When our friends at Boldr told me about their Pokemon collection I was pretty enthused. I like the franchise – I was a Pokemon Go fan during the pandemic and my kids love it – and I was glad that Boldr was able to pull together the partnership.
First, a bit of background.
What is Pokemon?
Pokémon is a multimedia franchise that has become a global phenomenon since its inception. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori, and it is managed by The Pokémon Company, which is a collaboration between three companies: Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc.
Here is a brief history:
- 1996: Pokémon, short for “Pocket Monsters,” originated with a pair of video games for the original Game Boy. Pokémon Red and Green (Blue in international releases) were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, and they introduced the game’s unique concept: capturing and training a variety of fictional creatures and using them to battle.
- 1997-1998: The success of these games led to an anime series, trading card game, movies, manga, and more. The first season of the Pokémon anime, featuring protagonist Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in Japan) and his companion Pikachu, aired in Japan in 1997 and internationally in 1998. It was a huge hit and significantly expanded the franchise’s fan base. Around the same time, the Pokémon Trading Card Game was introduced and it also became popular among fans.
- 1999-2004: The success of the initial Pokémon games prompted sequels. Pokémon Gold and Silver were released for the Game Boy Color in 1999 in Japan and 2000 internationally. These games introduced 100 new Pokémon and the new region of Johto, while also expanding on the gameplay mechanics of the original games. Later, other successful iterations like Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald for the Game Boy Advance were launched, introducing the Hoenn region.
- 2006-2013: Over the years, new generations of Pokémon games have been released, each introducing new regions, new Pokémon, and new gameplay mechanics. Among them were Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum for the Nintendo DS, and Pokémon Black and White along with their sequels, Black 2 and White 2.
- 2013-Present: The franchise continued to innovate with the launch of Pokémon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, introducing a new 3D style of gameplay. This was followed by Pokémon Sun and Moon in 2016, which introduced the Alola region, based on Hawaii. In 2018, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! were released for the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console, and were designed to integrate with the popular mobile game Pokémon Go. In 2019, Pokémon Sword and Shield were released, introducing the Galar region inspired by Great Britain.
- 2016: Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices, was launched. The game uses GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player’s real-world location. The game was an immediate success and became a cultural phenomenon.
- 2022 and beyond: The franchise continues to release new games, explore new concepts, and expand on its universe with each new generation. The Pokémon Company announced in 2020 two major titles for the Nintendo Switch: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, remakes of the original Diamond and Pearl games, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, an open-world game set in the Sinnoh region’s past. Both were released in 2022.
Pokémon remains one of the most successful and influential franchises in video game history, touching various forms of media and leaving a significant impact on popular culture.
The Boldr Pokemon Collection
The Boldr watches come in multiple styles. The Charizard is based on the Boldr Voyage and runs a Seiko (SII) Caliber NH38A movement. It is orange with a little Charizard above the 6 o’clock pip. It costs $599.
Charizard is one of the most iconic Pokémon in the franchise, known for its powerful appearance and abilities. Introduced in the first generation of Pokémon games (Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, Red and Blue in international releases), it evolves from Charmeleon and is the final form of Charmander, one of the original three starter Pokémon. Over the years, Charizard has remained a fan favorite due to its formidable battling capabilities, striking design, and significant role in the Pokémon anime as one of Ash Ketchum’s most trusted partners.
Pikachu is arguably the most recognizable Pokémon and serves as the franchise’s official mascot. Introduced in the first generation of Pokémon games (Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, Red and Blue in international releases), Pikachu is an Electric-type Pokémon known for its small, chubby, rodent-like design with pointy ears that have black tips and its ability to generate electricity for its signature attack, Thunderbolt. Pikachu gained global recognition through the Pokémon anime, where the protagonist, Ash Ketchum, has a Pikachu named Pikachu as his first and most trusted Pokémon companion. Pikachu’s widespread popularity has extended beyond the franchise, becoming a symbol of Japanese pop culture and a staple of mascot culture worldwide.
The $599 Pikachu features a black face and Seiko movement, also based on the Voyage. Blastoise is also a $599 version of the Voyage but features a 24-hour dial at 11 o’clock. Finally, there is the $599 Venusaur chronograph that runs a VK64 meca-Quartz movement. This watch has a chronograph function and a 60-minute stopwatch on the left and a 24-hour indicator on the right.
Each of the watches has the final version of each Pokemon engraved on a see-through caseback and all of the pieces have great lume.
Blastoise is a Water-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation of Pokémon games (Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, Red and Blue in international releases). It evolves from Wartortle and is the final form of Squirtle, one of the original three starter Pokémon. Blastoise is best known for its distinctive design featuring a large blue shell with powerful water cannons, which it uses to execute high-pressure water attacks. Blastoise has remained a fan favorite due to its balanced stats, high defensive capabilities, and the ability to Mega Evolve into Mega Blastoise in later games. Throughout the franchise, Blastoise has come to represent durability and strength, proving to be a formidable adversary in battles and a reliable companion for many Pokémon trainers.
Venusaur is a dual-type Grass/Poison Pokémon introduced in the first generation of Pokémon games (Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, Red and Blue in international releases). It’s the final form of Bulbasaur, one of the original three starter Pokémon, evolving from Ivysaur. Venusaur is known for its large, dinosaur-like design with a massive, blooming flower on its back, which absorbs sunlight as an energy source for its powerful plant-based attacks. This Pokémon is heavily associated with nature and growth, which is mirrored in its signature move, Solar Beam, and its unique ability to further evolve into Mega Venusaur in later games. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the popularity of other starters like Charizard and Blastoise, Venusaur has maintained a steady presence in the Pokémon franchise as a symbol of power, resilience, and the strength of nature.
Which model you prefer is entirely up to the trainer. I personally prefer the mechanical versions and I especially like the red and black styling of the Pikachu model. You might be a Blastoise fan yourself, and no one is here to judge you.
Are these absolutely my favorite watches? Probably not. Boldr makes some really nice watches and these are their best. That said, this is definitely an acquired taste and would require some true Pokelove. At $599 they’re extremely affordable and very striking and if you like to wear your love of Charizard literally on your sleeve then this is the watch for you.