Watch Review: BOLDR Freediver

A BIT ABOUT BOLDR SUPPLY CO:

“BOLDR Supply Company is an outfitter brand for the adventurers of the world. Based out of Singapore, we manufacture watches and gear that’s super-tough, stylish, functional, and built to be used and abused every day. Because watches are worn on wrists and your wrists follow you everywhere, you’ll need a companion that can handle any environment on your path. Strap on a BOLDR and step out of your comfort zone, comfortably.”

I can’t deny my love of the unique and different designed watches. Inspired by imagination! That is something that I believe in since I was young. It is something that my grandmother and mom encouraged and instilled within me as early as I can remember. I also have a deep love for dive watches. A style of watches that is a little harder to be unique but still maintain that important function that makes it a reliable tool. Today we will be exploring the newest BOLDR dive watch release, the Freediver. When I received the watch and first laid eyes upon it, the amount of blasted finished stainless steel is what immediately stole my attention. It just screamed utilitarian! The Freediver was designed with that utilitarian mindset. BOLDR went with the more mainstream “manageable” 40mm x 14mm and 48mm lug to lug. I am definitely at the point in my watch loving life where size doesn’t really matter but I am at the point where design and quality matter. I completely understand that people have size preferences and there should always be options available for every watch enthusiasts preference.

BOLDR’s utilitarian mindset with the Freediver is apparent by what is happening “under the hood”. The Freediver is protected not only from shocks via the parashock protection to the 9015 automatic movement but it also anti-magnetic protected. Even if you are using your watch strictly as a desk diver, there is plenty of everyday accidental abuse that you want your watch protected against. We all know the feeling from that first classic door frame/door knob bang. It’s nice to have some of that extra peace of mind from the added parashock provided protection. Those of us who are exposed to magnetic fields at work have that extra peace of mind thanks to the anti-magnetic protection. The Freediver has water resistance protection of 300 meters which exceeds the ISO 6425 100 meter depth-rating recommendation. The Freediver’s dial and bezel also meets the ISO standards and I will go further in detail on those a bit later in this review.

The Freediver is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel. The green ceramic inlay finishes off the bezel design brilliantly. The bezel has 120 precise clicks, each of which line up with the corresponding dial markers. It’s an important detail to make sure that there is precision in alignment but it is also important that the actual function is smooth and precise. The Freediver’s bezel is easy to grip because BOLDR designed the edges with ease of function in mind. Their line of Odyssey watches are built for adventure; therefore, it not only has to handle the adventure but it has to function during the adventure. Otherwise you are just carrying deadweight on your wrist. There is no extra play or back spin on the Freediver’s bezel. Another noteworthy detail of the bezel is that it sits tight and evenly against the case itself. Thankfully BOLDR is consistent with their design because their attention to precision is carried over to the oversized crown. The edges of the crown are designed for easy grip and easy grip translates into ease of function. I had no issues unscrewing/screwing the crown. There is none of that annoying wobble that plagues some crowns. This crown lines up when screwing it down without any error of mis-threading. It functions as it should when manually winding the watch and when setting the time and date.

The case has some nice noteworthy high polished details that can be found on the lugs and on the crown guards. I like that the majority of this case has a matte blasted finish with those little polished areas. This combination creates a beautiful contrast but still allows the Freediver to retain it’s utilitarian appearance. BOLDR is known for their awesome case back designs and the Freediver does not disappoint. This might be my favorite one thus far. The Freediver features the mighty Kraken. A fearsome beast that ties in nicely to the green textured dial. The Kraken looks absolutely awesome and the added trident detail really makes the picture complete. The Freediver comes on a matching blasted stainless steel bracelet. The bracelet features quick release spring bars for easy change and more importantly clean release without scratching mishaps. The solid 316L stainless steel bracelet features a folding deployment style clasp with micro adjustment. The micro adjustment allows you to fine to the bracelet to get that preferred fit. I like my bracelets with a loose fit so the micro adjustment allowed me to get my desired fit. The bracelets look is finished off with the BOLDR logo. As for the function, the release buttons and clasp releases, unfolds/folds back into place without any issues. The solid end links fit flush against the case and are integrated into the lugs with precision. I really like the lugs are angular designed and shaped, it gives the Freediver some beautiful profile lines.

