At a mere $179 SGD/~$130 USD (after promo code below), BOLDR’s first titanium model is unusually also the most affordable in their current product line. I might be wrong, but the Venture is, to my knowledge, the cheapest titanium watch in the market today. Let’s see if it’s any good!
BOLDR – the Brand
BOLDR is a brand that I hold dear in my heart – I’ve probably reviewed the most watches from them! Till date, I’ve reviewed the Odyssey, the Voyager, as well as the Journey. If you would like to learn more about BOLDR as a brand, do read my original review of the Odyssey here, in which I covered the brand story of BOLDR in detail!
BOLDR Venture – Build Quality
As per the norm with BOLDR watches, the Venture (even at a sub $200 SGD price point) is one rock solid watch.
Firstly, the Venture utilizes sapphire crystal to protect the dial of the watch. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to their inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. Sapphire crystal is not exactly common on $100+ SGD watches (The vast majority of fashion watches in this price range use mere mineral crystal), so the inclusion is a pleasant sight. In addition, the WR rating for the Venture is stated at 100M, with the Venture being resistant enough for most adventures save those in the pool or the sea.
The calling card of the Venture (aside from its price) is definitely its use of titanium. The case of the Venture is forged out of solid aerospace grade titanium, making it light as a feather, whilst not compromising on sturdiness. (As compared to stainless steel, titanium is stronger) The titanium case, combined with the use of a ETA quartz movement (36 months of battery life is promised), makes the Venture imperceptible on the wrist. Furthermore, titanium is also hypoallergenic, thus unlikely to cause a allergic reaction on the skin. A lot of brands talk about making luxury accessible – and while that is usually marketing fluff, it might actually be true here in the case (no pun intended) of the Venture. BOLDR took a material commonly associated with 5-6 figure Richard Mille/Hublot watches, and offered it in a $179 SGD (after promo code below) package. The caveat here is that it is quartz – but if you can stand a ticking second hand, what’s there not to like?
The Venture comes with one’s choice of NATO strap (Green, Black, or Khaki as pictured above). The NATO strap is alright – it’s nothing mindblowing, and will suffice especially considering the low price of this timepiece. What is impressive however, is the inclusion of titanium hardware (buckle and strap loops) on the strap. I like the extra attention to detail here, especially in an area that’s typically an afterthought on most affordable watches.
Despite the low price, the Swiss Superluminova on the Venture is actually pretty strong! It certainly glows bright in the dark, and is relatively long-lasting. Certainly above average lume for watches in this price range.
Overall, the BOLDR Venture’s build quality belies its price. You get a Swiss ETA quartz movement, Swiss Superluminova, sapphire crystal, and of course, the titanium case. In fact, BOLDR is so confident of its build quality that it is offering a LIFETIME warranty on the Venture. In the event of catastrophic damage, BOLDR will replace a new Venture for you at just $70 SGD. I think that speaks volume of BOLDR’s confidence in the Venture!
BOLDR Venture – Design
BOLDR went with a tried and tested field watch design for the Venture.
The aesthetics of the Venture is likely to be one that you have seen before. There’s nothing particularly out of the box with the design of this field watch – the dial is, as expected, utilitarian and legible. I do like, however, the syringe hands of the Venture – those are rather uncommon on field watches. In addition, I appreciated the syringe tipped second hand – it is something of a BOLDR signature, with the previous models I’ve reviewed (Odyssey and Voyager) featuring similar styled second hands as well. In addition, the lumed indices adds some depth to an otherwise flat dial.
IF I had a knock, it would be that the ticking second hands don’t line up with the printed markers sometimes. I know – this might be a bit too anal for a $179 SGD watch, but I’m a little OCD and I notice it at times. The slight misalignment makes the ticking of the watch (and the knowledge that it is a quartz) more pronounced, and leaves me wishing sometimes that it is an automatic instead. However, the low price tag of the Venture does make the slight misalignment more palatable – watches twice, even thrice its price point have trouble with bezel misalignment issues, for example! If you’re not terribly OCD like me, this issue shouldn’t bother you much.
