Watch Review: Fonderia Navale Veneto

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Is the age of big, oversized watches over? Yes and no. For the masses I believe that era is over, but for the small number of diehards it will never be over. Like I have said in the past I personally think that way too much emphasis is placed on the size of a watch. I cannot relate to people who won’t even consider a watch due to it’s size. What draws me to a watch is it’s overall design. It the design speaks to me, size definitely does not matter. The size of a crown would be a deal breaker for me, before case size would ever. I don’t like pimple sized crowns because they are aesthetically and functionally unappealing to me. Thank the watch gods that today’s review watch has a badass crown attached to it which was the first design feature on this watch that caught my attention(in a good way) The Fonderia Navale Veneto arrived in a vintage looking cloth bag which is sealed by draw strings and is labeled ‘Fonderia Navale.’ I was impressed with the dark stained wooden box that was contained inside the bag. The size of the wooden box is absolutely ideal in my opinion. I say that the packaging a watch comes in is an extension of a watch’s personality. This box does just that in it’s beautifully simplistic design nature. I believe Fonderia Navale recognizes the change of era by putting out a 42mm piece.

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When I opened the long hinged lid of the box, I was delightfully greeted by the beautifully simplistic Veneto. As I mentioned above, the oversized crown immediately grabbed my eyes attention. The Veneto’s crown is so easy to grip and operate from out of the box, to the wet conditions of the sea, it sailed past expectations with smooth seas. The crown is signed with engraved initials FN which adds a nice touch of detail just as the raised gripping edges do. Mr. Veneto’s single piece machined case does an excellent job of protecting this crown because how the crown guards were machined. The fixed bezel gives rise to the domed sapphire crystal that creates a beautiful complementary angle of detail to both the bezel itself and the crystal. The profile angles of the Veneto are beautiful yet badass. Another badass and beautifully done detail on the Veneto is the drilled lugs. The leather strap is securely held in place by thick screw bars that run between the lugs and are connected by flathead screws. 

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The textured dark blue dial is simplistically beautiful just like the case is. I love the large printed even numbers that are so legible both is daylight thanks to their size and at night thanks to the generous lume treatment that they received. Fonderia Navale did an awesome job of finding the Veneto the perfect sized and perfect shaped hands. I love the length and the width of these hands which add to the ease of legibility, which add to the aesthetics and which add the badassery of the Veneto. The hands reach exactly where I prefer them to reach, especially the second hand that extends out to the seconds track that is made up by a series of small circles. The white printed text is also an ideal size in my opinion because it still provides you with some information but doesn’t disrupt the simplistic and symmetrical flow of this dial. The dial was so easy to read in all conditions, light, dark, and even underwater. Everything that I expect from a dial. 

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This bronze beauty has very respectable wrist presence. The thick dark brown leather strap is soft and easily conforms to your wrist. I don’t think that Fonderia Navale could have done a better combo than this. In my opinion, a black ballistic strap with matching bronze hardware would look absolutely incredible as well. The trident inspired buckle on this strap though is another killer detail that adds to the wrist delight on this watch. I truly admire how all of the Veneto’s details complement each other brilliantly, while each detail works in horological harmony not trying to outdo one another. This is hard to achieve in my opinion yet, Fonderia Navale did it well on the Veneto. This piece is something special for sure. Bronze/copper pieces hold a special place in my heart because of that old nautical magic it possesses. I respect Fonderia Navale for their vision and their passion. I also admire that they aren’t out to destroy your wallet by over pricing their watches like some other Italian inspired companies do with their nautical bronze pieces. 

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The Veneto is a work of simplistic art. It’s a rugged piece that standouts nicely while on your wrist despite it’s simplistic nature. I highly recommend this piece for anyone who is looking to enter the nautical bronze watch world, who wants a reliable watch, that doesn’t break the bank, that has a quality design and is from a passionate company. I honestly cannot suggest any changes to the Veneto. I think that it all works well together and is an extremely fair deal for the watch to dollars ratio. The Veneto didn’t fail me one bit, especially when I was using it in the water. I loved how the lume immediately kicked into action once I entered the murky water. The hands and the hour markers were extremely legible the entire time. The leather strap and nice curved lugs allow for long comfortable wear in all conditions and environments. I had no issues in terms of comfort while wearing this piece at work, hiking, swimming, yard work, and playing with the kids. 

I thank you all for taking the time to read my review and sharing in my passion for watches. 

