I had the honor and opportunity to become friends with Jay during this review process. Jay had been battling health issues for awhile, unfortunately he passed away recently. No matter what was going on in life, Jay always maintained his amazing sense of humor. We shared many, many laughs together. It is a great honor to have met Jay and an even greater honor to call him my friend. I dedicate this review to him and his family.
Website: Venator | Home
Venator Watch Company was started with one particular purpose in mind: to manufacture time-telling tools focused on providing maximum ‘RAR’ (Reliability, Accuracy, and Readability). We created Venator to offer a line of timepieces that contrast the trendy, cheap and gaudy fashion watches that seem popular today. We believe that the world is ready for a new brand of watch – a better brand of watch.
Here at Venator, our backgrounds range from Aerospace & Defense Engineering and Horology to Photography, Information Technology and International Business. We leverage our diverse skill set to bring our customers quality products with top-notch support before and after the sale.
Bottom line… Are you looking for a watch with a tactical look and feel, excellent readability, and quality construction backed by one hell of a warranty? Are you that ‘Professional’ whose gear is his lifeline, where equipment failures are NEVER an option?
316L Stainless Steel w/ Brushed Finish
Other case material options available:
316L Stainless Steel with PVD Finish (Physical Vapor Deposition)
Grade 5 Titanium w/ Brushed Finish
CASE DIAMETER: 42MM
CASE LENGTH: 50MM
CASE THICKNESS: 14MM
LUG WIDTH: 22MM
CRYSTAL: Custom Domed Sapphire w/ Inner Anti-Reflective Coating
WATER RESISTANCE: 20ATM/200M/660FT
MOVEMENT: Seiko (SII) Caliber NH35A 24 Jewel Automatic [21,600 bph] [41 Hour Power Reserve] [Movement Regulated by Greiner Timing Machine]
OTHER FEATURES: Anti-Magnetic, T7 Torx Lug Bars (2 Tools Included), Water & Air-tight travel case with custom EVA Foam Insert, and 3 NATO Straps.
Just in case you don’t know I have to say that I am all about watches. Everything about them I love, eat, breathe, blah, blah, blah. But something else that I love is filling my pockets with badass stuff. EVERY DAY CARRY gear. Knives, pocket tools, mini flashlights, field notes, any gear that is essential to your daily carry. There is some really cool …. out there that you can fill your pockets with. EDC in pockets? ✔️ Watch on wrist? ✔️
Let’s face it EDC goes hand in hand with watches and Venator has found a way to connect this bond even more with the Reticle. When I opened up the packaging upon receiving the Reticle, the first thing that smacked me in the face was the case design. The case just screams “abuse me please”. The Reticle case is solid and you can tell as soon as you handle it. The brushed stainless steel case is heavy and can take some abuse. This is what I would expect from a watch that is made for adventure. There are some watches that claim they can handle adventure with their high polished cases. I’m sorry but high polished cases are not the type of case finish that exactly says “I’m ready for adventure”.
What I like about the Retcile case right away was the choice to go with a fixed bezel. I know, I’m just as addicted to playing with rotating bezels as much as you guys are. The reason I like this fixed bezel choice is that it’s one less thing that you have to worry about damaging when you are out in the wild. Also, I just think that the Reticle looks no nonsense with it’s fixed, brushed bezel.
The lugs are another design feature that draws attention from first sight. I am loving these lugs. The lugs have more of square finish than that of a traditional curved/rounded finish. This design choice shows Venator’s commitment to making a watch that is clearly designed for rugged use. Personally, I prefer solid lugs on a watch, lugs without holes. But when lugs with holes work, it’s a magical thing. Venator gets it right here because the Reticle uses something more that just standard spring bars, instead Venator went with T7 Torx lug bars.
Let’s face it, the last thing you want to worry about is standard spring bar failure when engaging is physical activity. I’ve heard the argument that people try to make “why would you wear a watch doing those types of activities?” I answer a question with a question, why wouldn’t I want to wear a watch?” Watches like the Reticle are made for this. I had a watch fail me when I needed it to stand up and deliver. I was climbing the side of a cliff and I slipped my watch strap caught a rock. Unfortunately the standard spring lug bar failed and the watch fell to it’s doom. T7 Torx lug bars won’t fail you rest assure.
The Reticle has a good size screw down crown and is signed in a killer way. The Venator logo on the crown is extremely nice, it’s a pretty intricate logo and is executed with percision. The crown is easy to grip and operate, that being said, I personally would have liked some bigger gear head style edges on the Reticle. Not that it needs it from a functional standpoint, but I think it would have added to the overall look.
