Boldr Expedition Everest Automatic Field Watch
I’m something of a watch admirer. However most of the watches I find appealing are just too expensive for me to justify spending money on. Every so often, though, I stumble across a watch I really like that falls right into the narrow price range I find acceptable for a quality timepiece. Such was the case with the Boldr Expedition Everest automatic field watch, initially Kickstarted by the Singapore-based Boldr Supply Company.
The Field Watch Explained (Briefly)
The men’s field watch has its roots in military history. Like many historical tales, though, no one really knows the true origins.
As the most commonly repeated story goes it started with Kaiser Wilhelm I. The German Emperor bought something like a thousand watches from Girard-Perregaux for his naval officers in 1879. Since it’s a lot easier to look a watch on your wrist than pull one out of your pocket while in battle, that purchase started a trend — although the field watch wouldn’t become standard issue for soldiers until World War II.
Hallmarks of the classic field watch include rugged construction, simple design, easy-to-read numbers, and glow-in-the-dark hands and markings.
Rugged Good Looks
The Expedition comes in six different styles, all named after famous mountain peaks. But I like the look of the Everest best. It has a good looking matte blue dial inside a matte blue ring along with a rugged gray canvas strap with a leather backing. The watch is enclosed in a 316L stainless steel case rated up to 20 ATM. The dial is protected by Boldr’s durable double-domed sapphire crystal, and the caseback, also sapphire crystal, is printed with a classy topographic design. I have a weakness for a good topo design, so that last bit really appealed to me.
As mentioned above, The Expedition Everest is an automatic field watch. Like many automatic watches, it employs a semicircular rotor to automatically wind the watch through regular movement of the wearer’s arm. The timekeeping aspects of the Expedition Everest is powered by an automatic Sellita SW200–1 movement with a hacking seconds hand. It also features Swiss Super-LumiNova hour markers in two-tone lume (C3 and BGW9) for easy reading in low light conditions.
As a special bonus feature, the inner dial of the Expedition acts as a compass. Sure, you can use any analog watch to find true north, but the Expedition’s rotatable inner dial includes compass point markers to make the job a little easier.
My Own Expedition Everest
Despite how much I liked the Expedition Everest, I still had a hard time spending the money. I missed the $389 cut-off for the earlybird discount. Then I missed the whole Kickstarter deadline. Fortunately my wife was paying attention, and shortly after my birthday this year, I received a surprise package from Boldr with my very own Expedition Everest inside a slightly oversized box.
After I unpacked it, I found the box also included a number of other Boldr-branded goodies.
Inside the box, alongside the watch, I also received:
- A Boldr Notes blank notebook. It includes instructions on how to set the compass ring on the Expedition Everest on the inside front cover and a metric-to-imperial converter chart on the inside back cover.
- A tactical flashlight. Batteries were not included, though. I think it needs an 18650, but I don’t have one on hand.
- A “survival card” with plastic case. This credit card-sized device seems to incorporate a bottle opener, can opener, numerous cutting tools, variable hex nut driver, two screwdrivers, a length of thin paracord, two rulers (with centimeter markings), and a few other tools of mysterious purpose.
- A canvas tool roll to hold everything together.
All these extras were surprising, but it would have been nice to have a little documentation about the flashlight and the weird survival card.
Where to get a Boldr Expedition Everest
Boldr sells the Expedition Everest on their site for $499 (even though it has a suggested retail price of $599). Right now it’s sold out, but a new batch is scheduled to ship in October 2018. If you’re looking for a watch that can handle daily wear—and just about anything elseyou throw at it — look into Boldr’s Expedition Everest.