The Boldr Venture Automatic – The best field watch ever?

By Frederik Drost
The Boldr Venture Automatic – The best field watch ever?
Unique, fun, robust and comfortable… This watch delivers on what it promises: to show you the time, day or night, and to keep doing it no matter what.

It is my great honor to be reviewing, once again, the Boldr Venture. Boldr has upgraded the previous quartz Venture (that i also reviewed) to an automatic and I was a big fan of the older model, which makes this even more exciting for me! It seems like they heard the prayers, because the entry level microbrand community have been asking for it! But instead of just replacing the movement, they went and redid the entire thing, but without losing touch of what started it all. 

I present to you, the new Boldr Venture Automatic Jungle Green!

– Lightweight & Tough– Not great for big wrists
– Affordable– Nato strap is too thick for this watch
– Understated yet different
– Great overall quality
– Great lume
– Easy to read the time

First Impressions

The Boldr Venture Automatic comes in a nice leather and canvas pouch, just like the previous quartz version. They have even upgraded the pouch design and this one can fit 2 watches and locked using a nice leather strap.

The watch is surprisingly lightweight, yet looks and feels bigger than the previous version. You immediately notice the very cool “grenade” crown at the 4 o’clock. 

The nato strap is very thick and well made, but it’s quality also makes it quite stiff. Luckily, it’s still comfortable to wear and with a little bending it quickly loosens up and wraps nicely around the wrist! 

Before I get started, it must be said that I cannot recommend this watch for people with very big wrists. It sits nicely on my 17cm wrist, and even though the trend is slowly turning towards smaller watches, it will look too small on the large end of the spectrum.

A closer look

The case and crown

The case

The case is small and compact, and they have almost removed the lugs that the previous model had, which does make the watch look slightly wider. The dark bead-blasted titanium really gives this watch a utilitarian look, which suits it perfectly. 

The beveled edge running down the 2 sides of the watch is rather big, and with the help of the lug holes on the side, these 2 elements gives this otherwise basic case some more personality.

The crown

The crown is also a big part of this watch’s personality with its unmistakable grenade look and a very efficient grip. It screws directly into the case, making it less prominent on an already small watch. This serves the watch well, as my skin has yet to touch the crown of this watch, which sits high on the thick nato strap.

The dial and hands

The dial is as functional as the case, and is therefore good for showing the time, and only that! The matte dial, thick lume and crisp printing is to be expected for a field watch, and they have kept that winning recipe from the previous model. This all sits under a nice flat sapphire crystal with good AR coating on the underside to help visibility.

Boldr has also kept the big custom-made syringe hands and the seconds hand with that funky orange tip. Why change what works so well?
The hour hand stops and points directly at the numbered hour indices, the minute hand stop at the beginning of the minute track and the tip of second hand runs smoothly in the middle the minute track! Great proportions is subconscious bliss!

The strap

The nato strap is thick and well made and features nice custom bead-blasted titanium buckles to match the watch’s case. But it’s quality can also be its downfall, since 2 layers of this strap underneath the watch makes it float above your wrist. It’s a comfortable result but i personally don’t like how it looks. But this watch is not made to look good, but to work and wear well.

Simple titanium buckle with the Boldr logo engraved. The nice and centered pin fits the cut-out perfectly and doesn’t move from side to side.

They could have made the nato strap slimmer for this watch, by sacrifying durability. It that something you would want? Comment at the end of this post!

The movement

The all too well known Seiko NH35A automatic movement is powering this bad boy. It features hacking, hand winding, bi-directional automatic winding and ticks at 21.600 beats per hour (3Hz or 6 ticks of the hand per second). These movements are robust and reliable within the “20 seconds a day” precision range and are easily serviced or replaced. I can only speak highly of this movement, and any watch guy worth his salt would agree.

At this price range, you can’t expect a swiss movement, so Boldr went for the next best thing!

The price

I think the price is fair

Boldr is not known for making overpriced watches, so why start now? I believe this watch is 50 USD more than the previous quartz moment, so for 299 USD ( 269 Euros) you get an automatic movement in a nice solid titanium case with great lume and a great nato strap!


