Borealis Watch Company is based in Portugal and currently offers six different dive watches as well as straps and bezels. For this review I have been graciously loaned the Oceanaut, the case of which is their first to be manufactured from aluminum bronze. It is an attractive looking metal that develops a patina of it’s own over time. In this watch, the case is not one piece, which allows more creativity to be incorporated into the design. The watch measures 13.15 mm high, 42.1 mm in diameter, 50 mm lug to lug with a 22 mm lug width, a nice size that is not too big or too small.
The dial of the watch is available in your choice of black, teal blue and jade green. The example for this review is black and is a nicely done sandwich design which puts all of the lume elements on the recessed or lower level of the dial. The Swiss RC Tritec C3 lume is on all twelve points, the four numbers and the two straight hands. Only the information on the face, the 48 minute/second markers and the 4:30 black on white date window are not lumed. The chrome framed hour and minute hands as well as the inner area of the red outlined second hand tip are also lumed. The solid 120 click unidirectional aluminum bronze gear edged bezel is nicely engraved and filled in white with a single lumed pip.
What really sets this design apart from other watches are the 13 engraved vertical lines on the left side of the case and the 10 short vertical engravings under the elongated and curved crown guard. In addition, the way the aluminum bronze pieces of the case fit together is like no other watch I have seen before. The wide and fairly flat engraved and initialled military tire tread crown screws into the case just north of 4 o’clock. The more you look at this watch, you will see case details that are far from ordinary.
The stainless screw down case back has a beautifully engraved mermaid design as well as six removal tool lugs in a very attractive pattern that tastefully shows off information about the watch. It should be noted that this watch is rated 20 ATM water resistance but the thick hand made calfskin strap is not intended for use in water. The substantial, engraved aluminum bronze buckle works with one fixed and one adjustable loop as well as eight adjustment holes in the strap. The sharply downward curving case strap lugs are part of the lower portion of the case. Topping off the front of the watch is a slightly domed, bevelled edge sapphire crystal with internal A/R.
Powering this watch is the extremely popular Seiko/Time Module NH35 automatic movement, which is so well known, it needs no further comments. Borealis states that their watches are Professional, Reliable and Affordable. They are also very well designed and engineered, but at the same time the Oceanaut is, in my opinion, truly unique and very attractive. $399. borealiswatch.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.