BOLDR is a full on established microbrand based in Singapore/Malaysia, started by Travis Tan, Leon Leong and Isa Ghani. What makes BOLDR an established microbrand? They have six different watch collections available at this time One of their newest collections that will be available soon is the BOLDR Odyssey 2019 SS dive watch. This tough dive watch is the next generation of the earlier BOLDR Odyssey. SS refers to the 316L stainless steel construction of the watch. This new model Odyssey watch is available in both stainless steel and a black DLC finish and in two different models; the California dial or the Full Metal. A California dial model uses a combination of Roman and Arabic numerals on the face while the Full Metal model uses a very popular dive watch combination of round and rectangular indices for the face. For this review I have a prototype example of the Full Metal in 316L stainless steel.
The watch is a very chunky 45.5mm in diameter, 14.5mm thick, 52mm lug to lug and 22mm between the lugs. My example came to me on a unique stainless steel bracelet but due to an issue with it, I am showing and wearing the watch on a black rubber dive strap from my personal collection. This watch looks great on either a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap, but it should weight less on a rubber strap. The most noticeable design feature of this watch has to be its beautifully machined stainless steel, 120 click, unidirectional bezel and it’s twelve circular bezel indices. This bezel is solid and relatively easy to turn with little back play. The 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock bezel indices on the bezel are larger than the eight other indices while the 12 o’clock circular index has a polished white finish and is filled with BGW9 lume. This lume is also used on the minute hand while the rest of the indices on the dial and hour hand are C3 lume. I have never seen a dive watch before with different types and colors of lume for the hour and the minute hands. This is a nice touch, particularly since the tapered and bisected, polished sword hands have a generous lume area. The easy to identify second hand is the correct length polished needle and tail with a rectangular lumed lollipop and tip outlined in orange.
The 12 white indices on the black pebble finish face are printed with a raised white insert, which gives the face just the right amount of depth. There is a discrete white on black date window at the 6 o’clock which keeps the watch face balanced. 60 white, small second markers are printed on the chapter ring. The rehaut is a thick stainless steel raised ring. It is horizontally engraved in black with the words “HELIUM ESCAPE VALVE” on the top of the dial and “TRIPLE E-LOCK CROWN” at the bottom of the dial. The upper center of the face is printed in white with the BOLDR logo and brand name. The lower portion of the face is printed in white with the watch’s model name, “ODYSSEY” above “Automatic” and above the water resistance rating, which in this case is a very generous “500M/1650FT”. The virtually flush helium escape valve is located on the 9 o’clock side of the case. All face information is printed in appropriate fonts and type sizes so they do not overwhelm the watch face. Protecting the face is a double domed sapphire crystal with an internal anti reflective coating. The rounded edge of the crystal is perfectly raised above the bezel and truly compliments this design.
Next to the watch’s bezel, the case and the crown really make this watch tick (pun intended). The angles and machine work of the completely brushed 316L stainless case are just unique and look cool. The real surprise here is how well the case’s turned down lugs fit the contours of my 7 inch wrist. The signed, brushed stainless steel crown looks like it was modeled off of the wheels of a Caterpillar Soil Compactor. This very stout 3 o’clock crown is easy to grip, not intrusive and it looks and feels fantastic. The screw down case back is fully engraved with pertinent watch information and it has a unique raised polished compass design in the center. I have not determined the meaning of this case back design. Powering this watch is a very well respected clone of the ETA 2824-2, the Selitta SW200-1. This 26 jewel, 28,800, 38 hour power reserve movement is considered to be both reliable and accurate and is an excellent choice for this type of watch.
For anyone that is considering purchasing a great looking, bold, tough, tool dive watch that isn’t a homage, the BOLDR Odyssey should definitely be considered. Various models of the previous BOLDR Odyssey are also available and even include a bronze case option. The new Odyssey 2019 is currently available and prices range from $599 to $659. boldrsupply.co
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.