Written by Admin
I always consider it to be a rare and immensely valuable opportunity whenever I get the chance to connect with dedicated brand owners eager to show off their products. In fact, there’s nothing better than feeling the complete idea of a product finally “clicking” after witnessing the tenacity and perseverance of the individuals committed to developing something new – especially if we’re talking about micro-brands. This was really part of the experience shortly after meeting with Steve Laughlin of Raven replica watches for a chance to preview the Raven Venture Men' s Replica during an eventful day in Manhattan last fall. It’s a replica watch that, surprisingly, did absolutely nothing for me in photos. But, after learning about Laughlin’s vision for the replica watch, spending time with it, and discovering how far smaller brands can push the limits of fit and finishing, I became a fan of this burly dive replica watch chock-full of personality.
Raven has been there since the beginning of the micro-brand saga and this past year has really shown that Laughlin is eager to release as many models as possible while standing out in this crowded market. In a way, the Raven Venture Dive Replica was originally intended as a sort of 42mm successor to the Raven Trekker, which we reviewed last year. However, after realizing that several of the design traits wouldn’t necessarily translate well in a larger case, plans for a new collection were quickly drafted. The result is a replica watch that I feel would be ideal for not only value-conscious replica watch enthusiasts, but individuals that are curious about the hobby.
The Raven Venture’s heft is immediately apparent and much of this is due to the sturdy 42mm stainless steel case. This particular example is rendered in brushed 316L stainless steel, but Raven also offers a fully sand-blasted version that provides a more muted, almost titanium-like color tone. It’s also a very proud case, meaning that while it does not necessarily wear tall at 12.5mm thick (same thickness as a modern Rolex Submariner), its presence is surely felt. This isn’t one of those “under the cuff” replica watches, but it isn’t meant to be and the familiar case shape will be more than satisfying for anyone seeking an “adventure replica watch.”
Quite a few people will quickly recognize that the Raven Venture dial borrows a great deal of design inspiration from the Tudor Heritage Ranger. The characteristic 3, 6, 9 layout adorns a large portion of visual space while serving to enhance legibility. Raven also incorporated a similar snake head hour hand that’s well-proportioned in comparison to the simple minute hand. Both are of an adequate length and mix well with the bright orange spear tip seconds hand. At around 4:30 we also get a date window aperture. It personally didn’t bother me much and thankfully, Steve chose to work with a matching date wheel.
Another fun feature is the 12 o’clock hour marker, which almost reminds me of the “Big Triangle” Seamaster 300 models that have gained popularity in recent years. All the dial markings are sharp, well-executed, and easy to read thanks to the high contrast design approach. To match the feel of the bezel, the dial is also manufactured in a matte finish. However, odd bezel markings together with the random ’30’ at 6 o’clock can make it easy to lose track of elapsed time. In the future, I’d like to see Raven refine these bezel markings and perhaps even offer a few different inserts – like a 12-hour/second time zone option. Overall, the dial is satisfying to interact with and the Super-LumiNova applied throughout is a real treat.
A substantial replica watch like the Venture needs a substantial bracelet and this is one of the more interesting varieties I’ve seen in the micro-brand space. Each and every link is solid, brushed stainless steel and the end links themselves are solid as well. It delivers a premium feel that has really just led me to avoid changing straps altogether – I’d almost feel as if the replica watch would be incomplete without the bracelet. So while the 22mm lug width would work really well with a range of straps, I think the bracelet offers the best wearing experience and keeps the overall feel of the replica watch very balanced. For even more added comfort, Raven engineered a chunky clasp complete with a ratcheting dive extension.
The clasp is of the two-button variety with a positive action that feels completely secure when closed. It features a cool Raven logo and didn’t really pick up too many scratches during my review period. The clasp is however on the thicker side and I’m almost still amazed by how much it sticks out from under the wrist. While this could be due to the built-in ratcheting mechanism, I’m sure there could be a way to address the issue in future models. Really, unless I was typing away at my desk, I didn’t notice it. But, if you’re the type to avoid as much bulk as possible, this may be a replica watch to stay away from. That said, the bracelet does also have a nice taper to its design and this was very helpful when the replica watch was strapped to my 7.25″ wrist.
The Raven Venture, I believe, is one of the first models from Raven to feature the ETA-2824 automatic movement. I’m sure it’s a pretty sleep-inducing option for more than a few replica watch nuts, but once again, I think it’s perfect for those seeking accessibility. Besides, the whole “Swiss-made” thing isn’t even paraded on the dial and for the price, I think this feature adds a ton of value. This really is a low maintenance replica watch, but one that is actually worth servicing and maintaining for a lifetime.
The example I was entrusted with only lost a few seconds per day and everything was smooth to operate via the nice, grippy crown. Much like any other standard ETA, the movement operates at 28,800 bph, has a 40-hour power reserve, and is capable of hacking and hand-winding. A solid, screw-down caseback keeps it all hidden and completes the package. To my knowledge, Raven also regulates and inspects these in-house, but it’s unclear if the practice is carried on for the rest of their models.