Thank you to Fonderia Navale for respecting the watch loving community. ❤️

FONDERIA NAVALE: VENETO

Vittorio Veneto was the second member of the Littorio-class battleship that served in the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy)during World War II. The ship’s keel was laid down in October 1934, launched in July 1937, and readied for service with the Italian fleet by August 1940.

https://www.pontvswatch.com/purchase-1/

Limited to 150 Pieces

Case diameter: 42 mm excluding the crown – lug to lug 50 mm

Movement: Seiko NH35 automatic

Case material: Tin Phosphor Bronze for heavy-duty applications

Crown: Tin Phosphor Bronze screw down crown 9 mm

Crystal: AR Sapphire single Domed 3.5mm thick

Dial: 32mm diameter grained Enamel with printed Swiss Super Luminova C3 lume .

Water-resistance: 200 meters / 660 feet / 20 ATM

Case back: Stainless Steel

Strap: 22mm brown leather 3.5 mm thick. Screw lug bars.

Buckle: Tin Bronze Buckle

Shock resistance: Shock-absorber device for balance staff

All orders get an extra zulu strap with brass buckle.

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Watch Review: MTM Special Ops Seal

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Maybe I am just messed up or I have been preconditioned to think a certain way. It is absolutely absurd to me when I dissect my thought that weight has something to do with quality. I have always felt like the two of those things have something to do with each other. I love that even after many, many years of collecting, admiring and loving watches, that I am still learning about them and discovering the real truths for myself through first hand experience. My thoughts were that Titanium watches felt cheap because of the reduced weight than that of stainless steel cases. Now what really made me rethink this is take Invicta for instance, how much some of their pieces weigh. Heavy as f#%k right? Heavy equals quality? We know that answer. I never really thought of it in those terms before. Today my eyes became a little more open and more importantly, my mind has as well.

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Arriving in the watertight tactical case that I have grown accustomed to receiving with the MTM watches, the Seal dive watch is today’s review piece. Upon opening the  tactical case, I was greeted by not one strap, but two straps and a titanium bracelet. There is a ballistic velcro I, one rubber style I, both of which I have experience with from my other MTM reviews. High quality straps that are built for use in the field and built to handle extreme conditions. The titanium bracelet is nothing short of amazing. The Tudor Pelagos has one of the nicest bracelets that I have experienced, this bracelet is right up there in terms of quality and design. Honestly, I did not expect this bracelet to be so nice. The solid grad 5 titanium links are individually connected with allen screws which are located on either side of the link and both screws have to be removed in order to remove the link itself. The clasp is my favorite part of this bracelet in terms of operation and design. The pics below illustrate what I find so appealing about this bracelet. The bracelet wears like a dream which just adds to it’s appeal because if it wasn’t comfortable it would be just another pretty face.

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The case of the Seal is also made from grad 5 titanium. The case is armed with an oversized locking crown, with extremely easy to grip knurled edges. Located across the case at the 10 o’clock position is the detailed automatic helium release valve. The valve is signed with an engraved MTM logo that matches the one found on the bracelet clasp which is a fantastic bracelet to case tie in. The awesome logo can also be found on a much larger scale with an impressive raised style logo on the screw down case back. I love how extremely easy the crown is to function, this is thankfully carried over to the bezel. MTM listened to the advice because this bezel is tight, without any extra play whatsoever. The knurled edges teamed up with the raised sections allowed me to rotate this bezel with ease during the wet conditions during my review. It has awesome mechanical racheting sound/feel that is addicting to play with, aka my fidget spinner. The screws that are found decorating this case throughout can also be found on the bezel, with an orange glowing tritium tube located at the 12 o’clock position.

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The beautifully angles of the tappered lugs give way to the solid screw bars that can be viewed via the drilled holes. The screw bars are well constructed with doubt eliminating strength. The included tools make strap/bracelet flipping easy which when you consider the 3 options that accompany this watch, it actually makes strap changing fun and not an annoying challenge. I had the best complementing strap for this piece, the beautiful custom leather strap from DC Leather Co. Just a side note here, this strap will be fully reviewed soon.

