Ventus Black Kite
Ventus Black Kite Specifications:
- 42mm case, 50mm lug to lug length and 22mm lug width
- 13.5mm thick Darkwood Carbon Fiber case with inner steel structure
- Darkwood Carbon Fiber 20mm buckle
- 63 Grams without straps
- Seiko NH35 Automatic Movement: 24 jewels, 21600 bph, hacking and winding
- Domed Sapphire Crystal with inner Anti-Reflective Coating. Hardest available glass to let you wear the watch without worry of scratches.
- Water Resistance of 100m with screw down crown
- Engraved logo on crown and case back
- Sandwich Dial
- BGW9 Superluminova or C1 (Vintage style)
- 1 Year International Warranty
Price $499.00 USD
Are you ready for some more carbon fiber excellence? I have had several opportunities to review carbon fiber watches in the past. However, the Ventus Black Kite B-02, which is the subject of this review, is my first opportunity to review a layered carbon fiber case watch. Most of the carbon fiber case watches on the market tend to have a hefty price point associated with them especially those housing an automatic movement. Well, I’m here to tell you that Ventus release of the Black Kite has provided an extremely affordable opportunity for consumers to snag a carbon fiber case watch with an automatic movement under $500 USD.
So what is it really that makes the Black Kite different from the other carbon fiber watches I have reviewed? Well, Ventus describes the Black Kite as having a Darkwood Carbon Fiber case. Best I can tell is that the use of this terminology is due to the wood-grain appearance of the layering of the case. If you are a visual person, then you may obtain a better understanding of the difference I am referring to by taking a quick look at the video included with this review. The other options would be to go look at my past reviews or search up the differences using a web search engine. The best way to put it in words is by identifying the past carbon fiber watches reviewed as having an almost granite or stone type appearance due to the carbon fiber being shredded. Initially, I thought I preferred the shredded appearance over the layered wood grain, but after having the Black Kite in hand I have to admit it is quite striking. Is one option better than the other? I believe we could debate that concept for some time. Besides the difference in appearance there is also a tactile difference in my humble opinion. Before I mention the tactile difference I want to be perfectly clear that just because I feel a difference doesn’t make one better than the other.
The Black Kite has an almost lightweight metal feel similar to titanium whereas the shredded carbon fiber case watches I have felt have an extremely lightweight feel to them almost like some sort of plastic. I was advised by companies using the shredded carbon fiber, there were concerns of separation of the layered carbon fiber. I can report the the layered carbon fiber appears to be quite solid. I will of course update any noted separation at a later date.
The layered appearance in the Ventus Black Kite case is not the only aspect of the case that I really find appealing. The other carbon fiber watches I have reviewed lacked integrated crown guards whereas the Black Kite does not. The crown guards add a level of protection to the crown that I feel is quite important. I do want to mention based on past experience regardless of whether the case is layered or shredded carbon fiber extra caution should be utilized when screwing down the crown. I have personally seen what too much torque can do a carbon fiber case and wouldn’t want anyone to over torque and end up with a cracked or separated case. Just be careful. I also like the subtle branding with the “V” logo on the crown face.
What else do I love about the Ventus Black Kite? Look no further than the dial sitting below the double domed sapphire crystal. I have to admit before I get to the dial, I am not a fan of the domed crystal as the doming always seems to distort the dial from certain angles. I would have rather seen the Black Kite with a flat sapphire crystal. Moving on to the dial, besides the dial being extremely sterile, which I absolutely love, the dial also is a sandwich design. The matte black dial is laid over top of a vintage lumed piece. So many companies clutter up their dials with various branding sometimes to the point of making the watch difficult to read. No difficulties telling the time on the Black Kite Vintage lume doesn’t always maintain great intensity which is the case with the Black Kite, but the lume is what I consider well above average. Don’t worry lume fanatics out there.
Another aspect found on most carbon fiber case watches are internal cores housing the movement. I have been advised on several occasions by a few companies that have produced carbon fiber cases that a core is essential because carbon fiber can be brittle thus screwing a case back directly into the carbon fiber is not a good idea. So, the other option is to seal the core within the carbon fiber. Some companies use stainless steel while others use titanium. Is one better than the other? Again, another aspect that would make for a good debate. The Black Kite utilized a stainless steel core so obviously the overall weight of the watch is going to be slightly greater than if titanium was utilized. Going back to the great $499 price of the Ventus Black Kite, if titanium was used then obviously the cost would go up and be similar to the other higher priced carbon fiber watches on the market. Kudos to Ventus for opting for the steel core so a more affordable carbon fiber watch with an automatic movement can be present on the market.
The Black Kite houses a Seiko NH-35 automatic movement. I am more of a fan of the Miyota 9015 due to the slightly smoother sweep second hand, however, the NH-35 is a solid robust movement and has been extremely reliable. Of course the greatest issue with the Miyota 9015 is availability and wait time. Once again kudos to Ventus for going ahead and using a solid movement and bringing the lower cost carbon fiber watch to the consumer.
Last but not least the Black Kite comes with a fantastic nylon strap for the most part. It seems lately that Asian based companies tend to utilize a shorter length with their straps. The strap is pretty darn short as you will see in the video and in my photos. On my 7 ¾ inch wrist I am in the last sizing hole. Thankfully, the fixed keeper has been placed very close to the buckle end of the strap so the strap tail will still secure nicely beneath it. If you have a much larger wrist than I be prepared to pick up an after market strap. It has a smooth leather backing for extra comfort and the strap fits with the look of the watch, as it’s very sporty. The strap is finished off with an awesome carbon fiber buckle which has not been a common feature of other carbon fiber watches on the market. I absolutely love the carbon fiber buckle and I bet any of you reading would as well.
Do you have a carbon fiber watch in your collection? Have you been holding off due to the cost being a bit on the high side with most carbon fiber watches? No more excuses as the Ventus Black Kite delivers it all. The watch is packed with tons of great specifications from the layered carbon fiber case design, sapphire crystal, sandwich dial, sharp looking strap with an awesome carbon fiber buckle and a reliable Seiko NH-35 automatic movement. I highly recommend picking this one up in some variation.
Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments in the field below the photo gallery.