BOLDR Journey Wasp

Back in May, I introduced the BOLDR Journey, a trench style chronograph with a sandwich dial and Seiko VK64 Mecha-Quartz movement. The project funded easily and you can now buy a Journey directly from boldrwatches.com. I liked it on the computer screen, so I jumped on the opportunity to try a press loaner. The Journey sells for $259 for brushed finish models, and $269 for the PVD Wasp featured here. 

In the tradition of the first military watches, the Journey has a rounded case and wire lugs, similar to a converted pocket watch, but updated with 22mm spring bars. The stainless steel case measures 43mm wide and 14.2mm thick, which is on the larger side of the spectrum, but as is common with this style, the curved sides and slender lugs make is appear about one size smaller than you might expect. I found it to be a comfortable fit on my 6.5" wrist but it would not be at all out of place on a larger person. 

There are some nice details on this case. The crown is signed and has a deep, toothy edge for grip. The case back was designed by Malaysian tattoo artist, Kevin Tan. The Wasp features a detailed image of "evolving man" and the words of Lau Tzu, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." But the real fun is up front, where a massive, 4.5mm domed box crystal towers above the dial and stretches to the perimeter of the case. Regular Time Bum readers already know I am crazy for domes. On this watch, the mineral bubble reinforces the other curves on the case and provides crazy edge distortions. I love it, but owners may want to exercise extra care as the pronounced crystal is an easy target for the bumps, bangs, and smacks of daily wear. Mineral crystals are pretty tough, but they don't have the scratch resistance of sapphire, and you can't easily polish out scratches like you can with acrylic. 

The dial has a combination of large stencil-cut numbers and slots with a printed index on the perimeter. A date window occupies the 6 o'clock position. Registers for 60-minutes and 24-hours are at 9 and 3, respectively. A Seiko VK64 MechaQuartz runs this show. Even among watch snobs, this hybrid movement commands respect as the battery driven quartz has a mechanical chronograph module for a smooth 1/5th-second sweep and a crisp snap on reset. The minute and hour hands are long batons filled with white lume while the subdial and second hands are wedges that taper to needle-like points. 

There are three BOLDR models. The white/black panda dial Sopwith and black/tan Warhawk both have brushed cases. The Wasp reviewed here has a PVD black case, black/white dial, and shocking yellow needles. The first two have a decidedly military look, whereas the Wasp is more of a sports racer.  

Regardless of color, the dials are well balanced and highly legible. The markers' size makes good use of the expansive dial without unnecessarily crowding the registers. Contrast is excellent, especially on the Wasp. The sandwich construction provides pleasing depth. Even the dial text (an aspect I often nit-pick on many watches) is pleasingly rendered with the bold BOLDR logo above and "Chronograph" in a sparse, widely-spaced typeface below. Everything about it works – until it gets dark. I have come to expect all sandwich dials to have a luminous layer below. The Journey does not. Only the hands glow and they are not particularly bright. 

Water resistance is 50m, which is perfectly appropriate for a watch of this style. After all, this is not a diving watch or a tool watch. To my eye, it is more of a driving watch, and that is an activity best performed on dry land. Still, it is good to know that the Journey will shrug off the occasional immersion without complaint.

The Journey arrives on a matte black leather strap with matching stitching and buckle. It is a quality piece and perfectly comfortable. Its thickness is a good complement to the case, but if you want to downplay the size of the watch, I have found that single-piece nylon pass-throughs are an excellent option with wire lugs. 

I really like the look of the BOLDR Journey Wasp. The layered dial, strong colors, and large markers make a potent statement under that crazy dome, and the case offers a nice balance between presence and wearability. It is an appealing sports watch that is hampered only by its weak performance in the dark. 

Pro: Wild dome and aggressive dial.
Con: Begging for a SuperLuminova layer.
Sum: Stylish fun. 




Share:
© The Time Bum | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig