Grab and go. 2020 is exhausting enough so when I l leave the house I want to be able to grab my gear and go without a second thought. There is enough shit to worry about this year that having reliable is a must have in my opinion. I’m an avid hiker and outdoors enthusiast, so I definitely rely on my gear/EDC. My watch is always a part of that carry and is relied upon just as much as my knife, flashlight, multi-tool, etc….. The Venturo Imperfect Skindiver is a watch designed to be a grab and go kind of watch. I was anxious to put it to the test and I wanted to see how it was going to handle itself. Before I get into the watch I want to talk about Venturo a little bit for those of you who haven’t heard about the brand.
The first things that were undeniably noticeable initially on the Skindiver was the weight and the size. This is exactly what the design cues were of the dive watches in the 1950’s through the 1970’s were going for. The slimmer, smaller, and more lightweight divers that had a dressier appearance became known as Skindivers. The Venturo SD has a slimmer appearance than what the dimensions state. The 316L stainless steel, gunmetal plated case has a diameter of 40mm with lug-to-lug measurement of 48.5mm and with a case height of 12mm. I am definitely used to wearing big, heavy watches at work, hiking, swimming, even when I workout and I always sleep with a watch on. So I’m not easily bothered by the size or weight of a watch, but I definitely can notice when I put on a watch that is as lightweight and slim as the Venturo is. I did an occasional wrist check when I was first hiking with the Venturo just to make sure it was still with me. The watch is pure comfort on the wrist and won’t be a hindrance whatsoever during any activity.
I can’t deny the fact that the Venturo fits nicely on my 7 1/4” wrist because of it’s size. I used to be more obsessed with case size, which stayed in the 44mm-48mm area. Over the years I became less interested in case size and more appropriately interested in overall design and quality. If a watch is well designed and made with good quality, size isn’t even a concern, becoming an irrelevant detail in my opinion. Functionally the Venturo SD definitely gets all the check marks. It earns those check marks because everything functions without fail as it should.
Now I would have preferred to have a screw down crown instead of a push/pull operation but that is a personal preference check mark as opposed to being in the how it functions column. A crown should be easy to grip and operate in normal conditions, but when a crown is just as easy to grip and operate in less than optimal conditions then it definitely exceeds my expectations. Even though the crown isn’t a screw down crown, I can tell you that functionally it is quality through and through. There isn’t any of that extra wobble feel like the crown is going to break off the stem that some watches have. In my opinion, bezel operation is just as important to me as crown function and Venturo gets another positive check mark. I should say, they get a few check marks on the bezel for a few reasons. Not only does the bezel operate smoothly but it is also legible. That legibility isn’t limited to just daylight either, the markers are coated with lume allowing for easy reading in lowlight/dark environments. I was pleasantly surprised how precise the bezel rotation was on this watch. There isn’t a single amount of extra play whatsoever. I say it’s surprising because this watch is under $175 usd. The Panerai 719 and 389 cannot even say that their bezels don’t have any extra play. A watch under $200 with better bezel function than watches that cost thousands is what I classify as surprising. What’s even better is that bezel markers line up perfectly with the dial, unfortunately the SD43 and DSSD that I owned couldn’t even say that.
Speaking of legibility, the dial on the Venturo contains just that, legibility. It’s through teamwork that the SD obtains great legibility. The large rectangular markers that are teamed with the well proportioned hands allow for reading this dial easy at quick glances. Again, the lume treatment that is on the Venturo SD gives the wearer legibility during daytime and nighttime. The hands and the markers on the dial received a generous coating of lume and are set against the matte black dial allowing the white to really standout. In my experience matte dials are more legible than glossy dials just because of glare/reflection. When a watch has a glossy dial and polished hands, the legibility decreases especially when you are out in natural light. The Skindiver not only has the matte black dial but the hands have a brushed finish. The crystal on a watch plays a big role with how legible a dial is which seems obvious but sometimes isn’t thought about. Venturo uses a K1 hardened mineral crystal that is double domed and has an anti-reflective treatment.
As an artist I really appreciate the artistic details on this watch. I like the two symbols on the dial that are located at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. The uniformity of the symbols create a nice zen balance on the dial that is also carried over by the small amount of text on this dial. I would say that the Skindiver’s dial is clean and precise with great balance. I love the case back on the Skindiver. Why? Because a solid case back is the perfect canvas for a company to extend the personality of the watch even further and that’s exactly what Venturo did here with the case back on the Skindiver. The picture on the case back “canvas” is a combination of the Gruppo Gamma skull and the artist designed logo for Venturo. The result of this combination is quite stunning as you can see in the picture below.
Naoki from Gruppo Gamma Watches has created an ideal grab and go watch for these hectic times. An affordable watch that gives you a lot of bang for your dollar. A watch that you can abuse through the rigor of your every day. No one wants to second guess their gear, especially when you are out in the field and your gear is all that stands between survival or failure. In the extreme context failure can mean death. Before I jump too far into the dramatics, I will just say that the Skindiver is an affordable but reliable piece of gear. It held up well throughout some rigorous outdoor activities and ever changing weather conditions including rain and hail. I thoroughly enjoyed wearing this watch on my outdoor adventures. There were times that I forgot it was even on my wrist…….that’s a good thing. I like the case design as it has some nice details that check some personal preference boxes on my list. Some of those details include the shape of the case, the lug design(shape & drilled) and the finish on the case. Even the strap on the Skindiver is nicely designed and executed. The black leather is pliable straight out of the box that doesn’t require any breaking in to make it soft or wrist conforming. If you are looking for a comfortable grab and go watch, the Venturo Imperfect Skindiver Limited Edition quartz watch is an affordable option to consider.
Venturo x IMPERFECT Skindiver
Case: 316L stainless steel, gunmetal plated, diameter 40mm, lug-to-lug 48.5mm, lug width 22mm, height 12mm, push-pull crown
Bezel: 316L stainless steel, gunmetal/ black plated, diameter 41mm, 120-click unidirectional, markers filled with white lume
Crystal: K1 hardened mineral, double domed, anti-reflective
Water resistance: 100m/ 330ft
Movement: Miyota 2035, quartz 3 years battery life, +\- 20 seconds per year.
Dial: Matte black, multi-layer, markers filled with white lume
Hands: Gunmetal color, filled with white lume
Strap:Black leather, length 125/75mm