Seaborne Sea Venture

It’s summertime in DC. On the one hand, that means heat, humidity, and bugs. On the other hand, it means bright and breezy fashion, which makes the first part bearable, particularly when you are south of the Mason-Dixon line during a historic heatwave in the middle of a pandemic. A splash of color and a bit of fun goes a long way. So imagine my delight when I opened the box from the Seaborne Trading Company and saw the delightful Sunrise Bezel Sea Venture they lent me for this review.

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Bezel

Seaborne is a new microbrand out of Duxbury, Massachusetts, and they clearly understand how to beat the summertime blues. A great summer watch needs to be ready for the beach, the boat, or any other aquatic adventure on which you may embark. Coming from a company called “Seaborne” only ups the ante. Naturally, the Sea Venture is properly equipped with a stainless steel case, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a 120-click unidirectional timing bezel, a screw-down crown, and 100m water resistance. “What’s that?” The dive watch purists scoff. “Only 100m, not 200m? That’s not even scuba-worthy!” To which I say, get over yourself because 100m is really all 99% of us need, 99% of the time. If you want to explore the ocean at the cruising depth of a blue whale, then maybe choose a different watch. Otherwise, 100m will suit you just fine.

Seaborne package

The watch arrived securely packed in a well-presented cardboard box. I approve of this as it is both ecologically friendly and absolutely guilt-free if you decide, as I have, that you really don’t need another damn useless display box cluttering up the house. I also like the feeling that the price of the watch did not go disproportionately towards a container I neither want nor need. Well done.

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Bezel wrist

I would call the Sea Venture comfortably mid-sized: 40mm wide case, 41mm bezel for a touch of easily grippable overhang, 48mm long, and just shy of 13mm thick. It definitely has tool watch proportions, but in a compact package that sits neatly on my 6.75” wrist, even when strapped with a NATO. A businesslike brushed finish on top surface sets off the shiny polish on the sides, bezel, and signed crown.

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Bezel

Of course, the real joy for me is the bold display of color on the Sea Venture’s face. It features a black dial with applied and polished bar markers, an oversized 12 and 6, and polished hands, all filled with white BGW9 SuperLuminova, surrounded by a bright blue index and a lurid blue-on-orange dive timer under a domed K1 mineral bezel insert.

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Bezel

That tangerine hue pops when the light shines through, bringing it to life in a way a printed aluminum insert cannot. I love it. Seaborne also offers the watch with a blue bezel and black or orange dials, as well as an all-black and white Tactical version, all of which look fantastic. My only quibble is the pairing of a sapphire crystal with a mineral bezel, as the K1 is more likely to scratch. A domed sapphire insert would have addressed this but also increased the cost. Personally, I’d have preferred acrylic for both and simply rubbed out the inevitable abuse with some Polywatch, but I realize I’m in the minority on that one.

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Bezel

Flipping the watch over reveals an engraved case back decorated with a nautilus shell. Behind it sits a trusty Seiko NH35a. This hacking, hand-winding, 24 jewel, 21.6k bph unit is a common choice for microbrand watches and for good reasons: it’s sturdy, reliable, inexpensive, and its unidirectional rotor is far quieter than the bidirectional ones in its usual competition.

Seaborne Sea Venture case back

Seaborne will ship the watch on your choice of one of six 20mm straps. I got to try three nylon pass-throughs: bright blue and orange with thick rings, and a navy/orange stripe on slimmer NATO style hardware; as well as on orange 70’s style silicone (they offer a blue one too). While they all looked great, I must give extra props to the bright blue and oranges as they matched the colors on the dial and bezel quite well and that is no small feat when dealing with different materials. I don’t see how you could go wrong with any of them, and if you can’t make up your mind, you can buy extra straps a la carte for $15.50 each.

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Orange silicone

Speaking of prices, the Sea Venture can be yours for just $369.97. This is spot-on for the watch’s target niche, but it gets even better if you apply the code SEA35 for $35 off. In addition, 5% of Seaborne’s profits go to New England coastal community organizations like the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance.

The Seaborne Sea Venture was a breath of fresh air amid my midsummer doldrums. If you are similarly taken with this cheerful gem, head over to seabornewatch.com. ⬩

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Orange Bezel

Seaborne Sea Venture lume

Seaborne Sea Venture Sunrise Orange Bezel

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