The Bolido X – An understated statement piece

By Frederik Drost
The Bolido X – An understated statement piece
This watch, like its predecessor, tells people you don’t care about norms, but enjoy quality and thoughtful designs. It’s definitely a statement piece and a living oxymoron, as a understated statement would be the best way to describe this watch.

Bolido is back when a new version of their rather unique and minimalistic watch, the Bolido X! I reviewed their previous collection, specifically the Bolido Core with the skeleton dial, and you can read my review here. I also reviewed their belt (yes, they sell awesome ostrich leather belts), which you can read more about here.

I was very pleased with their old model and I am even happier with the fact that the few gripes I had with that model have “corrected”, if you can say that. I’ll talk more about that later. The addition of a slide rule bezel gives the designers many cool possibilities, like a GMT, Count-down timer or a logarithmic scale.

Bolido has kept their award winning design in this new model, and even though it has won a few very good awards, they don’t boast too much about it on their website. Keeping this design is a good idea in my opinion and I can only hope they will try and make a bullhead style chronograph in the future.

Anyway, enough chit-chat… Let’s get under the metal skin of this lovely watch! I present to you, the Bolido X!


Specifications

  • 45.5mm x 11.6mm/14.1mm
  • 22mm lug width
  • STP 1.11 movement
  • Saphire crystal on front and back
  • Slide rule bezel


Bolido vs Bolido X

If you have already fallen in love with the overall award winning design of the Bolido watches, you might be wondering which one you should buy. I will go through the differences and try to help you decide.

If you, like me, love the look of logarithmic scales on watches or the practicality of the count-down timer, then the Bolido X is the simple and obvious choice. If you don’t care that much, it becomes more complicated. 

Overall, I think the Bolido X is the better watch because of its size. It’s a better fit for the bracelet, which is the same size on both watches and doesn’t taper down.

These are the reasons you should consider buying Bolido’s first watch instead of the Bolido X : 

  • If you have very small wrists, the Bolido X might be too chunky for you. It’s far from huge and does appear smaller thanks to the lugless design, but still worth thinking knowing, especially on wrists smaller than 16cm.
  • If you want to use this as a funky dress watch, the Bolido X might be too big and functional for that. 
  • If you LOVE skeleton dials or fully yellow colored dials, then the previous model is where you want to go.


Design

Bolido X watch

As i mentioned in my intro, Bolido has kept their award winning case design, but sized it up a bit while keeping the same strap width. The case width (at its widest) and dial has gained 2.5mm, so they are now respectively 45.5 and 40.5 mm. It’s also slightly taller coming in at 11.6mm at the lowest and 14.1 and the highest. This makes the incremental height bigger, as it increases by 2.5 mm, while the previous model increases by 2mm. It’s barely noticeable as the width, in a side by side comparison, is what stands out.

Bolido X watch

The overall design is quite minimalist but bold, with a functional touch compared to the previous model. There are no superfluous details on this watch, unless you count the brand name and the “swiss made” as being in that category.

Bolido X watch

The case is simple, but the mere “rule breaking” shape is enough to make this watch stand out on your wrist. It is not the first watch to do this, as bullhead watches were a thing in the 60’s, but Bolido excluded the chronograph giving it a much more dressier look, while keeping the watch thinner and less “bulky”. Check out Barrelhand if you want to see another way of incorporating this design into a watch.

Bolido X watch

But Pierre Nobs, the designer and co-founder of Bolido, didn’t want to create a boring dial either, which many minimalist watches can tend to have. All the Bolido X dials have a slight touch of red or yellow on the dial and hands. My version sports a red second hand tip that matches the red triangles on the slide rule and the red Pi symbol.

Bolido X watch

The slide rule bezel has a silver look to it, thanks to the galvanized metal, which matches the finely beat blasted case perfectly. The black inner dial and and hands have a very subtle texture to them, but it can only be seen in very bright light. What’s really cool is how in indoor light conditions, you can sometimes only see the white tip of the hands floating, which looks really cool.

The minute track is layered above the base dial, which helps give the watch a little depth, and the final touch of depth is definitely the date window. The big beveled edge helps give some sense of depth, as opposed to just a simple cut-out hole.

The crown, situated at the 12 o’clock, is well integrated thanks to a small notch that makes it possible to have a bigger diameter while keeping the slide rule. There is also a small notch under it, to help you get the crown out to adjust the time.