Boldr’s new edition of the Venture is a sure hit! They have listened to the fans and upgraded it to an automatic movement with a cooler crown and a more compact case, while keeping the rest of the design elements we grew to love on the previous model. I do miss those sharp lugs the previous model had, but those are quickly forgotten thanks to the hypnotizing seconds hand ticking away over the dial. 

You get a functional, masculine, understated and solid field watch that serves its purpose in the most simplest manner, while being fun to wear! Its bad-ass functional design, like a tank’s design, is something most men will enjoy looking at everyday. You almost want to scratch it and get it dirty, to give that used look that tanks pull of so well. 


Dan Edwards 09/04/2020 - 20:12

You claim: “Boldr has upgraded the previous quartz Venture (that i also reviewed) to an automatic…” Can you please explain how an automatic in any way qualifies as an “upgrade”? Automatics require regular and costly maintenance that a quartz movement does not. With very rare exception automatics are less accurate than quartz and they are also less rugged and durable. And, all other things being equal (fit and finish, lume, crystal, etc.) automatic mechanical movements cost more to purchase – in this example $50 more. It would appear that a “good” automatic is in no practical or objective way superior to the previous Boldr quartz movement. What am I missing? Please explain.

Frederik Drost 10/04/2020 - 11:35

Hello Dan 🙂

I can’t argue with you, you are 100 % right 🙂

It was more of a personal opinion and the fact is that in the watch enthusiast community, many people prefer the charm of a mechanical movement. Also, a lot of people asked them to make it automatic so they responded in kind.

The truth is most people don’t use these watch in the real field, but let’s say that was the case. Let’s say society just stopped Mad Max Style. I would much rather have a automatic Seiko movement on my wrist. The quartz battery will die out after a few years, but Seiko movements have been known for running for 30 years! Now, admittedly, they are less precise and will lose precision over time, but for short periods of time, say to synchronize for a mission, they work fine. Astronauts used mechanical movements to time entry rockets and a solar flare would not stop that watch from working. In very low artic missions, many quartz watches stop working, but mechanuical keeps ticking, and i would suspect that these explorers don’t care too much about super accuracy more than functionality and reliability.

So both seem to have certain advantages and flaws.

Btw, what examples of mechanical movements are as precise as quartz? I couldn’t think of any.


Frederik Drost

Jillian Sandrock 29/05/2020 - 02:47

You men are all alike!! Loved your review and agree totally, but maybe think about all the references to men and masculinity. I’m a GIRL (to be honest, an old lady in my 70’s) and I collect watches. I adore my Boldr Venture, wear it all the time and I bet there are lots of other gals out there who also wear them. Actually the 38mm size is a great size for older women, especially me, who want a cool field watch mainly (true confessions) because I can SEE it!

Frederik Drost 01/06/2020 - 12:23

Hello Jillian,

You have a fair point 🙂 I do describe some designs as masculine, perhaps more in reference to the stronger square bodies of men in opposition to the “rounder” and softer female body. Not in reference to who needs to wear it 🙂

These days, “men’s” watches are actually becoming more popular with women, but they are still referred to as men’s watches (the industry is old and rooted in tradition). However, i still have to cater to my audience wich is mostly male. Most watch fanatics are male in general. But we all want more women in our “club” and we welcome you with open arms 🙂

I hope you enjoy your watch, that’s the important part!



Jesse 27/04/2022 - 16:05

Frederik what a great review and your responses to the previous comments are worthy of a gentleman. Keep bringing us that solid content and great reviews. I love my Boldr Venture Black Dawn. The 4 o’clock crown with the date window I can stare at it for hours. I have a 7 1/4 inch wrist or slightly over 18cm and it looks great not too small not too large. In a world of Apple Watches my Venture gets a lot of compliments and all it does is accurately tell time/date. Thank you for taking the time to read this and please continue writing great articles.

Frederik Drost 07/05/2022 - 11:31

Thank you for your comments 🙂 Made my day !

Yes, the venture has this Hamilton all-around look that never goes out of fashion!


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