First Look at the Return of the Ventura v-matic EGO

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Swiss brand Ventura, which dates back to the late 1980s, is relaunching with a new version of the v-matic EGO. The design-focused Ventura found some success in the ’90s with a bold aesthetic built around the idea that form should always follow function, but like so many brands from the period, Ventura seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth as people began shunning watches in the age of the ever-present cell phone. Now, with the industry changing dramatically and a strong interest in value-oriented watches from a new generation of consumers, there’s an in for Ventura and other brands like it. Let’s take a look at their new offering and at the relaunch of the brand.


Ventura v-matic EGO

  • Case Material: Titanium
  • Dial: Silvery white (shown here); black
  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: ETA-2892 with a custom rotor
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather strap or five-link bracelet 
  • Price: $900 (strap); $1,000 (bracelet)
  • Expected Release: Pre-order on Kickstarter currently ongoing

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In 1994, Ventura introduced the original v-matic EGO. Designed by Hannes Wettstein, the watch took a form based on a series standards that Wettstein put forth to the brand. Among those standards were that the watch’s aesthetic appearance be defined by its functional, technical, and material characteristics. The chosen case material, titanium, would largely determine its form, and the dial layout would be sparse, including only the information necessary to tell the time at a glance.

In the wrong hands, such minimalism could result in a bland, underdesigned product. Ventura was able to avoid this pitfall. 
Blued, applied markers.

The new v-matic EGO has been thought through in much the same way. What you’re left with, naturally, is a simple, easy-to-read watch made for comfort and convenience. Three thin, blued hands; a trapezoidal date window at 6:00 with a distinct date wheel; and small hour markers around the perimeter of the dial yield a watch with perfect symmetry. There’s just enough depth to the dial to give it some visual interest, and the lightweight titanium case has compact, easy wearing lugs that, from the top (the time-telling perspective) appear to flare outward. It’s a nice visual trick on a watch that in every other way is all about form following function. 

One place where the v-matic EGO falls short is the bracelet. The five-link, untapering bracelet feels a touch under-designed relative to the rest of the watch, and it’s thick (and I’d argue too thick for the head). Fortunately, this is a watch that looks right at home on a leather strap, so we paired our sample with one so you can see how good it looks. Arguably, a more refined leather strap would look even better, but to my eye it looks pretty killer on the vintage-style strap featured here, too. 

Like a lot of brands that are reintroducing themselves after a long absence on the watch scene (or are brand new to it entirely), Ventura is offering the v-matic EGO on Kickstarter to build awareness of the brand and to connect with eventual owners. The campaign launched earlier this week, and backers can choose their own v-matic EGO in their choice of dial colors (white or black) and strap options (leather or the aforementioned five-link bracelet). For more information, check out the kickstarter campaign. Ventura v-matic EGO via Kickstarter 

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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