MICRO MONDAYS: A titanium watch for under $500? No, we haven’t been drinking. Meet the Boldr Venture Chaigo…Thor Svaboe
Titanium: the strong, ultralight metal of the future. Once exclusive to Formula 1 cars and racing bike parts, now you can get hold of it in watch form for less than than $500 in a limited edition with a full titanium bracelet. The Boldr Venture Chaigo might be the world’s best value titanium watch at $499 on a bracelet. That’s a bold statement but, in fact, it’s no Boldr (sorry!) than the conclusion of our story on the regular Venture model here on its tough NATO strap. Now Boldr is stepping up their game with an unexpected and refreshing collaboration with Kenji Chai, the graffiti artist who’s street-art royalty in Malaysia with some big international commissions under his belt (check him on Instagram as @mr_kenjichai).
This Boldr Venture is part a very limited-edition run of only 160 pieces, and it comes with a hand-painted collector’s action figure of Chaigo, Kenji Chai’s artistic alter-ego in the shape of the cheeky blue dog with spray can in hand.
This streetwear conscious collab is the sort of thing you might find on Hypebeast and brightens up the sometimes rather stuffy world of horology. FUN is needed in 2021 so this is a sure-fire winner from Boldr.
The watch comes in a black pelican case with a custom NATO strap designed by Kenji Chai in a sharp blue camo pattern. This NATO amps up the street vibe even more, making the titanium Venture even lighter on the wrist, while setting you apart from the G-Shocks of the masses with a mechanical watch powered by the solid Seiko NH35 automatic.
While the NATO strap is awesome, what gives the Venture really serious value is the crazy lightweight titanium bracelet, that takes some getting used to (like WOW it’s light), but the comfort is sublime. The dark finish endows another layer of cool to the angular cushion shape.
There is a battle-ready air to the Venture, its bead-blasted matte finish gives a dark colouring to both watch and bracelet, drawing your eyes to the candy colour pops of the dial.
A dial can be transformed by colours and textures, and the Venture is a perfectly sized example, starting with a matte black almost charcoal grey surface, with a glossy print of Chaigo the dog that becomes visible in the sunlight. The lumed print for the hour markers and Arabic numerals is a summery turquoise blue that underlines the fun image of the watch brilliantly balanced by the dark titanium.
This is juxtaposed with a tangy orange for the inner 24-hour field watch circle of numbers, the Boldr logo and that classic bright orange square lollipop seconds. Put it on the bright blue NATO for a summer’s day and the colours make for lit wristcandy, and it’s no secret that in 2021, a contemporary shape and lack of fauxtina is a refreshing delight.
Let’s just conclude with a simple statement of the facts: this is a titanium watch with 200m water resistance and a blasted titanium bracelet for under $500 USD including shipping. Suffice to say this value is superb. Especially when you consider the strictly limited run of only 160 pieces. To make the proposition even tastier, the crystal is sapphire with a decent AR coating, the case is a goldilocks-sized 38mm and the watch boasts a proper diver’s 200m depth rating.
My impression? It leaves me divided between happiness at the cheery, fresh vibe and too old, as this is is pure street tough. But once again I doff my hat to the now extensive line from Boldr Supply Co.. The Venture has solidified its position as a tough nugget for everyday wear, and would make a damn cool present to someone way younger than me, who is just learning to appreciate the wonderful world of horology. Now I just need to get some of those Asics trainers Kenji Chai did to match it up. You’re only as old as you feel.
Price and Availability: The limited edition Kenji Chai x Boldr Venture Chaigo is available now at Boldr, Price $499 USD