Blacked-out watches will always be cool to me. There’s something oddly appealing about a black dial sitting inside a black-coated case, preferably with a black strap or bracelet. Admittedly, I’m not remotely close to going on any covert operations, and there are times when a sea of black can actually hamper the ability to tell time at a glance. Still, I love that “tacticool” look. The watch I’m writing about today has all those hallmarks and then some.

The Odyssey Black Dragonfish is Boldr’s third offering to use Superkuro Musou Black paint. Each time, the results are striking. The Venture Singularity and Safari Vogelkop took their names and inspirations from a supermassive black hole and a bird-of-paradise, respectively. Due to the all-black nature of the watches and a continuation of Boldr’s design language, picking out all the differences between the trio isn’t too easy. However, the GMT functionality and accompanying dial markings elevate the Odyssey Black Dragonfish into a more complete watch.

A very black dial

As a bit of background, the Musou Black paint used by Boldr here absorbs 99.4% of light. Much has been made of Vantablack (used by Moser here), which absorbs even more (99.965%). However, a more useful comparison is that of standard black paint, which absorbs somewhere in the region of 80%. Even though the Odyssey Black Dragonfish dial isn’t the darkest out there, it’s still a significant shift from a standard black dial.

Apart from its undeniably mesmerizing nature, the practical benefit of extra blackness is enhanced contrast between the hands and numerals, which aids readability. The distinct white areas of all four hands float above the dial, and even the black frames are distinguishable. In a shift of direction for Boldr’s use of this dial paint, dial markers are present for the first time. This is primarily for reading the GMT hand against, but it also changes the focus from aesthetics to function.

Titanium is the material of choice for the Dragonfish

Grade 2 titanium is the material of choice for the case and bracelet. Both are treated to a coat of black DLC to continue the dark theme. The 120-click unidirectional bezel, finished with circular brushing, immediately feels brighter than the dial. The sharp case lines reflect a little more light as well. The complex and aggressive case would be the main talking point on any other watch in the Odyssey line. Here, it is still worthy of mention. Whether you are looking at the bezel scallops, angular lugs, or slightly splayed mid-case, there are corners, surfaces, and curves everywhere. No matter how I move my wrist, the dial remains pitch-black. Yet, an interesting shape catches my eye around the perimeter.

In nature, the black dragonfish lives in temperate ocean waters at depths of up to 2,000 meters. The Odyssey Black Dragonfish is only rated water resistant to 300 meters. Still, it mimics the sea creature’s bioluminescence with a generous application of BGW9 Super-LumiNova. Everything you see that is white on the dial and bezel is luminous, so what you see in the daytime is also what you see in the dark.

Boldr powers the Dragonfish with a “flyer” GMT movement

As mentioned above, the Odyssey Black Dragonfish feels like a more complete watch than its blacked-out predecessors from Boldr, partly due to the GMT functionality. The Japanese Miyota 9075 caliber driving the watch is a flyer GMT, which means that the first crown position allows you to “jump” the local hour hand one hour at a time as you cross time zones, while the other hands stay as they were. Pulling the crown to the second position will hack the seconds hand and allow you to set all four hands together.

As part of the 9000 series of movements, the 9075 caliber beats at 28,800vph, has a 42-hour power reserve, and generally offers efficient automatic winding as well as the option to hand-wind if necessary. In standard form, the Miyota isn’t anything special to look at, but Boldr has added custom Dragonfish artwork to the exhibition case back.

Bracelet with micro-adjustments

The watch comes fitted with a matching black DLC titanium bracelet. It nicely tapers down from 20mm at the lugs to 18mm where it meets the clasp. The angled form of each link provides some continuity from the case. A Great Wave off Kanagawa motif decorates the large titanium push-button clasp, which Boldr uses on its ocean-friendly watches. Although a little bulky, the clasp features an on-the-fly micro-adjustment to get that “just right” fit or resize as needed throughout the day. The clasp also features an engraved Boldr logo, which is absent from the dial (along with any other brand or model name, water resistance rating, movement type, etc.). The only other places you’ll see the Boldr logo are on the crown and counterweight of the seconds hand.

Although the bracelet isn’t bad, the Superkuro Musou Black dial outshines it, and the Odyssey takes well to various 20mm strap options. I enjoyed wearing it on white rubber to further enhance the darkness of the dial and the lightness of the watch.

Concluding thoughts on the Boldr Odyssey Black Dragonfish

I started this review by stating that I generally love all-black watches. However, there is a caveat to that: they must be readable. Thankfully, the Boldr Odyssey Black Dragonfish passes the test and then some. The use of Superkuro Musou Black paint coupled with small but stark indices gives excellent readability. It pushes the watch close to the top of the list of watches in this style. Only the bezel, with its limited use, is a fly in the ointment as far as functionality goes. The 40mm angular titanium case is aggressive but very wearable. Best of all, though, this is a piece that I enjoy getting lost in. Thankfully, it also still has function at its forefront. What more could you ask for?

The Boldr Odyssey Black Dragonfish is available for US$799 (excluding VAT). For more information, head to Boldr’s official website.

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Watch specifications

Odyssey Black Dragonfish
Superkuro Musou Black with Super-LumiNova BGW9 24-hour markings on chapter ring
Case Material
Grade 2 titanium with black DLC coating
Case Dimensions
40mm (diameter) × 48mm (lug-to-lug) × 13mm (thickness with crystal)
Double-domed sapphire with Super AR coating on both sides
Case Back
Grade 2 titanium with sapphire exhibition window with printed custom artwork, screw-in
Miyota 9075: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, 24 jewels
Water Resistance
300m (30 ATM)
Grade 2 titanium three-row bracelet (20/18mm) with black DLC coating and quick-adjust clasp
Time (hours, minutes, seconds) with flyer GMT (independently adjustable 12-hour hand for travel time; 24-hour hand and chapter ring for home time)
Special Note(s)
Invidually numbered