BOLDR Globetrotter GMT

BOLDR is currently taking pre-orders for a sharp new traveler’s watch, the Globetrotter GMT. They have paired a husky dive watch case with a Swiss ETA 2893-2 Elabore-grade automatic movement with an independent GMT and decked it out with a ceramic world timer bezel. I had the chance to test their prototype and I can tell you the result is a sporty and stunning tool watch.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition blue

Everyone needs a GMT in their collection. Originally conceived as pilot’s tools, these watches use an extra hour hand to track a second time zone, allowing the wearer to read the time at both the places of departure or destination at a glance, without mentally calculating the deviation from Greenwich Mean Time.

Another approach to the time zone issue is the word timer, or city bezel, which uses a 24-hour index and a bezel marked with major cities in order of their deviation from GMT. For these watches, you would convert the displayed hour to 24-hour format, turn the bezel to align the local city with the corresponding hour on the 24-hour index, and read the hour for any other city on the bezel. Of course, it’s not perfect. You may need to estimate by eyeball when your target city falls between the markers, and you still need to adjust for daylight savings time, but you get the idea.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition blue wrist

The BOLDR Globetrotter takes the belt and suspenders approach, giving you the GMT hand, city bezel, and 24-hour index all in one package. Is it busy? Not overly so. Despite the abundance of text and numbers, everything is clearly legible. Is it necessary? Frankly, no. You most likely own a smartphone that will display the time anywhere on earth down to the second while accounting for any local seasonal adjustments. Is it cool? You bet it is, and honestly, that’s why most of us still wear watches.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition blue

The Globetrotter’s case is nearly identical to that of the Odyssey in terms of design. This is not a bad thing as I rather liked that model’s angular facets and combination of brushed and polished surfaces. The Globetrotter delivers that same look, albeit in a totally new case. It is 44mm wide and just over 50mm long, and 14mm thick. This is hardly small, but it still fits the narrow confines of my 6.5” wrist. The signed screw down 4:00 crown had the same distinctive broad-toothed shape as the Odyssey, and is just as satisfying to use. Its threaded caseback bears a sharply embossed, limited edition illustration.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition blue

This is a handsome watch by any standard. The bezel bears a brilliantly polished and aggressively textured edge of broadly spaced cogs topped with fine teeth. (Note that the prototype had a unidirectional bezel, not the bi-directional bezel that will be in production so I was unable to evaluate its operation.) Its glossy ceramic insert shows intense color and clean engraving. Inside os the 24-hour index engraved on a brushed ring set above the sunray blue dial. The applied markers and broad hands are polished and filled with a healthy layer of BGW9 SuperLuminova, as are the fat orange GMT arrow and paddle-tipped second hand.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition blue

As the DW logo in the lower dial indicates, the Globetrotter is a collaboration with the Diver's Watches Facebook Group. You might notice that all the cities are filled in white except for Singapore and Nicosia, home to BOLDR and Divers Watches, respectively.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition blue

A Divers Watches collaboration should be ready to dive, so it is fitting that the Globetrotter has an athletic build, a double-domed and anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a tall and heavily textured bezel and crown, and 300 meters water resistance. It comes equipped with a custom rubber strap and a sturdy, signed, push-button dive extension clasp. The final version will also gain micro adjustments. As this was not my watch, I refrained from cutting down the strap to fit my skinny wrist. I can't tell you how it wears but I can report that it is cleanly finished and operates smoothly. I am told the production strap will be refined to better fit the case, but I saw nothing out of sorts. I did not get a chance to test one, but BOLDR offers a shark mesh bracelet as a $59 USD option.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition clasp

My only real issue with the watch is that I am not entirely sure what it is trying to be. It has the qualities of a dive watch, but unless you want to show a Pacific sea turtle the current time in Dubai, that bezel is useless under water. Water resistance is always a plus, but does a travelers’ watch really need to dive deeper than a blue whale? When I travel, I try to go light and wear one watch for every occasion. Do I really want that watch to be a massive tool like this?* I don’t know. My usual travels involve hotels and business dress, but if I were going on a surfing vacation, I might think differently.

Perhaps I’m overthinking it. After all, I will likely never test the altitude, depth, pressure, or magnetic limits of any of watches, and you don't need to use all of your watch’s capabilities at once. The Globetrotter is decked out for international timekeeping and high water resistance. Its appeal is as much a matter of fashion as it is of function, and it does both rather well.

The BOLDR Globetrotter is available for pre-order now for $599 USD. Full retail will $799. They anticipate a December 2018 delivery date. For more information or to place an order, see boldrsupply.co. ⬩

* Sharp-eyed followers of my Instagram page might recall that I wore a chunky 44mm Borealis Sniper on a bracelet for a two week trip to southern China last summer. This was not my brightest idea. It was obscenely hot in Guangxi. I sweat like a pig and my wrists ballooned. A lightweight watch on a nylon NATO would have been far more comfortable.

BOLDR Globetrotter Divers Watch Limited Edition lume

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