I am pretty sure people born in the late 1980s and early 1990s are quite familiar with a little something called Pokémon. Heck, probably even people older than that have an idea of what it is. I bet you’ve all heard of Pikachu, right? Thought so. Regardless of how deeply involved you are with the franchise, there’s no denying the Pokémon series and everything that surrounds it left a serious mark on pop culture history. Pokémon revolves around fictional animals (the Pokémon) and trainers looking to catch them, care for them and evolve them into more advanced and stronger versions. It all started with two video games for the Nintendo Gameboy (remember that one?) in 1996 and quickly moved into a widespread franchise, with TV series, movies, merchandise and much more. Now, in 2023, BOLDR has released a quartet of watches based on some of the most popular characters; Pikachu, Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur.
To put things in perspective on just how big the Pokémon world is; it outsold media franchises like Mickey Mouse (USD 52.2 billion since 1928) and Star Wars (USD 51.8 billion since 1977) with USD 76.4 billion since 1996! The popularity of the series is incredible, and it has changed videogame history. It even disrupted our daily lives a couple of years ago, as droves of people were hunting down virtual Pokémon through their mobile phones and the augmented reality Pokémon Go games. It truly is a global phenomenon!
The watches by BOLDR are based on the Voyage collection, a robust and outdoor-oriented watch collection that comes in various styles and colours. Each one differs from the next by colour and specifications, based on four different Pokémon characters. The most well-known one is Pikachu, the little yellow friend of Ash Ketchum, the main character in the series. Pikachu has electric abilities to attack or defend against other Pokémon. Next is Blastoise, a Pokémon with canons on his back that can shoot water on command. Then there’s Charizard, a flying, fire-wielding Pokémon. And lastly, albeit with a meca-quartz movement so of little interest to us, is Venusaur, a grass-type Pokémon that carries a large flower on his back and can shoot vines and leaves and even a solar ray at enemies.
Each of the four models has a steel case that’s 40mm in diameter and has a predominantly brushed finish. The Pikachu model has a clean stainless steel bezel, while the Charizard and Blastoise ones come with a unidirectional rotating bezel with a coloured insert. The domed sapphire crystal on the front has an anti-reflective coating, and there’s a sapphire crystal caseback covering the movement. The screw-down crown ensures a solid 200m water resistance.
The dials and hands are inspired by the colours of each corresponding Pokémon. Pikachu has a matte black dial with a yellow flange and bright red and yellow hands, while Blastoise is all about blue as a reference to his aquatic nature. Charizard has a firey-orange dial with a gradient effect and a green bezel insert. All models have the same handset but are finished with different colours and counterweights for the second hand to distinguish them a little bit more. The hour markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock are luminous and joined by a printed minute track in white. The final touch on the dial is a silhouette of the Pokémon the watch is based on. The result is a set of fun and colourful watches that wouldn’t look out of place on the beach or by the pool. Even with the colourful Pokémon connection and the characters on the dial, the designs are quite restrained and not “in your face” Pokémon from top to bottom.
Inside the Pikachu, Blastoise and Charizard models are mechanical automatic movements by Seiko. Blastoise comes equipped with the automatic Seiko NH37 movement, which has an additional 24h subdial between 9 and 12 o’clock. Charizard and Pikachi use the automatic Seiko NH38, which shows central hours, minutes and seconds only. Both movements run at a frequency of 21,600vph and offer up to 41 hours of power reserve. The movements can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback, finished with a white outline of the corresponding Pokémon. As mentioned, the final model is Venusaur, which comes with a meca-quartz chronograph movement by Seiko but we won’t go into that one any further.
The BOLDR Pokémon collection comes on a stainless steel three-link bracelet with a folding clasp. Each model is available directly from the brand’s website if you live in Singapore, Thailand or Hong Kong due to licensing restraints. I you live outside of those three regions, you might have to get a bit creative and contact a relative or acquaintance in the area. The price is USD 449 without taxes, and each one is individually numbered and delivered in a red-and-white Poké ball case. The ordering window closes at the end of June 2023.
For more information, please visit BoldrSupply.co