Boldr Goes Black
Musou Black is a water-based acrylic paint that absorbs up to 99.4% of visible light, resulting in a surface that is so pitch black, it seems to just sort of... swallow you whole. It's not the most dark black surface in the world; that honor belongs to Vantablack which, despite popular misconception, is not a paint, but a material made out of carbon nanotubes that absorbs 99.965% of visible light.
Vantablack was used most recently in a concept watch by independent Swiss maker H. Moser et Cie and unveiled earlier this year at Watches and Wonders in Geneva. The watch, titled the Streamliner Chronograph "Blacker Than Black," it didn't just have a dial coated in Vantablack, but also the case and the bracelet. Hodinkee has some great shots of it here.
That watch was just a concept, however, as the material is far too fragile to be used in a production piece. However, Moser have also used Vantablack in many of their dials. The reference 2327-0222, for example, uses Vantablack for its dial.
The Moser costs around $25,000, so isn't exactly attainable by most watch enthusiasts. For those of us who want a piece of the abyss on our wrists but aren't high-net-worth individuals, there's now a very nice-looking option, made by microbrand darling Boldr Supply Co. Earlier today, Boldr introduced the Venture Singularity.
Honestly, I'm not sure they ever pre-announced it. I showed up to order one and Batch 1 was already sold out. Batch 2 is currently listed as TBA.
The Boldr Venture Singularity is part of Boldr's 38mm Venture series, which has seen form in many variations. From a mecaquartz chronograph to a Miyota-backed three-hander with a date complication, to a simple automatic with the workhorse Seiko NH35 movement, the Venture series is definitely one of Boldr's mainstays. Now, with the Venture Singularity, I daresay they've crossed into the realm of a high-concept watch without attaching to it the kind of pricetag one might expect from such an endeavor.
The Singularity doesn't use Vantablack, however; that material is zealously guarded by an artist named Anish Kapoor, who bought the exclusive rights to that material. Rather, it uses Musou Black, an actual water-based acrylic paint that has an incredible reflectance rating of 0.6%, which means it absorbs 99.4% of visible light. I don't know that you could actually tell the different between it and Vantablack side-by-side, but Musou comes close enough that it doesn't matter much.
The Singularity drops that dial - sans any indices or branding - into a PVD-coated black titanium case and bracelet. The hands have a touch of orange lume/paint to help them leap off the pitch-black background and inside is the same NH35 that powers many of its other Venture siblings.
And the price? $449.
Yep, that's not a typo. Now you see why I was kinda upset to lose out on batch 1!
The Independent and Microbrand watch world keeps surprising me and every other turn. The level of creativity and ingenuity that I'm seeing from some of these brands - Boldr included - make me very glad I'm a collector of these kind of watches almost exclusively. I already own Boldr's Expedition 1, which has become my go-to beater watch. I have been eyeing one of the Venture watches as far back as the Windup Watch Fair back in April of this year.
Now, I know for sure that Boldr, when you drop batch 2, I'll be first in line.