What’s a watch without it’s dial? Well without the dial it’s just a bracelet. The Freediver features a beautiful ombré textured, matte green dial. The color and texture is a welcome addition because I find myself always gravitating towards what I know & love. Matte black dials are my go to, so breaking from that comfort zone does make me hesitant but when that break works out, it’s definitely refreshing. The raised white numerals allow the Freediver to have optimal daytime legibility. The team at BOLDR knows that we love good lume on a dive watch so they made sure not to disappoint because they gave the Freediver a generous serving of Swiss Superluminova. I am so glad for the BOLDR team’s attention to functional details. Those details can be found on the Freediver’s custom matte hands. The hands are perfectly proportioned to the dial. Ensuring that optimal legibility, the hands are coated with Swiss Superluminova. The second hand is designed with an orange rectangular tip that is also coated with lume for that optimal legibility in low lighting situations.

One of my other favorite details on this dial is the chapter ring with the printed white minutes/seconds track. Having it raised from the dial surface creates a nice layering effect that allows for increased legibility/decreases over-crowding the dial. I also like how BOLDR used the matte rivets as markers in addition to the raised numerals. It’s a nice looking detail, simple but adds to the overall aesthetics of the Freediver’s dial. BOLDR kept the text minimalistic on the dial, limiting it to simple 3 lines above the 6H position and the BOLDR name & logo under the 12H position. A detail that I could have done without but I know some people prefer it, there is a date window located at the 6H position.

BOLDR growth is apparent with each release that I have experienced. The team at BOLDR is dialed in and extremely focused. The Freediver is an extremely well executed watch in terms of design and quality that translates into use in the field. In my opinion that is most important. How a watch handles itself when it is relied upon and how it holds up during that “hour of need” is what separates a successful release from a failed release. I’m not talking financial success, as I have before a watch can be a great seller but fail when it comes to functional quality. A successful watch is measured in quality, design and function, this is why I consider the Freediver to be a success. The Freediver is available on BOLDR’s website https://www.boldrsupply.co/collections/odyssey-freediver for $649 usd. You get a lot of watch for your money. More importantly you get a quality driven watch for your money. Every thing on the Freediver functions as it should whenever and wherever you need it to. During my review, the Freediver functioned perfectly in below zero temperatures, in snow and ice, hiking through the woods (and to grandmother’s house) and in my work environment. The Freediver was dropped several times on solid ice, down the side of a rock filled cliff, into mud and it didn’t miss a beat. I was surprised how well the case held up, no scratches and no dents.

If you are looking for an affordable dive watch, that is well made, that isn’t just another rehashed design that has been seen a thousand times before, then the Freediver is a great place to start looking. I would definitely recommend this watch for those who are most comfortable in the below 42mm case area looking for a more unique dive watch experience. Those who are bored with the same old, same old. BOLDR produces watches for those who like adventure, whether your adventure is at the desk or out in the field, the BOLDR adventure team comes from all areas of the globe, from all areas of life experiences. It’s a welcoming and tight knit “family” all sharing a deep love for watch based adventure.

Thank you all for reading! Thank you to the BOLDR team.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Case: 40mm 316L stainless steel
  • Movement: Cal. 9015 Automatic
    • 28800 bph
    • 42 hours power reserve
    • Parashock
    • Made in Japan
  • Water Resistance: 300m (990ft) / 30ATM
  • Crown: Crown with custom embossed BOLDR logo
  • Dial & Hands: Ombre texture or Meteorite dial and custom matte hands with Swiss Superluminova
  • Bezel: 120-click unidirectional ceramic bezel with Swiss Superluminova
  • Sapphire crystal with AR-coating
  • Bracelet: Custom 316L Stainless Steel
    • Quick-release spring bar
    • Micro-adjustment clasp
    • Screw-pins links
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Lug size: 20mm
  • Lug to lug: 48mm
  • Case Back: Single-piece screw down caseback with embossed artwork

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