Venturo Field Watch (By Gruppo Gamma)
6 years. That is about how long Gruppo Gamma has been in business and has now lead them to create a sister brand, Venturo Watches. I have reviewed countless watches from the brand over the years, almost every model I believe. Being a reviewer and editor of this site I have also spent a lot of time talking to the other of Gruppo Gamma watches, and while we live on opposite sides of the world, I consider him a friend and am proud of him and his team. Competition in the watch world is always fierce, so taking a gamble on creating another brand when you have been in business for under a decade is not an easy thing to do. Well, I shouldn’t say that you can create as many brands as you like, but will they be as popular or take off is the real question. The Venturo Field Watch is their first model, and it does take a lot of design cues from Gruppo Gamma, which was obviously intentional, to let potential customers know this is not a brand new company.
Venturo Field Watch Specifications:
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case
- 12.5mm Thick excluding 1.5mm Crystal
- 22mm Lug Width
- 50mm Lug to Lug
- Seiko NH35 Automatic Movement
- Sapphire Crystal
- 200 Meters Water Resistant
- Screw Down Crown
- Canvas Strap
Price $399 USD
Incorrectly in the video review, I stated the Venturo Field Watch uses the Gruppo Gamma Divemaster case, in fact, it is the Chrononaut case. Same dimensions, now a field watch instead of a dual compressor-style watch. Venturo borrowed another design element from one of the Gruppo watches, that would be the case back design of the Vanguard series. On the dial, it says Gruppo Gamma as well, again done on purpose so that people would know where this brand came from. That is the one issue I have though, does this watch stand out on its own, or is it all too familiar and is just a rebranded GG?
For those not aware, Gruppo Gamma started out with watches that were Panerai homages, and have evolved and continued evolving into something much more. At the present time, none of their current offerings look like their original models at all. Thing is, while this case design has been used before, Gruppo has never made a field watch, so this style was chosen to separate the brands while retaining that similar feel. Three colors are available, (blue, black and this cream lume dial), though check the website or dealers for up to date stock, as apparently this cream dial has been the most popular version. All are sandwich dials as well, with minimal dial text, allowing for an easy to read wristwatch. Looking at the website though, I think I prefer the blue or black dial, as there is just more contrast with those colors. This cream dial is a little flat for my tastes.
Keep in mind, this cream dial is just that, it is almost into the tan territory, and in some photos online, it is hard to pick that up. This is in no way a white dial, and it closely matches the tan canvas strap it comes with. While I do prefer the other colors available, this watch still looks good and is easy to read as a field watch should be. The one thing missing for me is military time, something that would have elevated the dial and added more functionality. That said, I love the date at the 6 o’clock position and syringe style hands just work here.
Venturo Field Watch Lume
Shown in this review are two straps, leather, and canvas, available in two sizes; 125/75mm and the longer ones shown here in 130/80mm. I think it is great that Venturo offers two sizes (just like Gruppo Gamma does, and in reality, these are the same straps that have been used on Gruppo Watches). While I do commend the sizes, I think I would like to see them a little further apart, maybe 125/75 for the smaller wrists and 140/90 for the larger wrists, though maybe they know their demographic, or maybe they know that no matter what, you can not please everyone. The canvas strap is included at the $399 price, but you’ll have to add $10 if you want the leather or $20 for a tropic style rubber. Both straps are well made and they pair well with this field watch.
To keep costs down, the movement is the Seiko NH35, an automatic movement I have discussed many times here as it is used by many microbrands in their lower-cost models. I have no idea what the future holds for Venturo watches or what the comanys plans are, but if they are going to keep the prices around the $400 mark, I would expect to see this movement in a lot of their watches. Right now, the brand seems like an experiment, so who knows what they will try. I think a field watch such as this with a quartz movement would not be a bad idea, if they could lower the cost even more and use a 10-year battery, it would be a great grab and go piece.
Drilled lugs for easy strap removal
When Gruppo hit the scene 6 years ago, they had an uphill battle for sure. These days, there is more competition than ever, and I never imagined they would have a sister brand already. The Venturo Field Watch is a good first offering, but I do hope with each new model they shed more of Gruppo Gamma and have their own identity in the watch world. I understand what they were doing for this first release, and it looks to have been a popular watch, at least as far as sales go. I truly have no idea what the plans are going forward, but I can say this is another well-made watch from the Singapore outfit, and these days at a much cheaper price than their parent company. What are your thoughts though? Sound off below the gallery.