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The case and straps/bracelet are definitely a highlights on this watch, and the highlights are definitely carried over to the Seal’s dial. There is absolutely no problems whatsoever with the legibility or the visibility on the dial of the Seal. During the day, in multiple weather/lighting conditions, I was able to read the dial with difficulty. The larger applied indices are beautifully designed in terms of shape, lume and overall finish. What I like that MTM did here is they included actual numerals with each applied indice without creating a cluttered mess on the dial. For us healthcare and military folks, they also included those hours onto the chapter ring. A detail that I absolutely love and use. The hands are always a concern for me personally, because they can make or break the dial in my opinion. MTM definitely nailed the length and width of the 3 hands on the Seal. I also believe that they nailed the color as well, with the vibrant orange color of the hands. The orange color seems to glow and jumps right off the dial. I have never been a huge fan of tritium lume, that being said the Seal dial glows just enough to see at night/lowlight environment/situations. I can appreciate this because if you are wearing this piece in a covert/stealth priority situation, especially in the dark, you definitely don’t want flashlight glowing lume beaming from your watch’s dial. 

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MTM included a date window at 3 o’clock on the Seal’s dial which comes in handy for those of us who don’t have a cell phone or those of us who are prohibited use of a cell phone. I would have preferred a black date wheel with white printed numerals if I have to nit pick about something. Something that I have never seen done which possibly could already exist, is a date wheel with lumed numerals on it. I think that this detail would be very cool to see. The Seal’s dial has small printed text which doesn’t clutter or disrupt the flow on this dial. A nice detail on the dial is the MTM logo located at the 6 o’clock position on the dial which adds color and depth.

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The MTM Seal is easily the best quartz powered diver that I have experienced. By best this includes overall quality, design, functionality, wearability, and ruggedness. It is not scratch proof by any means, and I did sustain some scratches on the case while climbing rocks at the water. Do I care about scratches? No because like all watches, this piece is meant to be worn and to sustain abuse related to your work in the field. It’s definitely not a watch you pussy. It’s a god damn tactical watch for goodness sake. I prefer a mechanical/auto movement but I also can appreciate the value of a quartz movement in a watch such as this. Paul from Scurfa Watches, helped open my eyes to this with his personal experience with quart movements while being in the rough waters of the North Sea. 

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MTM delivers watches that are badass, built tough and are for those guys and gals who don’t want to worry about watch failure when out in the field. The Seal is MTM’s best watch out of all the watches that of theirs that I have reviewed in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, the other watches are quality as well, but there is something extra special about this watch. I definitely recommend this watch to those who demand a lot from their watch and don’t worry about sustaining surface abuse. This piece won’t fail you. If it does, MTM has fantastic customer service. You won’t have to worry about battery change for about 10 years. 

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Thank you all for reading and listening to my 5 minute rant. I truly appreciate you all. It’s an absolute honor to share my love and passion with you.

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Thank you Drew.

https://m.facebook.com/familyfirstindustries/

Disclaimer: The above review contains ONLY my personal opinion which is based on actual experience of time spent with the watch. 

Link:

www.specialopswatch.com/product-category/seals/

Specifications:

MOVEMENT  |   Swiss Quartz Specially Calibrated Movement With Date Window Ronda 715LiCASE  |   Solid Titanium (grad 5) With Automatic Helium Pressure Release ValveBAND  |   Solid Titanium (grad 5); Adjustable Links. Individually Connected with Allen Screws, Making it Easy to Adjust with the Supplied Allen KeysBANDS INCLUDED  |   One Titanium Bracelet attached to watch, One Ballistic Velcro I, One Rubber Style IFINISH  |   Available in Brushed Silver or Black DLC CoatingBEZEL  |   Unidirectional, Ratcheting BezelCROWN  |   Locking, Screw DownGLASS  |   4.5 mm Thick Sapphire, Anti Reflective, Scratch ResistantDIAL  |   Carbon Fiber NASA TypeINDEX AND HANDS   |   Equipped With Tritium-Gas Filled Tubes That Will Glow Brightly Without The Need For Any External Light Source For 25 Years. Approved by the US NRC. Hands Are Specially Designed For Easy Reading Under WaterWATER RESISTANCE  |   1000 Meters – 3, 300 FeetCASE SIZE  |   44mm (Without Crown) x 16 mm (Thickness)WEIGHT  |   6.6 ozBATTERY  |   10 Year Rated – LithiumPACKAGING  |   Securely Shipped in its own Watertight Tactical CaseEBB552A2-1137-4C6C-B4CA-AE8A200DAC35

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Watch Review: Lesablier Aviateur VQ

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What makes a watch appealing to you? Perhaps it is the case design. Do you prefer a more traditional case or does the unique & unusual speak to you more. Does case size matter to you? Maybe it is in the material used for the case that draws you in, such as stainless steel or bronze. Are you a movement person? Automatic, manual wind/mechanical, or quartz? For me it is the dial that initially draws me to a watch. If the watch has a dial that truly speaks to me, all of those other details become secondary to me. But the dial has to have a flow with the case and overall design that is cohesive. The dial on today’s review watch definitely is what grabbed my attention. My first 24hr dial was a Chronoswiss Timemaster. 24hr watches make you feel like you have all the time in the world. That is exactly how I felt when I first saw Lesablier’s Aviateur VQ dial.

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What I find absolutely fascinating about 24hr dials is that the hour hand makes one, slow ass trip around the dial in 24hrs where your typical hour hand travels around the dial twice. This is what always gives me the feeling that I have more time than I actually do because when I look at the time the hour hands seems that it hasn’t moved much. The dial on the AVQ has a great symmetrical feel to it which reminds me of something I would find on the instrument panel of an older style plane. The dial is separated into ‘Yin and Yang’ style with the day time hours located within the white portion of the dial and the evening hours located within the black portion of the dial. The semi-skeleton hands are a nice addition to this dial in terms of both style and size. The AVQ has a quartz movement inside so I like that there isn’t a second hand because is a smooth, sweeping second hand, as opposed to the jerky jump that is typical with a quartz movement. 

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Keeping with that balance, Lesbalier’s white printed text is done in symmetrical fashion bordered nicely with a white railroad style minute track. Though the numbers are printed on the smaller side, they are still relatively easy to read. I really like the vintage feel that this dial puts off and how Lesablier kept the balance throughout the dial. I absolutely had no issues reading/seeing the dial both in day and night. The 41mm 316L sandblasted stainless steel case with polished crown and fixed bezel complements the dial and complements the overall aesthetics. I love the case design and shape without a doubt and even the 41mm dimension works for this piece. I do have to complain a bit about the size of the crown. It’s extremely undersized in my opinion. I had a hard time gripping it to pull it out and operating it to set the time. Aesthetically it does nothing for the overall look of this piece. In my opinion one of appealing features of those vintage pilot watches were the oversized crowns. 

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The case back on the AVQ is brilliantly and beautifully done. It reminds me of my grandfathers pocket watch engraving and my great uncle engravings that he did on many rifles, both of which for me it gave the AVG even more of a vintage charm appeal. Another detail that I like here is how the case back is held in place by a series of flathead screws. The watch wears extremely comfortable and has  a nice pressence on the wrist. Normally my preference is 42mm and above, but several things come into play here that makes the old size doesn’t matter expression come into play. The dial design is awesome in my opinion, unique yes easy to read. The domed sapphire crystal with the blue AR coating allowed for easy photographing of the watch and easier legibility. The sandblasted case gives the AVQ that tool watch feel that looks much better than a polished stainless steel case would look for this watch.

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The AVQ comes in at $295 USD. I love the box that the watch came in, it would be even more awesome if it was done in wood. It’s one of those boxes that I like to keep on display. I really like the overall design and look of the AVQ. As I mentioned before the crown is my only area were this piece could have went from cool to awesome by one change of detail. That detail isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but know that it’s a difficult crown to operate. Had the movement been mechanical and would have to be hand wound, then I would consider the crown size a deal breaker in my opinion. There are plenty of great details that made me forget about the undersized crown though. The curved lugs are beautifully shaped which allows the AVQ to hug the wrist comfortably for all day wear. I would definitely recommend this piece for anyone looking for their first pilot style watch, especially if that person appreciates vintage charm. It’s a fun watch to wear for sure. The 24hr dial is nothing short of awesome and the case can definitely withstand those outdoor weekend adventures.

As always thank you all for reading this review and please feel free to ask any questions below.

Thank your Lesablier.

 

https://www.lesablierwatches.com/product-page/aviateur-vq

 

 

  • Specifications

    Production – Limited production, 250 units of each strap color per production series.

     

    Dial – High-contrast gloss black dial indexed for 24 hours with 8-hour lume on all white elements. Each dial features your watch’s unique, individual production number.

     

    Case  – 41mm 316L sandblasted stainless steel case with polished crown and bezel.

     

    Movement – Swiss Quartz, 24-Hour scale. 45-month battery life.

     

    Straps – 22mm padded genuine leather with polished and engraved tang buckle.

    • Midnight: Jet black leather with black stitching
    • Terracotta: Rich red-brown “weathered” grain leather with off-white contrast stitching.

     

    Water Resistance – 50 meters/5ATM

     

    Crystal – Domed Sapphire Crystal with blue Anti-Reflective coating

     

    Packaging – Our unique “Aviator” box, warranty card and instruction manual.

     

    Warranty – One year warranty on any movement-related issues.

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