Watch Review: Boldr Regatta

What is a Regatta and how does it tie into a watch? Well let’s define first and foremost, a regatta is a series of races, not it’s not just any race, it’s a race involving boats. A Regatta watch is a specialty watch that is designed with the purpose to countdown the “BANG!” Or whatever is used to trigger the start of the sailing race. The sub-dial that is located under the 12H position is this “special countdown feature” on the watch featured in todays review. So basically this sub-dial is used to assist the helmsman to direct those in charge of navigating the boat to hit the starting line at full speed at the exact moment the race officially starts. Hit the ground running is one way you can describe this! Not only does this help avoid a false start but it also helps put the boat at the best position for starting the race in terms of momentum.

Speaking of hitting the ground, err um, hitting the water and sailing is more appropriate for where the inspiration for Boldr’s new release. “The inspiration for the watch (Odyssey Regatta) came from world record holder Bhavik Gandhi, who crossed 3000 miles over the Atlantic Ocean by himself in 2007, a feat accomplished by a precious few humans throughout history.” The inspiration from Bhavik’s brave trip are apparent throughout the strong design of the Regatta. The heavy (245g with integrated bracelet) 45.5mm 316L stainless steel is built with the durability that could withstand the trip across the Atlantic. I say the watch is heavy but it’s not uncomfortable by any means. It a simple watch is too heavy for a wrist perhaps taking a lesson from Bhavik and explore the world of exercise. “A watch enthusiast himself, Bhavik’s penchant for endurance sports resonates deeply with BOLDR’s core values, leading the brand to reach out for his creative input.”

When I first handled the Regatta, Bhavik’s influence was most apparent to me on the 60-clicks bi-directional nautical miles ceramic bezel. I suffice that measurement of travel on the water was pretty damn important during Bhavik’s navigation of the Atlantic Ocean. The bezel is treated with Swiss Super-LumiNova that glows with brilliant blue. “Founder of BOLDR Leon Leong recalls meeting Bhavik back when he was a student in Sweden: “I first met Bhavik back in 2010 during a TEDxMälaren talk which I organized with my batchmates. Hearing him speak about his adventures made such an impression on me that many years later, I got in touch with him to share our vision for this project”.

This project, which was led by BOLDR’s designer Danny Guzzi, the team also engaged the help of renowned regatta timepiece experts in order to validate their design blueprints. Among those consulted were Mathias Hübner, a vintage watch expert and avid collector from Germany, Mark Reichardt, a regatta watch collector based in the Netherlands and founder of regatta-yachttimers.com, and David Braybrook, a Portugal-based watch collector with years of experience in custom-built timepieces. Boldr implementation of their highly-valued feedback can be found in the details throughout this watch thus creating the quintessential regatta timepiece. Some of those implemented details are the easy-to-use tracking features and the triple-lock crown on the case. The bezel is another detail that in notable for the quintessential regatta watch. The bezel not only looks amazing but it also functions beautifully, from the rotation to the lume. I think it looks quite fantastic during the daytime hours but I have to say that it really looks ever more amazing in the dark when the lume is charged up allowing it to glow in all it’s luminous glory. I appreciate how Boldr has consistently and flow of detail throughout this watch. One example of this is on the Regatta is how the carry over of colors on the bezel flow over to the colors on the countdown sub-dial that is located under the 12H position. The bi-directional rotating bezel has tight, no extra-play, sits evenly on the case, how a bezel should be. Pssst!!! Hey Rolex!!! Panerai!!! Please take a look how a bezel should be.

Using the dual count back/ tachymeter bezel is quite simple actually. First step is to set the bezel in the “off” position. Next align the bezel to start the countback from 5 minutes. The minute hand reaches “ZERO” (Regatta start signal), starting the tachymeter counting. When the boat reaches the specific distance (1 nautical mile) using the minute hand, the user can read the average speed in knots.

Boldr cases never disappoint with their design and execution and the Regatta carries on that tradition. The sharp angular shapes that make up this case give it wrist presence that catches the eye from all vantage points. The brushed finished on the Regatta’s case is beautifully done. The Regatta is a watch that is geared for adventure so it makes perfect sense for the brushed finish. I will never understand polished finish on watches that are designed to “handle abuse.” I love how the thick angular lugs, the crown/crown guards and the edges of the bezel flow with an intentional cohesive engineered design language. The amount of thought that went into the Regatta is quite apparent no matter what angle you view this watch at. The visual aesthetics are great and all but if the same attention doesn’t go into the function of the details then you end of with a one dimensional watch. This isn’t Boldr’s first rodeo so thankfully the design team carried over that attention into the function of each detail. The pushers that operate the chronograph functions are precise and crisp without any sloppy play. This can also be said for operating the oversized screw down crown, which not only is easy to grip but threads/un-threads with smooth fluidity. This makes setting the date and time flawless. The detailing on edges of the crown and on the pushers are another highlight of that cohesive carry over giving even more flow across this watch.

Danny was inspired to bring this project to life because of childhood memories and experiences in nautical sports. “As a child I lived near the “Lac de la Haute-Sûre”, where nautical sports play an important role to this day, I remember my family hanging out with friends at the Yacht Club du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, where we would watch sailing boats for hours. Later in Portugal I was for several years an athlete in the local Nautic Club, so nautical sports always had a special place in my heart – especially regatta races! Designing a yachting timer has always been on my list of goals, and I’d like to say a huge thank you the entire BOLDR team for making my dream come true!”.

