Patrick and I have both had a chance to check out Borealis dive watches in the past, and we both have been left with the impression that the brand is producing great value dive watches. This trend looks to be continuing with the Borealis Seafarer II, now on pre-order from the brand and scheduled for delivery in May/June 2016.
Patrick reviewed the Sea Hawk, and I had a chance with the Sea Diver. The Seafarer is more closely attuned with the Sea Hawk, the beefier of the two watches we have had in house. Like the Sea Hawk, the Seafarer has a 120 click bezel (this time with a turbine style grip), a more that adequate depth rating and is offered on a stainless bracelet. The sapphire crystal is also domed (as opposed to the double dome of the Sea Hawk), a feature I like quite a bit.
Instead of the ceramic bezel insert of the Sea Hawk, the Borealis Seafarer II uses a lumed sapphire bezel insert, along with what looks to be a very generously lumed dial and handset. I like the handset mix here, along with the splash of color on the minute hand. Dive watches are supposed to have handset where the hour and minute hands are distinctly different, and here there is a pronounced difference both in the light and in the dark.
The 44mm watch uses a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, a step up from the 8215 I see in a lot of watches at this price point. One obvious upgrade is that the movement is hackable. For the watch itself, you have your choice of 7 flavors of dial/bezel color combinations: blue/blue, black/black, grey/black, the same three again with 1/2 the bezel in orange, and a black/black with green lume, as opposed to the white lume in the other versions. The 13,142 foot depth rating seems to be an artifact of the fact that most of the world uses the metric system, which makes this rating a far simpler 4,000 meters. Still, I get a chuckle when I see such a precise number on the dial. Fitting a watch with this depth rating, there is a helium escape valve.
The watch back will feature the Borealis mermaid logo, shown above from the back of the Sea Hawk. Like the Sea Hawk, the Seafarer should have a screwed caseback. The images attached to the pre-order pages are all renderings, but the fit and finish of the watches we have seen first hand are fine, so I would not be overly concerned by the lack of actual photos. The pre-order price is $435, with a 50% deposit due on ordering. Overall, I think the Borealis Seafarer II is an attractive straight ahead dive watch. The look is bold and reminiscent of divers of the past, but it is not an homage to any one diver (at least as far as I can see). If you want something big, bold and overbuilt, or if you happen to be a saturation diver, this may be a good option for you. borealiswatch.com
- Brand & Model: Borealis Seafarer II
- Price: $435
- Who we think it might be for: Anyone looking for a beefy and attractive tool watch.
- Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: Definitely. Either the blue/blue or the blue dial with the ½ orange bezel.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I just don’t see the need for a date window.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I like the handset quite a bit.
Tech Specs from Borealis
- Movement: Miyota 9015 Automatic
- Functions: Three hander with date, 120 click bezel, helium escape valve
- Case: Stainless steel
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water resistance: 13,142 Feet (4,000 meters)
- Lug width: 24mm
- Straps: Leather or stainless steel
- Diameter: 44m
- Thickness: 15.7mm
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