I am a HUGE fan of solid case backs and the Reticle has a very nice case back which features an engraved version of the the Venator logo. Solid case backs give a company an opportunity to do something creative and to extend the watches personality onto the case back. It’s true that this part of the watch sits on your wrist most of the time and you don’t get to see it, but I do take watches off my wrist just to look at the case back. The case back is more important to me than some fancy packaging that a watch comes in.
As you look through the beautiful domed AR sapphire crystal, you can see the dial pop. A great combination of grey, black and white make up this unique and killer dial. The dial was inspired by Inspired by looking through the glass of a rifle scope right down to the crosshairs. An appropriate detail that holds true to the design roots of the Retcile. This watch consistent and never loses sight of its inspiration. I have nothing but respect for a company that stays true to their vision.
The text on the dial is not centered and is located on the lower left corner of the dial. Rather than interrupt the harmony set forth by the crosshairs, choosing to place the text left of center was a great choice. Unique as well because most text on a dial is centered, I find this detail refreshing. The square date window located between the 4 & 5 o’clock markers, is on a black wheel with white printing assists with keeping the balance of the dial.
The matte black dial is the perfect backdrop for the glowing white hands and the white hour markers. The white on this dial is so crisp and absolutely beautiful. Where there aren’t actual numerals marking the hours, there are these awesome arrows pointing inward to the dial. These arrows make this dial in my opinion.
Everything that is white on the dial with the exception of the text, is coated with lume. The lume is evenly applied and glows through the night into the morning on a decent charge from a bright light.
Ticking away inside of the Reticle is the Seiko (SII) Caliber NH35A. A nice workhorse movement that has a 41 hour power reserve and an accuracy rate of -20/+40 seconds per day. This movement features some details that are a must when encased within an adventurers watch. The Seiko (SII) Caliber NH35A has a shock absorber and is antimagnetic both great additions that will help protect the movement well. Rest assured that the case will take the abuse from adventure and as will the movement inside. Venator put the Reticle through some major abuse, much more than normal wear and tear, and the Reticle rose victorious test after test.
For this review, the strap was supplied by DC Leather Company. This beautiful custom leather strap is made from raw Hermann Oak leather. For those of you that don’t know Hermann Oak leather is one of the best vegetable-tanned American leather out there.
The process of making this strap is quite extensive and is all done entirely by hand. DC Leather hand applied the dyes, waxes, and oils to achieve this color and finish. Once the desired color was achieved, all cutting, stitching, assembly, and finish work was all done by hand as well. DC leather used a double layer construction which made for a very strong and reliable strap. A traditional saddle stitch method was used for this strap. which creates an extremely strong connection but also allows ease of repair if ever needed. A lot of strap makers use a machine lock stitch which if one stitch breaks the whole run will eventually come undone. DC leather even used the traditional saddle stitch on the keeper loops.
You can see nice rivets on this strap which not only add detail but are also used to reinforce strength at key areas that get a lot of use. The straps edges are so smooth which DC leather smoothes and has slicked by hand. There is a protective finish that is applied which helps delay wear on the edge of the strap. Once this strap was completed it receivesd an additional oil and wax conditioning.
The end result is a beautiful and rich strap that has an impressive finishing. This strap has the charm like it has been around for years and will age beautifully for many more years. It is extremely well constructed and is the perfect companion for the Reticle watch. Leather like this only beautifies as you wear it and as it ages. This strap is very well made and will definitely stand the test of time.
The Reticle is an extememely well made watch that is built solid like a tank, ready for your adventure. The pictures do show the beauty of this watch, but you won’t fully understand how special this watch is until you hold it in your hand. I kid you not, this watch in hand is impressive as heck. I am beyond impressed at the quality of build and the design on this watch.
This watch and strap combo is the ideal companion for the EDC adventurer. Whether you are into hunting, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, diving this watch will handle it without hesitation. You will not have to worry about babying this watch by any means. It is this watches destiny to accompany you on your adventure and when it’s on your wrist is rides on comfort. You almost forget it’s on your wrist but as soon as you glance at your wrist it brings a big old grin to your face. Damn look at that watch on my wrist!
If you are looking for a watch that you don’t have to worry about this is the watch for you. It’s build quality rivals watches that are over 5x the price of the Reticle. You can get the stainless steel Reticle for $462.00 right now on Venator’s website. Trust me when I say this, you get a ton of watch for your money here. This is an absolute great value for your money. A solid case that has a water resistance of over 600 feet, an awesome signed crown, a rugged automatic movement, a killer dial and so much more.
I want to personally that Jay for the honor and opportunity to be inspired by this watch during this review. This is a very special watch and people should not miss out on this. Once you hold one in your hands, you will understand what I am talking about.
7 1/2″ Wrist for reference: