Venturo Watches Field #2
If you are a fan of microbrands, than chances are you are familiar with Gruppo Gamma. The Venturo Field #2, is the latest from the Gruppo Gamma sister brand, and is their second field style watch but also their second watch to date. The idea behind Venturo is to try and offer some different style watches than what Gruppo Gamma has offered in the past and also produce a quality watch for a lower price. That lower price is mostly generated by a less expensive movement, in this case, the Seiko NH35. With prices on the rise and availability issues of Swiss and Miyota movements, Gruppo Gamma watches are priced at $600 and above, and to date, Venturo Watches stay around the $400 mark or less. If you have always wanted a Gruppo Gamma but the prices are a little too much for your wallet, or you just like a solid watch but like to keep your purchases to a certain dollar amount, the Venturo Field Watch #2 is worth a look for sure.
Venturo Field Watch #2 Specifications
- 316L stainless steel
- Diameter 42mm
- 48.5mm lug-to-lug
- Thickness 11mm excluding 2.5mm crystal (13.5 total)
- Lug width 22mm
- Weight 100g with strap
- Box-shaped sapphire crystal with internal AR Coating
- Screw Down Crown
- 200 Meters Water Resistant
- Seiko SII NH35
- Matte black dial, markers filled with Swiss SuperLumiNova® vintage color
- Gold color hands filled with Swiss SuperLumiNova® vintage color
- Leather and Canvas Straps
Use Discount WatchreportFW2020 to save $80 bringing the price to $319
*This code is not valid for the cream dial. This code will only work on the Venturo Website, and not from any Venturo dealers.
We all know how many watches are available these days and I’ve discussed many times, it has to be hard for anybody to release a new brand or in this case, the second brand. The Venturo Field #2 does not share a lot with its predecessor, the Field #1, except the syringe style hour and minute hand. Their debut field watch was a straightforward round case design with uncluttered dial and was available in only 3 dial colors. This watch is sold out through Venturo directly, there seems to be a small amount of inventory at some of their dealers. Field #2 is much more vintage-inspired as it is very much an homage of the 1940s Rolex Oyster Army. If you want to see some images of the Oyster Army, please watch the video review above, where I give a little backstory on the design inspiration.
So, yes, this Field #2 is inspired (heavily) by the Rolex 3139, but that is a watch from the 1940s. This is 2020, so does sizing it up to 42mm but keeping much of the same aesthetic appeal to watch enthusiasts today? I have been saying for the past few years that vintage is all the rage, and I think this still holds true today. Many brands and not just watch brands are continuously looking to the past for inspiration, as we have either just run out of ideas, or we recognize that companies got it right 40, 50, and 60 years ago and realize that a solid design then is a solid design now. The interesting part of all of this is that many brands look to 60s and 70s dive watches as the basis of their latest creations, but Venturo went back even further to the WWII era, and since dive watches were not really a thing yet, we get the classic field style watch.
Even though the Rolex Oyster Army was not a dive watch, it was water-resistant. Watch companies had been working on water resistance since the 1920s and the Oyster case was hermetically sealed and was resistant to not only water and liquid but also dust. More interesting than that, is that this case design would be developed even further and go on to be a popular design that Rolex made for Panerai. To bring this all full circle, Gruppo Gamma started out making homages of Panerai watches, so it only makes sense that they looked to this Rolex model to make a classically styled field watch. The Venturo Field #2 has a similar silhouette to the Oyster Army, but this is not an exact reproduction by any means. This watch very much evokes the personality of the original but is also easily recognizable as a Gruppo Gamma, or in this case, Venturo.
Let’s discuss two brands, Gruppo Gamma and Venturo a little bit more before getting into the rest of the review. Gruppo Gamma has been in business since 2013 and in all reality, it was a slow start for the brand. I remember reviewing their first-ever piece and it was a cushion-shaped Pam homage, and I will just say, they have come a long way since that first watch. I have to say, I was confused as to why they started a second brand. It is a struggle to stay competitive with one brand, let alone two. I am sure Naoki (owner of both brands) weighed the pros and cons before launching Venturo, and maybe he thought it was now or never. It seems the sales of the first watch did well enough, considering they are pretty much sold out, but I wonder if Venturo will get lost in the shuffle.