I appreciate how Boldr kept the dial clean and legible without overcrowding it without any unnecessary details. Typically I am not a fan of date windows but I like the look of the date window and I can appreciate why it was included especially for the people who use this watch for it’s intended design purpose. I understand that we live in a world of cell phones and computers but anyone who actively sails can tell you there are many times when either there is no cell service and there are plenty of times when you have both hands working diligently when sailing trying to effectively harness the power of wind. The three sub-dials (countdown sub-dial at 12H, small seconds at 9H and 12 hour counter at 6H) are clean and precise without any unnecessary embellishments. Boldr could have took the sub-dials a bit further by adding lume to the hands and markers on each sub-dials thus taking the legibility further too. The fine ombre texture finish on the dial is a beautiful detail that Boldr got perfectly right. Depending on what lighting and angle you view the dial it can appear either smooth black like night or like textured graphite grey. The skeletonized hands are sized with proportional precision to the dial itself and the white is incredibly legible set against the dark dial. Legible in the day and thanks to the lume the hands are oh so legible at night too.

I don’t know about you but when a company chooses the wrong crystal for their watch, I find it extremely disappointing and it can definitely be a dealbreaker for me. Boldr has been around long enough to know how to fit a watch with the appropriate crystal. For the Regatta, they went with a double-dome sapphire crystal with triple-coated inner side AR-coating. The crystal sits beautifully above the bezel and the sloped bezel insert flows with precision up to the double domed awesomeness. At certain angles this crystal becomes so clear that is almost seems to disappear completely.

The single-piece screw caseback completes the case with an embossed sailboat. The case back is an excellent opportunity to extend the personality of the watch. It’s always disappointing when a company fails to seize that opportunity. Underneath the lovely executed caseback is another gem, I speak of the Swiss-made ETA Valjoux 7750 Elaboré grade movement. In my opinion this completes the Odyssey Regatta brilliantly! It doesn’t get much more accurate with an automatic movement either. The Regatta kept even more accurate time(+3 seconds per day) than what the Valjoux is known to keep. This movement has been used for years by brands like Tudor, Omega, IWC, Sinn, Panerai, Chronoswiss, etc…so it’s been tried and tested for decades which means it’s durable, reliable and easily serviced. The 50+ hour power reserve is also nice to have.

I am a custom strap kind of guy, whether it’s canvas, leather, or whatever, there’s nothing like how a custom strap can change/enhance the look and feel of a watch. It’s no surprise that metal bracelets aren’t my go to. That being said, Boldr did a nice job with the bracelet and signed deployment buckle. What impressed me most about this bracelet is how easy the quick release function was to use. Everyone knows that I prefer screw in lug bars, so I don’t have to beat a dead horse here.

You can see exactly how easy the quick release is to operate. I have to admit that the bracelet does dress up the Odyssey quite nicely. It does scratch up though when wearing it during outdoor adventures so if you are one of those people who get upset by scratching your watch you might want to swap out the bracelet when you go out adventuring. What I appreciate about a metal bracelet is how easy it is to clean and sterilize. Working in healthcare, especially the past few years, infection control is so incredibly important. It’s so easy to keep this bracelet clean not only in between my patients but also transitioning into my home life and limiting the amount of germs I bring into my home environment.

Boldr has created a piece that has impressed me, truly impressed me. It’s Boldr’s most impressive piece to date. The 500m water resistance also impressed me especially because the pushers don’t screw-down. A detail I love. I had a Panerai 187 that the pushers had to be unscrewed to be used which was a pain in the ass to do every time that you wanted to use the chronograph function. You may have noticed that there’s an helium escape valve on the non-crown side of the case. The Boldr team’s hard work is apparent throughout the Odyssey Regatta. Is it perfect? Is any watch perfect? The Regatta is pretty damn good as it gets. What would improve this piece? More lume. That’s it in my opinion. Lume on the main chronograph hand and lume on each of the sub-dials. The fit, design and execution of the Regatta is that of what you find on watches that cost twice or three times the cost of this piece which is listed on Boldr’s website for $1499 (https://www.boldrsupply.co/products/odyssey-regatta) The Boldr team’s hard work is apparent throughout this entire watch. This watch has thoroughly impressed me. It’s one of those watches that refuels the love that started my obsession with this horological hobby.

What I truly admire about Boldr is the amount of heart and passion that they infuse into everything they do whether it’s with their watches or their humanitarian work behind the scenes. They just don’t sit back collecting piles of money, they care and give back to the community. I have the upmost respect for that.

Thank you to the entire Boldr team. Thank you all for reading!

SPECIFICATIONS:
  • Case: 45.5mm 316L stainless steel with helium-escape valve
  • Movement: Swiss-made ETA Valjoux 7750 Elaboré grade
  • Water Resistance: 500m (1650ft) / 50ATM
  • Crown: Triple-lock screw-down crown with embossed logo
  • Dial: Fine ombre texture finishing
  • Hands: Boat-shaped hands with Swiss Super-LumiNova®
  • Bezel: 60-clicks bi-directional nautical miles ceramic bezel with Swiss Super-LumiNova®
  • Lens: Double-dome sapphire crystal with triple-coated inner side AR-coating
  • Strap: Integrated quick-release bracelet with 6 micro-adjustments.
  • Case Thickness: 18.2mm (with glass)
  • Lug size: 22mm
  • Lug to lug: 52mm
  • Weight: 245g with integrated bracelet.
  • Case Back: Single-piece screw-down case back with embossed limited edition artwork
  • Limited to 100pcs, individually serialized from 001/100 to 100/100

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