Boldr Venture Automatic 14

Boldr Venture Automatic Review

Boldr brings an automatic movement to one of their best value watches

The Boldr Venture was originally a quartz model with no frills. It was meant to be a field watch the wearer could beat up and kick around without fear of it breaking. Boldr’s watches are built for abuse and designed to be worn outdoors in any conditions.

After some time of the community calling for Boldr to make an automatic Venture, the brand has answered. The popular field watch is getting the automatic movement treatment without a large price increase, staying true to the original’s value proposition.

Boldr Venture Automatic 1

On the Wrist

As unobtrusive as a field watch can get, the Boldr Venture is light on the wrist and doesn’t take up a lot of real estate. Cased in titanium, the watch almost floats on the wrist but doesn’t sacrifice any durability that one might expect from a cheaper, plastic-cased watch.

Boldr Venture Automatic 10

The Venture is short and squat on the wrist with a very modest 42mm lug-to-lug distance that complements the 38mm width perfectly. The angular lug design adds to the utilitarian look while still maintaining conformability to the wrist. Overall, the Venture feels good and the titanium case will allow the wearer to forget it is there.

Superior readability is prerequisite for any field watch and the Venture does not disappoint. The clear, printed markers paired with syringe hands make the watch easy to read at a glance without any distractions.

Boldr Venture Automatic 15

Thanks to the titanium case and 200 meters of water resistance, I felt I could put the Venture through just about anything and it would come out just fine. Unfortunately, I didn’t get out on many hikes to put the Venture through its paces outdoors. The rough and tough world of parenting a toddler has shown me the Venture can stand up to more mundane tasks as well. Getting dunked under water during bath time or combatting relentless attacks from toddler toys, the Venture has held up perfectly.

Boldr Venture Automatic 11

Dial Details

The Venture’s dial is what one would expect from a pure field watch. Bright white Arabic numerals with minute hash marks and minimal dial text adorn the dial. An inner 24-hour track is also present allowing the wearer to quickly read military time if needed.

Boldr Venture Automatic 7

Boldr is offering the Venture in a variety of dial colors, all of which have their own unique personality. The example seen here is navy blue and the shade of blue used is perfect for those wanting a field watch with a bit of character.  For those wanting an even more spartan look, black or jungle green might fit the bill.

The numerals, markers that flank them, and the hands are all fully lumed. The minute hand is skinnier and longer than the hour hand which aids in nighttime readability.

Boldr Venture Automatic 13

Case & Strap

Titanium has a unique quality and finish to it that you just don’t get with stainless steel.  It feels a bit warmer than a bead-blasted stainless steel case and tends to pick up more character as the watch ages and gets nicked up.

Boldr Venture Automatic 4
Boldr Venture Automatic 4

The case is thick for how relatively small the rest of the watch is.  At 14mm and even taller when paired on the included NATO strap, the watch has some serious height. Part of this is due to the thicker movement used, a Seiko NH35. With that said, putting the watch on a two-piece strap will dramatically cut down on the thickness.

A color-coordinated NATO strap comes on the Venture, but it left something to be desired. Soft nylon and seatbelt NATO straps are pervasive in today’s market, but the one on the Venture is too stiff to make me want to keep it on the watch. Swapping it for a softer strap would make a huge difference in overall comfort. Boldr does use titanium hardware on the NATO, which is a nice touch.

Boldr Venture Automatic 12

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for an affordable, tough watch that is comfortable and light, the Venture automatic is one of your best bets. At under $300, the value proposition from the quartz models carries over well here.

Boldr has packed a good amount of value into the Venture, including a sapphire crystal, 200 meters of water resistance, and a reliable movement. It is built to be beat around and keep on ticking. The sizing also makes this watch great for any wrist size. Boldr has made a great alternative to one of their classic models for those looking for an automatic. Better yet, it is one of the best-value automatics you can buy.

Case Width38mmThickness14mm
Lug-to-lug Height42mmLug Width20mm
CrystalFlat SapphireStrapNATO strap
Water Resistance200 metersLumeYes
MovementSeiko NH35Price$299

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