Now, I am not trying to be a downer here, or say that this watch is not worth it. I love how many brands are available, it gives the consumer more choices. And to be fair, unlike so many brands that try and make a 3-hand dive watch that all start to look similar after a while, the Venturo Field #2 is a breath of fresh air, even if it is not necessarily the first watch I would choose for myself. Admittedly, I am a dive watch fan more than anything and no matter how hard I try to wear other styles on a regular basis, I always end up gravitating towards that diver or sport watch, with the exception of a G-Shock. That said, this field watch works on two levels to me. Yes, it is a field style watch and with the design being rooted in history, a unique piece. But for me, one the leather strap, this really works as a nice dress-style watch. I know, this is not a watch most traditionalists would consider a dress watch at all, but I am not someone who wears cuffed shirts and ties on a regular basis (never have), and dressing up is occasional for me at best. Because of that, I rather have a watch that works casually but can be easily dressed up, without it looking out of place when I’m wearing a t-shirt and cargo shorts in the summer.
The Venturo Field #2 also ticks a lot of boxes in what I look for in a watch. Automatic movement, no date (more on that in a bit), clean, crisp dial that is easy to read at a glance, a combination of brushed and polished, but more brushed as to not be too flashy, drilled lugs and a sapphire crystal-in this case a box-style sapphire crystal. This watch will never see water unless I’m in the rain, but if for whatever there is an impromptu pool party any time soon and I jump in the pool while wearing this watch and forget to take it off (and with how things are going these days, when we are released back to normalcy, maybe this will be more likely) I will be at ease knowing it not only has a screw-down crown but also 200m water resistance. There really is no reason this watch needs to have either of these things, especially at this price, but Venturo doesn’t set out to build a “cheap’ watch. Do not let the price fool you. This watch is built to withstand daily wear. Take a look at the photo below that Venturo posted recently. This photo is not even on their website. It should be in my opinion. Metal movement spacer, Viton gaskets, and perlage finishing on the inside of the case back, along with all the other features I have mentioned, for a watch that sells for $399.
On my 7 ½ inch wrist, Venturo Field #2 is very comfortable and the case shape and lug design really lend it to be all-day comfortable. The crown does not dig into the back of my hand and even with the shorter straps, I have enough room for the tail to go into the keepers. Two straps are included, leather and canvas, and depending on what color of the dial you choose, different color straps will be supplied. Both straps are of good quality, not great, but good. It is, after all, a watch that sells for $399, so do not expect custom made strap quality here, but both look like they should wear well for quite some time. For those with longer wrists, Venturo offers larger sizes of the straps when you are checking out; an option that brands triple in price do not offer. Strap changes are made easy with the inclusion of drilled lug holes, and straps attach via normal spring pins.
The one downfall here, if you can call it that, is while the watch has no date present on the dial, the Seiko NH35 movement does, in fact, have a date wheel. This is common with many brands, especially at this price, where they want to keep the dial symmetrical with the markers and delete the date. The issue is that when you unscrew the crown, that date position is still there. It’s a slight nuisance and they could have sourced a specific no date movement, but these are the compromises a brand must make when trying to hit a certain price. Again, this watch comes in at just under $400, not $1400 or $4000. Even though I myself want every watch to be perfect, I think we all have to realize that it is not going to be the case when looking at more budget-friendly pieces.
Venturo Watches is still a very young company, but Gruppo Gamma has been around for 7 years now, so they have some good experience in making a good watch. As far as design and style, initial releases have been field watches, so I am not sure if that is the general direction they will continue moving forward to differentiate between Venturo and Gruppo Gamma, or if we will see some obscure dive references offered, or maybe some pilot-style watches, but so far, the company has shown a good eye for clean, aesthetically pleasing designs. Competition is always going to be strong in the watch world, but the Venturo Field #2 proves you can get a well made and visually appealing watch for an affordable price.
Please be sure to use the coupon code WatchreportFW2020 to save $80, should you decide to purchase a Venturo Field #2, and check out all our pictures in the gallery below.