckles
Case Thickness: 12.2mm
Lug size: 20mm
Lug to lug: 44mm
Weight: 41 Grams (Head only) 55 grams on Nato, 85 on bracelet
Case Back: Screw-down case back with embossed limited edition designer artwork
Price $299 on Nato, $109 for option Titanium Bracelet
At 38mm, the Boldr Venture Field Medic (and the rest of the Venture line) is part of the growing trend of sub-40mm watches, a trend that is not limited to just microbrands, but I do feel I see more microbrands pushing the smaller sizes versus mainstream brands, like Hamilton as an example, who just released a 43mm Khaki Scuba. Boldr does make many other models that are much larger in size (Odyssey 45mm), so it is not like they are just making smaller sized watches and nothing else, but I bring this up because of how many sub-40mm watches are being released and the amount of WIS who comment constantly on groups and forums for smaller watches. I guess the big watches or more specifically the oversized watches (45mm or more is what I consider oversized, but everything is subjective, so don’t think I am knocking the large watches with that statement) trend is a thing of the past, and the small wrists are getting their time in the sun.
The case shape has that vintage look and hooded lug look-I say look because the way the case just drops off straight down gives the appearance of hooded lugs, but bracelets and straps attach normally and are not hidden by the lugs. Speaking of lugs, the sides of the case are drilled, so you can use a pin tool to remove the straps easily, and this watch uses standard spring pins here. Being 200m water-resistant, the familiar crown does screw down and the pushers have that mechanical click that comes along with a VK64 Meca-Quartz movement.
One thing I have realized since completing the video review is that I mention this watch feels really small for me. I think it’s more due to the case shape than the 38mm diameter. Why? The dial opening is very small, about 30mm, and there is a lot of case and bezel area. I think a more traditional round case design where the watch is more dial than the case would feel different to me, but more on that in a bit. Because this case is titanium and blasted on top of it (as is the bracelet), you need to be okay with light scratches that are undoubtedly going to happen. No hard coating or anything here, so keep that in mind.
Obviously, a camofluage dial is not for everyone. I happen to love it, but I also wear or have something on me that is camouflage daily, and as I stated earlier, you have a choice of dial colors with the Boldr Venture Field Medic, but I feel the camo dial is special not only because of the colors, but also the pattern. When you take a closer look, you can see the camo colors are a mix of sunburst and matte finish and how they look like separate pieces applied to the dial base. Being a Field Medic, there are some special features on the dial, meant to help out first responders on the job. Now, I am going, to be honest, I imagine something digital like a G-Shock would be better suited to a First Responder, just easier to use and read, and you would be able to measure a longer distance of time, though not sure how important that would be to a paramedic who is most likely working with seconds and minutes.
So, when you press the top pusher, it activates the Chrono and the secondhand starts its journey around the dial, and you can keep track of up to 60 minutes. The other subdial will be your 24 hour time. I have no issue saying I have no idea how to use the graduated heart and respiratory graduated markings on the outer right edge of the dial, but if you are smarter than I or actually a first responder, I am sure you will. With the small dial opening and the small sub-dials, I think the dial is a little more gimmick and less functional, but that’s just my opinion. I do think telling standard time is a little easier due to the use of steel and white hands, as they pop against the colored dial.
A standard purchase will get you the Nato strap. This one here comes army green, but a grey or black or even blue would work as well. I am not big on Natos, but it fits me just fine and with lots of room for a much bigger wrist. For those not familiar, my wrist is 7 1/2 inches. I had Boldr send along with the titanium bracelet because with this case design and lugs, I just feel a bracelet really completes the look, and for testing it out, I much preferred to wear it on the bracelet vs the strap. The bracelet is nothing overly special, but it is lightweight, matches the exact finish of the case, uses screws to hold the links, a push-button safety clasp and it tapers slightly to 18mm from 20mm at the lugs. For me, the bracelet is the way to go, but if you love a Nato or have plenty of 20mm straps lying around, you can save yourself $100 and skip the bracelet altogether.
Custom artwork adorns the case back of the Boldr Venture Field Medic and as you can see, it resembles the medic symbol, but this artwork is laser engraved, so nothing will be digging into your wrist. The surface is blasted and smooth and very comfortable.
One area of disappointment would be the lume. Now, you may think I am crazy if you have already seen the picture below or have seen this photo posted on our Instagram, but the Field Medic was charged for about 20 seconds using a UV light and I captured it at its best, much like you would do with a model-best lighting, best pose, best everything. And it is true, when fully charged, for about the first 40 seconds or so, it looks awesome, but it starts to go downhill from there and that dual lume around the dial is almost unreadable after a few minutes. If you are only concerned with telling the time at a glance, about 2-3 hours later, the hands are still glowing, not this bright of course, but if you go to bed at 10 and wake up around 4 am, don’t expect to be able to read the time in the dark. Check out the video to see how quickly the lume fades.
I can’t fault much about the Boldr Venture Field Medic, especially at the $299 price point. I would prefer another standard strap option, maybe leather or a topic, and yes, the lume issue has been well discussed, but all in all, I do really like this watch. The size is too small for me, but that isn’t a shot against the watch and many will love the smaller size and the camo dial is one of the best I have seen. Boldr (Leon)-If you are reading, please, use this camo pattern in an Expedition model. Man, that would be hot. I imagine many won’t be using the timing features of this watch either, but the dial is fun, the case shape and overall aesthetic great, and in the world of watches, it is relatively affordable.
Boldr I believe is still donating a portion of the proceeds to help with Covid-19 efforts, read up on their site if you are interested in that aspect. If you want to save yourself some coin on this or any Boldr product, do yourself a favor and hover on the site for a min, a $30 off coupon will pop up and I have seen some coupon codes available on google as well, so look around to get the best price, that is if you are interested in buying one. As for me, and this review, you know the deal. I am not here to sell a watch, I review them, and as usual, I hope you enjoyed this one.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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