Many watch brands make watches they market as tough, for the outdoors, and built for adventure. These watches are generally outliers in their lineups or they are using buzzwords to sell watches they know will never be used for their intended purpose.
Boldr has taken all of that and dedicated their entire brand to it. All their watches are designed to be beat up, scuffed, scratched, and used as tools. Examining their catalog will quickly reveal this. With that said, one can easily attach these buzzwords to their watches, but can they live up to the hype?
On the Wrist
Picking up the Boldr Expedition will instantly make the wearer feel like this is a watch to use as a tool. The bead blasting and geometric shape of the case makes the watch look tough. The Expedition certainly feels tough; it has a nice heft to it that translates well when strapped on the wrist. You’re gently reminded it is there without it weighing you down.
The bead-blasted case combined with the black rubber strap completes the tool watch look on the wrist. As this was a new review sample, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would look even better once it has been scratched up a little. With no polished surfaces to contrast the angles of the case, it almost needs some wear and tear.
Modestly sized for a tool watch, the Expedition is comfortable on the wrist. The case is mostly flat, especially on the back side, so overall comfort varies slightly depending on the shape of your wrist. Those with flatter wrists will love the fit of the Expedition. The lugs do not curve down to hug the wrist at all; the elegance of a dressy tool watch has been replaced here with pure utility.
There are a few options to choose from for dial colors on the Expedition. The example here is the full lume dial, which appears white to off-white during the day. The matte black markers and hands provide high legibility in all situations. When the sun goes down, the full lume dial provides that same legibility thanks to the marker and hand color.
Giving wearers everything they would want from a utilitarian tool watch, the Expedition’s dial is no-nonsense. The white lumed dial appears matte and contrasts perfectly with the markers, hands, and bezel. The lume on the dial is applied evenly and shines brightly.
The matte black markers and hands pair perfectly with the rest of the watch. The skeleton hands allow some lume from the dial to shine through but also have lume applied in one section of each hand. Considering the dial is fully lumed, this feels unnecessary. The lume from the dial shines through the exposed hands to allow the wearer to read the time. The seconds hand is yellow-tipped which can slightly disappear against the white dial.
The bold markers that adorn the 12, 2, 6, 8 and 10 o’clock positions add to the legibility of the dial. They are large and stand out against the white dial. The rest of the markers and hash marks also stand out in a similar fashion. The 4 o’clock marker is replaced with a date window. The date wheel is white with black text which pairs perfectly with the white dial.
As you may have guessed from the two crowns, the Expedition has an internal rotating bezel. The bezel is black, contrasting with the white dial and coordinating with the marker and hand colors. The markers on the bezel are all lumed, giving the Expedition quite the presence in the dark.
Case & Strap
Tool watches tend to either be extremely large or vintage-small. The Boldr Expedition manages to find a balance between the two at 41mm wide. The 46mm lug-to-lug distance plays well with the flat case. The 20mm lug width ensures your favorite canvas, silicone, and NATO straps all fit the Expedition.
As I mentioned previously, the case is entirely bead blasted. The case has a lot of angles and bevels but because of the bead blasting, it isn’t as noticeable as if it had polished elements. It also manages to help keep the case height of 14mm in check, never appearing too tall on the wrist.
Dual crowns adorn the side of the case, one to operate the time and wind the watch and the other to operate the internal dive time bezel. The crown that operates the internal bezel contains an orange ring to differentiate the two at a glance (in case you ever forget which does what). Both crowns screw down, which is more important for the internal bezel, so you do not accidently move it.
The Expedition is fitted with a Sellita SW200 so reliability and accuracy should be excellent.
The textured rubber strap that comes standard on the Expedition is pliable and comfortable out of the box. It is thick and has a little beef to it, so it doesn’t feel flimsy and lives up to the tough nature of the rest of the watch. It will leave some rather epic imprints on your wrist after wearing it for a while.
Tool watches claiming to be tough as nails are a dime a dozen. Some tool watches live up to these expectations and others fall short. The Boldr Expedition is one of those watches that lives up to its name and expectations. It truly feels like a watch that you could take off your wrist. use it to beat open a can of food, and put it back on with the watch only looking cooler (and still working).
Despite it being rather flat, the Expedition wears well on wrist, is comfortable with a good a strap. and most importantly, is functional. When operating the internal bezel, you don’t need to worry about knocking the crown around and losing your timing capabilities.
Boldr gives you plenty of options for the Expedition if a full lume dial isn’t your thing. Regardless of the option you choose, the Expedition is going to live up to whatever you throw at it. I stand by my statement that this watch probably looks even better once it is beaten up so if you get one, prove me right.
|Lug-to-lug Height||46mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Crystal||Double Dome Sapphire||Strap||Rubber Strap|
|Water Resistance||200 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova® BGW9|
More Images of the Boldr Expedition
Check out the Boldr website