I am a sucker for field watches, there I said it. Every tool watch has an specific requirement, in dive watches is the ISO certification, for pilot watches is legibility and for field watches everything is focused in toughness trying to make the watch as simple and legible as possible. In world war II field watches or watches in general used by military personnel had to meet specs like hacking, shock resistance and luminosity giving the watchmakers a good amount of grey area to play with the design, we can see beautiful watches from the era that could easily be dress watches today not only for the size but for the gilt details or elegant dials . One of the most beautiful version of the era was the Rolex Oyster Army Ref. 3139 which is a 30mm cushion shape case with hour minute and seconds hands, that’s it, a beautiful tool.
Now you might already know that 30mm is very small by today's standards so our friends at Venturo decided to make a modern version of this watch, not everyone is so brave but the result was incredible, the Filed #2 is a modern size watch which keeps the real spirit alive, hopefully you'll enjoy the review as much enjoy wearing this magnificent piece, lets begin.
The Field #2 is visually striking and even knowing is 42mm in diameter just tell us one side of the history, the watch is 48.5mm lug to lug making it perfect for my 6.25 inch wrist, this is achieved by very short lugs and also by the cushion case, interestingly some people reacted to this watch by calling it a baby Panerai (which is not a bad thing).
I can really see this connotation given the Rolex design and approach in those days, so comments are definitely not so far from the truth . When we talked with the Venturo team (thanks again for the great service) we wanted to review the cream dial version of the Field #2 which included thermally blued steel hands but we ended up going with the Blue Sunburst version, blue is so hot right now that we just had to and we were right, the watch is incredible under the sun light, rose gold hands and aged SuperLuminova on the numerals makes the dial of the Field #2 feel vintage but at the same time modern, the watch capable is as any field watch costing 4x times the price. This reliability and price is achieved by Venturo using a Seiko SII NH35 with automatic winding making the Field #2 robust and durable like a field watch needs to be.
One of the coolest details to keep the watch true to its Rolex counterpart is the box sapphire crystal that distorts the edges like a period correct watch mimicking a plexiglass to perfection, this is one of the best domed sapphire crystals I've seen in a watch, period. The 316L stainless steel case has brushed and polished surfaces with perfect transitions making me think that if the Rolex Oyster looked like this when it was delivered to any solider, he or she would be very tempted to keep it safe like I am doing, fortunately this watch is here to do work.
On the wrist:
When it comes to cushion cases you cannot go wrong, some of the coolest watches like the Seiko Turtle and the Panerai Radiomir are successful because of their case shape, people get scared when they hear over 40mm but the truth is that on a cushion shape these measures work.
The watch sits on the wrist so perfect that I cannot imagine using another watch these days, another cool feature (I will encourage more brands to do this) is the case back, everyone who has been following us knows that I love a display case back, I wanted to see this on the Field #2 but I was in for a surprise. The case back has a ''clou'' de Paris pattern which I did not understand, I remember that I asked myself why? And then after a few hours wearing the Venturo it was this intricate pattern who kept the watch secure and in place, the watch did not slide, did not move making it perfect to wear all day long. Another thing that it was a very cool small detail was that the signed crown aligns! When the watch is fully threated the Venturo 'V' stays looking up proudly, this is a detail that makes most watch people crazy, many if not almost every brand is guilty of this but not Venturo so kudos to the team. To add even more value to the package, Venturo supplies the Field #2 with 2 straps, one travel pouch and a tool to change its looks.The watch has drilled lugs making it easy to alternate between a fine blue leather strap or a light blue canvas one, both at 22mm.
While reading this review you can really tell that the watch won me over, it has many details to highlight the time and effort put into the project, it is incredible that a 3 hand watch makes me stare at it all the time, is simple but it has so much to see that you get lost in the beauty of the execution.
In the modern watch world the word reinterpretation is a dangerous one, brands like Bulova or Longines make bigger versions of vintage watches that didn’t really need to but the Rolex Oyster Army is a great example when an upgrade needs to be in place to be fully appreciate it, the result is a great final product which not only has an accurate look but a construction which blends with in harmony with the design. The Venture Field watch #2 is not an homage to a Rolex, its an evolution of a great watch, just like a modern Porsche 911 the Field #2 is how the field watch of today should be, the watch is better, faster and stronger.
More information at www.venturowatches.com
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