BOLDR is one of the more interesting microbrands out there. Founded by a trio of watch enthusiasts from Singapore and Malaysia, the company got off to a rocky start. Their first Kickstarter campaign exceeded its goal in the first 24 hours. However, production and shipping expenses jumped before BOLDR could get off the ground, and they were forced to refund all of their investors’ money.
Not to be deterred, the trio immediately launched another Kickstarter campaign, this one priced at the newer, higher rate. Amazingly, the second campaign was also successful, and BOLDR became a successful brand. Their Expedition line of watches includes five different models, each of which is named after a famous mountain. I’ve had the opportunity to review the Rushmore, but the only difference between different versions is the color pattern and a few minor cosmetic features.
The Expedition’s movement is a Selita SW200, which is an automatic Swiss movement that’s roughly equivalent to the ETA 2824-2.
It’s self-winding, hacking, and accurate to about +/- 12-30 seconds a day. It also offers a 38-hour power reserve, which is enough to get you through a day and a half without wearing it. Incidentally, the 2824-2 is probably the most popular movement on the market, so it should come as no surprise that other Swiss watchmakers are manufacturing their own versions to the same specification.
The dial of the Expedition Rushmore is flat black in the daytime, with white numerals and indices. The tip of the second hand is bright orange, which makes it easy to follow.
The design features big, bold numerals at even numbered positions, but it mixes in some military elements to keep things fresh. At the end of each odd numbered hash, 24-hour indexes are written in a smaller font. They’re barely readable, but they’re a nice cosmetic touch.
The hands are fat and bold, with lume paint along the outer halves. The indices are also applied in a lume paint, which provides gorgeous night visibility.
There’s also an internal rotating bezel, which displays 5-minute marks, and is operated by the upper crown. A small date window in the 4 o’clock position completes the picture. At night, all of these features glow brightly.
The Crystal and Case
The Expedition sports a medium, well proportioned case that measures 41mm in diameter, 47.8mm from lug to lug, and 14.2mm in thickness. This gives it plenty of wrist presence, without it totally dominating your lower arm. It wears well in both formal and casual situations, although if you’re wearing it in a business context you may want to buy an aftermarket metal band.
The outside of the case has a simple, bead blasted finish without a lot of ornamentation. There are two crowns, located at the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions. The lower crown functions as the primary control for manual winding and setting the time, while the upper crown is used for operating the bezel.
Both crowns have a screw-down design, which means they won’t easily catch or snag. They’re also well-sized, big enough and well-textured enough for comfort, perfect for easy operation. The top crown has a decorative orange ring around the edge, a nice attractive touch on a part of the watch where you don’t usually expect to find color.
The Expedition Rushmore is water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet). With the screw down crowns and rotating bezel, this is almost enough to make it dive rated. However, there are a few features, such as the marking style on the bezel itself, which aren’t quite up to dive standard.
The lens on this watch has a domed shape, which gives it a side profile that’s slightly raised, and catches the glow of the lume finish. The crystal is double-coated inside and out with an anti-reflective coating, which is a nice feature when you’re trying to check the time while you’re facing into the sun.
The Expedition arrives in a black cardboard box, with a stiff inner foam frame to support your watch. It includes a warranty card, as well as an olive green rubber watch band.
The band is nothing to write home about, but it’s comfortable and flexible, with 10 different adjustment slots for sizing. Alternate bands are available in black and cobalt blue.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there are five different versions of the Expedition, and all of them are based on famous mountains. These include the Matterhorn, Sinai, Everest, Rushmore, and Eiger. The Rushmore symbolizes the four US Presidents who are depicted on the famous monument: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt.
For more specs and to view Boldrs’ full range of watches visit their official website here.