The Venturo Skindiver is the third watch from the young upstart brand. Well, that’s not true though, as Venturo, for those that are not aware, is a brand under the umbrella of Gruppo Gamma. Originally the plan was to market Venturo on its own as a separate brand but time constraints from the owner and trying to push a new brand not associated with an already popular microbrand became too daunting. That is why the Venturo watches can now be purchased straight from the Gruppo Gamma website instead of their own. So, what is Venturo Watches then? Why not just label them Gruppo Gamma and be done with it? I am sure that thought has run through the owner’s head more than once, but the two brands do have different designs and more importantly, different pricing. The Skindiver is the most expensive to date, coming in at $499, but it also uses the Miyota 9000 series movements instead of the Seiko NH35 that was in the previous two models. I hesitate to call Venturo the cheaper brand or the budget brand, maybe the more appropriate term would be the alternative brand. This model does more closely resemble Gruppo watches than the previous two, but they might be in the process of streamlining what type of designs they want for each brand, and this clean sandwich dive style is being moved to the Venturoline. I guess only time will tell, but for now, let’s get on with this review.
Venturo Skindiver Specifications:
- 40mm Stainless Steel Case
- 41mm Stainless Steel Bezel with PVD Insert
- 22mm Lug Width
- 48.5mm Lug to Lug
- 12mm Thick
- 163 Grams
- Box Sapphire Crystal
- 200m Water Resistant
- 22/20 Stainless Steel Bracelet
- Miyota 9039 Automatic Movement
- Price $499 USD
As is somewhat a tradition for Gruppo Gamma and now Venturo, there are a few options for the new Skindiver. Why do I say it like that? Well, it seems that we, the consumer, need to have lots of options when it comes to watch models, instead of just one. Your choice is a no date C3 version, which is the one I have here for review, a no date Old Radium (vintage lume paint), and a C3 model with a date. You want a date Old Radium you say? Nope. Not available. This is the issue when you give options. As a brand or manufacturer, you only want to have so many SKU’s and with smaller brands like this, you want even less, so they decided on 3, and this is the 3 you get. I just wonder why they didn’t do all any date options and maybe 3 different dial colors, or maybe all no date and a DLC coated version. As many of you are probably aware, with many watches I prefer to have no date, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I do not like the date on a watch. The date version of this watch is a perfect example. If you go to the website and take a look, you can see where the date is placed. It is out of place and an afterthought and quite frankly, this sandwich Panerai style dial looks best without a date anyway, as the only way it would look symmetrical is to remove the 3 altogether. No, cutting the 3 to make room for a date but with part of the 3 still visible is not an option either.
With that rant out of the way, the Venturo Skindiver is a classic looking thin dive watch, with obvious 60s vibes, but also stays close to the Gruppo Gamma design. A few on Youtube have remarked in the comments about how the Automatic text and water-resistant rating could have a slightly different font or could be smaller in size, but I disagree. It is hard at times to get a feel for a product even with hi-res photography or 4k video (did I mention our videos are recorded in 4k now?), but in person, the text seems to balance out the dial. Maybe a different font could have been used that would be more appealing, but that is getting real nitpicky. Otherwise, it is a clean sandwich dial that is of course loaded up with lume paint. The bezel is all stainless steel, including the insert, which is PVD coated, and heaps of lume paint as well. Turning the bezel is very satisfying, as is the crown. There is no play or wobble to either and for a $500 watch, that is really surprising, especially these days. Hell, Seiko can’t even get that right most of the time.
The rest of the watch is as you would expect. The all brushed case and bracelet keep this watch subdued, or toolsih as some like to refer to it. Nothing flashy here, just an all-steel and black dive watch. At 12mm thin, and a 40mm case width, this is a watch that can be worn every day, will fit under most shirt or jacket cuffs, and is just extremely comfortable. The bracelet plays a major role in comfort as well, but more on that in a minute. As you read in the specifications, you have a high-beat Miyota 9039 movement, a beautiful box sapphire crystal, and a solid case back. As a Skindiver this watch is not meant for scuba diving but rather recreational diving, though it still has a 200m water resistance. Like most styles of wristwatches, the majority are not buying them for their intended use, but more for style, and dive watches have to be the most popular style of watch out there.
The Venturo SkinDiver is the first watch from both companies to have a bracelet or at least a link style bracelet as maybe one of the watches in the past came with a mesh, but I could be mistaken. For their first foray into doing bracelets, Venturo really went the extra mile. At first glance, it is just a standard bracelet, like we have seen on so many dive watches over and over. But sometimes the devil is in the details, and upon closer inspection, not only is it very well machined and finished, but the links not only use one piece screws but also fold up on themselves completely. Why is this a big deal? No kinking, no pulling hair, and most importantly, it just drapes on the wrist like you expect all watch bracelets to do. Something I do find interesting is that the case has drilled lug holes, something not normally present when the bracelet has quick-change pins as this one does. Venturo possibly did this so that removing a strap is much easier, and in this case, it makes sense. Drilled lugs definitely keep those pesky scratches off of the sides of the case. Some will be disappointed that the clasp does not have any dive extension, but as I mentioned, this is watch is not intended to be worn over a wetsuit and honestly the clasp functions well and is simple and clean, and does have 4 micro-adjust holes to allow for a perfect fit.
The bottom line is the Venturo Skindiver is a clean, classic vintage style dive watch from a brand(s) that continues to impress. Gruppo Gamma has a large following, as they should, and I love what they are doing with the Venturo brand. This is just a great, easy-wearing dive watch at a price that is well under what some others charge, for pretty much the exact same specs. I saw a comment from the owner in a Facebook group post I believe that they do plan on more variants of this watch over time, with possibly some different dials and colors. This is a watch they can continue to modify and produce for years, but that is not usually the M.O. of the brand, but who knows what they will do with Venturo as time goes on. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the lume shot. Dual colored Superluminova all over, check it out below.
You can purchase this watch and others at the Gruppo Gamma website HERE.