Bolido X watch

The crown also holds a secret that you can’t even see on their website! The top is lacquered with a dark purple paint that shines well and seems to go from blue to purple, depending on the light conditions. It is a cool and well executed detail that seems to be for the pleasure of others, and not the wearer.

Bolido X watch

Last, but not least, the case back features an unordinary display of the movement. The domed sapphire almost magnifies the movement, which sits at an angle, and almost makes it look like it’s underwater!

Overall, a great addition to the Bolido watch line and a true upgrade to the previous model in terms of functionality, design and what you get for your money.


Quality

Overall quality

The general build of the watch is very good! The slide rule bezel has no play and sits tightly on the watch case. It’s a bit hard to turn, but I have seen that on Breitling Navitimers as well. 

The crown is perfectly aligned with the stem and case and doesn’t wobble, even when unscrewed. There is only a very small and acceptable gap between the bezel and the case and between the crown and the crown “tube”. 

The finishing

Bolido X watch

The finishing is very good across the entire watch. The beat blasting is very fine and soft to the touch, but be aware that scratches will be more visible on this type of surface. 

The bezel and crown features an engraved pattern for added grip, which serves its purpose well. The engraving is well made and uniform, which can be seen when certain angles catch the light. 

Bolido X watch

The crown’s tip is lacquered and this part is well executed. I have seen the same process on cheaper watches, and it is often uneven and looks cheap and horrible. On the Bolido X, it is perfectly applied!

The printing

Bolido X watch

The printing on most of the dial is perfect. The brand name, date wheel and everything on the log scale is crisp and uniform. The brand name and red triangles have a embossed look and a bit more shine to them. 

On close up inspection, the lumed hour markers do have a grainy texture and could have been better applied. The hands have a better lume application, but an even close inspection will reveal some flaws. These are often the kind of flaws that justifies the price of Rolex, Breitling and Omega watches, so I am not surprised to see them here.

The straps

The Milanese strap is exceptionally good! It’s thick, smooth and hugs the wrist better than any other metal bracelet can. It’s also the only metal bracelet that would fit well on this watch. 

The buckle is easy to adjust and you will find your perfect fit, which is important since there is more top weight on this watch, which is a problem with straps that are too loose.

I have talked about their leather straps in my review of the “classic” Bolido watch, but i will say it again: they are really really great ! The leather folds down the sides, which is a sign of a good quality strap. They are uniformly upholstered, feels and smells great, bends easily and looks “raw”, different and organic. I have used it on my breitling several times, and I don’t put any cheap strap on that watch 🙂

The movement

The Bolido X is powered by the swis made STP 1.11 which is a really good option since ETA movements are becoming scarce these days. Many say they equal ETA in terms of quality, and I haven’t seen anything that would lead me to believe anything else. It’s also quite well decorated with perlage on the bridges and plates and geneva stripes on the rotor.

The STP 1.11 comes with seconds hacking, 44 hours power reserve and ticks at 28.800 BPH (4 Hz or 8 ticks a second)

If accuracy is important to you, you can always get the COSC certified version of this movement installed in your watch, but it’s going to cost you 275 CHF more (250 EUR or 305 USD).


On the wrist

Bolido X watch

On the wrist, the Bolido X is rather comfortable. It looks a bit taller than it is because the strap is flush with the bottom of the case, but that is the classic “bullhead” look. 

With the milanese strap and the nato strap, it was easy to get a perfect fit, but the leather strap can have some people slightly annoyed. It might be too loose or too tight, but making an extra hole should solve that problem. 

It’s not going to slide easily under your dress cuffs, but anything else will not be a problem.


Price

This specific model goes for 985 CHF (892 EUR or 1095 USD) which is pretty fair, considering it is 100% made in Switzerland with so many custom parts. 

One thing i noticed is that the full black dial version costs a bit more for some reason, but the difference is only around 35 CHF. 


Conclusion

The Bolido X still embodies that brand’s image and subtle rebellious designs. This watch, like its predecessor, tells people you don’t care about norms, but enjoy quality and thoughtful designs. It’s definitely a statement piece and a living oxymoron, as a understated statement would be the best way to describe this watch.

This watch collection is definitely a great successor to their first model with it’s added functionality in everyday situations. As for the quality, no need to worry, you will get your money’s worth. It’s a solid, well built watch that will keep time perfectly for ages is the movement is serviced regularly.

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