I like that companies are keeping their ears close to the tracks and collaborating with watch groups/watch enthusiasts. It adds to the vision of the watch by infusing what watch fans want to see on their wrists. I believe that the collaborations usually produce an interesting and inspired watch. Usually. (For reference, the Globetrotter with the DWFG logo on the dial is the prototype, the production piece doesn’t have the logo 👏👏👏)
The Boldr Globetrotter comes in from collaboration with the DFBG as we are reminded of this on the dial with that logo. Which in my opinion would look far better on the case back of the watch, but at least the logo is small enough to look past. (Thankfully the production piece removed the logo from the dial) The bezel on this travel inspired dive style watch is not so easy to look past though, nor do I want to look past it. It is a thing of beauty which is decorated with city names from around the globe hence the name Globetrotter. The dial is armed with a GMT hand and the inner chapter ring is armed with 24hrs of second time zone goodness. The bezel, teamed with these two details really do allow the Globetrotter to live up to it’s name. Thankfully function is just as beautiful as looks as the orange arrow tip GMT hand/function works well both when setting it and when it functions. The same can be said for the bezel, the blue insert is beautiful, the white/orange filling on the city names are done well and the bezel rotates with tight precision.
The bezel insert on the prototype is my preferred insert, but the 24hr “Batman” insert on the production piece is appealing and functional. The production Globetrotter has a blue GMT hand which compliments the bezel insert beautifully.
Another nice similarity can be found between the hour/minute/second hands, the date wheel/window and the signed screw down crown. All of these details look great, adding to the overall aesthetics of the Globetrotter but they all function with precision as well. Without both function and aesthetics coming together like this, you end up with disappointment. As you can see in the picture above, the edges of the bezel allow for extremely easy gripping when rotating this bezel. This functional detail is carried over to the the crown. I also want to mention that I love how flush the bezel sits against the uniquely shaped stainless steel case. Not gaps whatsoever, and no extra play either. A sound bezel through and through.
For those of you who enjoy using your watches outside of the office, for physical adventures, the details I mentioned above become a much more crucial detail. A huge inconvenience that is a pet peeve for me is having to take my watch off during a hike to either rotate the bezel or to adjust the crown because of inadequate functional design. BOLDR prides itself as a company that designs products for the modern day adventurer and the design of the bezel & the crown is a direct example of BOLDR’s commitment to providing solid functionality of their products.
Speaking of soundness, checkout the lugs in the picture above. I absolutely love the geometric shape that these lugs have. The profile on the Globetrotter lends to it’s commanding wrist presence. The lugs give way to a rubber dive strap that must be cut to size to your wrist. I have never been a fan of this style of strap. Thankfully Boldr includes a micro adjustment and dive extension found within the deployment style buckle to allows you to get a more accurate fit to the wrist. The rubber is pliable and conforms to the wrist for the most part. It is rather thick, so you won’t get that tight wrist hug if you prefer that kind of fit. I have to mention that the rubber strap is extremely difficult to line up to allow the spring bars to lock into place. I actually gave up trying to attach the rubber strap on the production piece. Thankfully BOLDR is addressing this issue. A company that actually listens to complaints and addresses them is an excellent example of a company that truly cares about the customer experience.
The case back is a work of art, literally. I love Boldr’s case backs, they are always a true extension of the watch’s personality. It adds a wonderful complete feel to the watch. It’s definitely one of my favorite design details on the Globetrotter. The blue sunburst dial is also a beautiful work of art. It really captures the changing color of the ocean itself. I found it extremely mesmerizing. The oversized rectangular shaped applied hour markers allow for optimal legibility both in daylight settings and dark settings(as you can see by the lume shot below) Of course allowing a nice view of the dial is thanks to the double domed AR treated sapphire crystal. The hands are an ideal size both in width and in length, the added touch of orange is a welcome design choice which pulls together the bezel/case in with the dial. Cohesiveness horological style.
The Globetrotter is finished off with a true, trialed and tested movement, the ETA 2893-2 Elabore-grade automatic movement with independent adjustable GMT-hands. The Globetrotter GMT watch is made with a wonderful recipe, that recipe being a combination of passion, quality, enthusiasm which has been delivered in fine execution. If you jump in on the pre order, you get yourself one heck of a watch which in my opinion is total bang for your buck. The two things that I would change that would make this watch even more appealing to me is, move the logo from the dial onto the caseback and execute the strap differently where you don’t have to cut it. The 44mm case is the perfect size for this style/design in my opinion. I want a easy to read dial, a tough/rugged case that I don’t have to worry about when traveling, especially on those adventure type travels. I never baby my watches, so it has to be able to keep pace with me or it becomes a hindrance as opposed to a travel companion.
The production piece is exactly what I wanted this watch to be. Aside from my issues with the strap that I mentioned earlier, the production piece is damn near perfect. It is more fine tuned than the prototype. Sometimes a company takes the easy route which also maybe a more cost effective route. They leave the prototype to production untouched. BOLDR has gone further and tuned the production piece into a step above the prototype. The dial is a huge improvement in my opinion. Losing the logo from above the 6 o’clock position increased the fluidity and flow of this dial.
Beyond the dial, beyond the case, and beyond the watch, is the company. BOLDR is a young and passionate company. Leon Leong is dedicated to his products, the Boldr team is just as dedicated and their combined dedication is what is truly important. Why is dedication important? Because it’s that dedication, that passion that drives Boldr to deliver a solid and quality product. When a company shares the same passion for watches that it’s potential customers share, this typically generates a great product. When Boldr had to recently redesign itself from the ground up, it was a difficult transition that could have had a number of different outcomes. Having the opportunity to experience a product before this change and after this change has definitely been an educational experience for me. In my opinion Boldr is a much stronger company that is delivering a stronger product as evidenced by the Globetrotter that I received a month ago. It’s quality and execution is an apparent step above than it’s prototype counterpart.
I have huge respect for Boldr because things could have gone a completely different with a completely different outcome. I highly, highly recommend Boldr to any fan of microbrand watches or to any watch fan for that matter. I am excited to watch Boldr grow stronger with each release moving forward!
Shark Mesh Add on: US$59 (SG$79)