Review: Boldr adds to its journey with the all new Expedition

Boldr Supply Co. produces a steady stream of solid watches for urban adventurers – from affordable quartz timepieces to sturdy mechanical wrist beasts, the company takes aim at both the mass market and watch enthusiasts (the polite term for watch geeks).

The all new Boldr Expedition is not a watch that wants to be pampered. With a non-fussy sandblast finished steel case, legible but full-featured dial, and grippy crowns meant to be used on the go, the watch has a tough personality and rugged looks. The features add up to a casual, fuss-free watch intended for any outdoor activity.

Sporty timepieces can be a tough market to crack, with loads of affordable options in the mass market segment. Boldr seeks to set it self apart by adding enough details and specifications to make its watch an attractive value proposition with a retail price of $599 (limited pre-order price is $499). For a Swiss Selitta-powered mechanical timepiece, this is a strong value indeed.

The Case:

Boldr Expedition uses a case design quite similar to its Odyssey line with bold angles and a semi-cushion style, but thinner and with a two-crown set up at the 2- and 4 o’clock positions. The watch is about 14mm thick with a case diameter of 41mm without the crowns. The sandblasted finish is a good choice for the rugged spirit of this watch. The screw-down crowns are large and easily gripped, with the top crown controlling a minute-tracked internal bezel. The caseback features a fun boot print over a manhole cover illustration – definitely playing on the urban street warrior theme carried throughout the piece.

The Dial:

Boldr made the wise decision to load up on two colors of Superluminova on the Expedition’s dial. The numbers lumed with a blue BGW9 Superluminova and the rest of the markers are done with standard C3 Superluminova. The result is a contrasting nighttime display that really blazes. An inside track feature 24-hour markers – a fun refresher on military time reading for those of us not currently enlisted.

This review model —the Expedition “Rushmore”— features a very nice matte black dial. The printing is accurate and lume applications generous and even. Simple marker hour and minute hands help you keep track of time easily while the orange-bordered second hand hops out to make its presence known. The pop of orange detail provides a nice contrast with the other subdued features. There are several different dial options available.

Accessories and Presentation:

The watch ships with a custom rubber strap featuring a tank track theme and the company’s logo visible on the front of both strap pieces. The rubber is soft and a very nice complement to the watch.

The presentation is definitely worth mentioning. a non-standard outside flip-up box with fun unboxing instructions encourages the purchaser to document the experience – this is a clever marketing move by a company that has built its name largely through grass roots efforts. The box itself is rubberized with a cross-hatched imprint – extending that rugged outdoor feel to the total presentation. The doesn’t have a throwaway feel and would definitely be useful for storage.

Specs:
• Case: 41mm 316L Stainless Steel case
• Movement: Sellita SW200-1 Swiss-made Automatic Movement with self-winding and hacking mechanism and 38-hour power reserve
• Water Resistance: 200m (660ft) / 20ATM
• Crown: Dual Screw-down crown with custom embossed BOLDR logo
• Bezel: Inner rotating bi-directional bezel
• Dial: Matt Black dial with Swiss Superluminova BGW9 +C3
• Hands: Customs hands with Swiss Superluminova BGW9 + C3
• Lens: Double dome sapphire crystal with Anti-Reflective coating
• Strap: Custom moulded natural rubber strap (EPDM Rubber)
• Case Thickness: 14mm
• Lug size: 20mm
• Lug to lug: 46mm
• Case Back: Screw-down stainless steel caseback with embossed limited edition designer artwork

Final Thoughts:

Boldr’s founders have found a great way to give their watches a familiar character, following up on previous designs and adding enough elements that makes sense with the brand’s personality as a purveyor of goods for people with a sense of adventure. It’s a very fun niche and Boldr pulls it off without any pretension. This is a brand that feels inclusive and accessible and the Expedition is another step in that direction.

This review sample was provided by Boldr Supply Co. and its U.S. distributor Watch Gauge. Preorder is avialble through Boldr directly or though any of its distributors.

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