The titanium case of the Venture is matte, giving the watch a understated feel. The crown is nicely engraved with the BOLDR logo – a signed crown a pleasant sight for a watch of this price point!
The claw shaped lugs of the Venture is long, which makes the watch wear slightly larger than its 38mm case size would indicate on paper. I find the lug shape interesting here, and rather visually striking. I like the faceted edges of the lugs too – it’s great to see some detail even on super affordable watches! However, due to the long lugs of the Venture, it looks best on a NATO/Zulu strap. I tried pairing the watch with a standard 2 piece leather strap, and there was a large unsightly gap between the strap and the case due to the extended nature of the lugs. As such, while the long claw lugs of the Venture is rather unique – especially on a field watch – it also limits the strap options of the watch to predominantly NATO or Zulu straps.
As usual, the caseback on the Venture features an artwork unique to BOLDR. All BOLDR watches have an artwork on their caseback – it’s something of a BOLDR signature, I would say! Here, the artwork is a mish mash of the BOLDR logo, name, and various related slogans. Again, I’m impressed at the level of detailing present, especially considering the price tag!
Shootout: BOLDR Venture vs Timex Weekender
When I first saw the BOLDR Venture, the first watch that I thought of was the Timex Weekender. Both are S$100+ 38mm watches, billed as an everyday beater watch. As such, the iconic Weekender shall be my comparison in today’s shootout!
In terms of build quality, there’s no denying that the BOLDR Venture is vastly superior. The Venture utilizes sapphire crystal, a Swiss ETA quartz module, and boasts a titanium case. In contrast, the Weekender uses mineral glass, and uses a standard stainless steel case. However, the Weekender does have that wonderful Indiglo lume technology, which lights up the dial when the crown is pushed. Overall though, the Venture is definitely the better built of the lot.
In terms of design, both watches share very similar aesthetics – after all, both are billed as field watches. There’s really quite little to choose from between the two, but if I had to pick I would say that the Venture pulls ahead slightly due to the uniqueness of those claw lugs. On the wrist, those lugs are really striking.
While the BOLDR Venture is slightly more expensive (~S$40) than the Weekender, but it certainly packs a lot more value! Timex is famous for its slogan: “It takes a licking, but keeps on ticking.” The Timex Weekender was my watch of choice during my time in the army – and it served me well – but I have to say, I wager the Venture would take a licking even better with its sapphire crystal and titanium case! As such, the BOLDR Venture is the winner of this shootout for me.
Conclusion: so the BOLDR Venture “shiok” or not?
At the price, definitely. It is a tremendous value proposition – I believe it might be the most affordable titanium watch you can find! Make no mistake, it’s meant to last too, with the usage of sapphire glass, Swiss lume and a ETA quartz movement. In the very unlikely event that the Venture does quit on you, BOLDR’s lifetime warranty (only for the Venture) ensures that you will basically get a new replacement watch for just S$70. That’s the icing on the cake, I reckon!
If you have been looking for a bulletproof everyday watch, look no further!
Update: The “WAHSOSHIOK” promo code has expired – it’s currently valid on only the Globetrotter. Do read the review of the BOLDR Globetrotter here!
View BOLDR’s full range of watches here.
- Case & Dial:
- Solid aerospace grade Titanium
- Case size: 38 mm
- Thickness: 11 mm
- Lug to lug: 45 mm
- Lug width: 20 mm
- Crown size: 5 mm
- Swiss Superlume
- Numerals markers
- Swiss Made ETA 802.102 Quartz Movement
- Hacking seconds
- Up to 36 months of battery life
- Front: Sapphire crystal
- Caseback: Solid titanium screw-down case back
- Water Resistance
- 10 ATM / 100M
- NATO Canvas strap with solid titanium buckle with etched logo.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!