Introducing the Borealis Bull Shark, a dive watch born from the depths of imagination.
Inspired by the vintage reference 6538 from the 1950's no longer produced and part of history, the Borealis Bull Shark pays tribute to this classic style using 21st century technologies.
Sure to keep up with your active lifestyle, it has been thoroughly tested for water resistance up to 300m (1000 ft), a ceramic bezel that stays firmly in place even at great depths, and an easy-to-read dial. With its brushed and polished 316L stainless steel case and bracelet, it is sure to be both classic and trendy at all times.
A high double domed sapphire crystal brings to life its classical and timeless design.
With a total height of 12.60mm including its double domed sapphire crystal it is a durable and sturdy time piece capable of being your every day travel companion.
The dial, watch hands are made with thick Swiss Made RC Tritec BGW9 lume applied to it in order to guarantee a perfect illumination and easy readability in darkness.
The Borealis Bull Shark V2 collection is available with two distinct automatic movements: the Miyota 9039 for the no date versions and the Miyota 9015 for the date versions.
At last, the perfect size 300m skin diver watch with a 4Hz, very reliable, Japanese premium movement. Build quality of case is excellent. 3d case-back is very nice and simply detailed. Cheers to Borealis for the drilled lugs as all watches in this category should have drilled lugs.
This watch takes you back to a more simple/innocent time when scuba/skin diving was in it's beginning. It's a no fuss, no drama, very reliable and good looking watch that will offer years of service. It is simply an excellent watch in every way without the snob factor drama that surrounds so many other watches.
Most, not all, Youtube desk diver reviewers spend too much time in macro mode trying to review a watch like this and have no clue or idea of it's real world use in the environment.
I decided to write this review because I have real world experience for it's use. I have had and still have many dive/scuba watches from swiss and Japanese origin.
You do not need to be an actual scuba diver to wear this watch! My experiences around the ocean and bay require a watch like this Borealis not an over glorified multi-thousand dollar watch or an digital rechargeable i-man-Watch.
For decades now along the Delaware Atlantic coast line, I've fished from the surf and rocks along the inlets. In between that I have done my crabbing, clamming and drift fishing in the Indian River bay for flounder also to include snorkel in the shallows and salt marshes. This is true work/pleasure for me and many others and requires patience and an understanding of the tides and weather. This watch works perfect for all who do what I do. The watch can and has stood up to abuse, heavy salt water, sand and boiling sun.
The only two comments I would say to Borealis: Offer an alternate oyster and jubilee bracelet that has 20/16 taper (in lieu of the 20/18) and pressed (old school style) metal clasp. Given the size of the watch head, the proposed 20/16 and pressed clasp would work wonders for the watch.
Second and final comment, The bezel is perfect in every way sans the lume for every minute. Only have lume at the five minute increments as to make the bezel less busy when illuminated.
A great watch
Very few flaws.
Let's get the negatives out of the way first.
Borealis have managed to create a bracelet that has female end links (yay) but it functions like a male end link bracelet... This is because the final part of the bracelet isn’t able to articulate 180 degrees inside of the separate end link, it catches inside of the end link and sticks out, effectively like a one piece male end link.
Female end links are good because they don't unnecessarily add to the lug to lug length, whilst enabling the bracelet to articulate straight under the watch, making it more comfortable and a better fit for those with smaller wrists. The way the Borealis bracelet is designed it should work like this, but it doesn’t.
The bezel insert… for my opinion a bezel is either fully indexed (60 minute markers) or just the final ten or fifteen markers + the main numbers. At first glance the Bull Shark looks very Mil-Sub with it’s fully indexed bezel insert… but wait… let’s count them.. 52 marks… so (a bit like the bracelet) it’s neither one thing or the other…
Now if the above sounds a little petty.. well it’s because the rest of watch punches WAY above its weight (and by that I mean price point).
The bracelet is solid and comfortable, it has screwed links (not push pins like some YT reviewers have stated), the spring bar that connects the 6 side to the clasp doubles as the detent for the fold over locking flap (no cheap friction lock here), the clasp itself is sturdy and overall the tolerances are good.
It tapers 20mm to 18mm at the clasp (20/16 would add to the comfort in my opinion) and well there’s not much else to say.. sturdy and comfortable and well made.
The watch head is where things get interesting!
The classic Submariner style dial/hands need no introduction and work as well here as they do in all the dozens and dozens of other watches that use them.
The markers are applied and give the dial a real 3D depth.
I was a little unsure about the ‘snow pattern’ dial… but in the flesh it’s great… unnoticeable most of the time.. except in bright light, then the dial takes on a matte textured finish that catches the eye and reduces reflections (aiding legibility).
Perhaps the logo could be slightly further down the dial, but that’s just my taste.
The bezel clicks with precision and a pleasant tactile feeling.
The crown is large, yet not deep (ie big diameter/small height) making using it a joy and it doesn’t dig into my wrist
The lume is frankly insane! It needs little provocation to pick up a charge and 30mins under my kitchen LED light before bed is enough to still be able to see the time in a dark room in the morning.
The case is -in my opinion- extremely well done.
Firstly smaller watches are coming back (finally) and Borealis have beautifully combined a 38mm watch (a shade under 38 on my caliper) but with ‘regular’ sized lugs – the 47mm lug to lug (not including the end links ;) gives plenty of wrist presence, yet the watch is still small.
The sides are brushed (not the de rigueur mirror shiny sub-a-like sides), under magnification or close up if your eyes are good the brushing is vertical, but at normal viewing distances the finish is very much satin and gives the piece its own ‘toolish’ look. A wonderful Bexley bevel edge and drilled lugs gives the case its 6538 vibe. Stylistically the lugs curve downwards a little, but don’t extend past the depth of the case back which means the watch sits quite flat on the wrist (if you have a flat wrist…)
The caseback engraving seems nicely done.. truth be told I can take or leave caseback engravings, so I’ve no comment there.
Using a true no date movement for a no date watch (eg no phantom date click on the crown) is commendable and still not as common in the microbrand space as it should be
I have a (silly) little theory about appraising watches… take a springbar out… look at it, play with it! Is it quite fat? Is it strongly sprung? Are the tips wobbly? If your watch brand is using cheap and nasty springbars where else did they cut corners….? No drama at all here with Borealis – in fact this little attention to quality details is something I’ve noted throughout the watch.
So that’s it!
A well made, comfortable and well designed watch, legible day or night and for what it costs in the ecosystem of watches.. it’s a great watch.
Some points on mine which I feel will be sample dependant.. But worth mentioning
My bezel pearl is about ½ a click out of alignment (sadness)
The B logo on the crown is correctly aligned when the crown is screwed down (happiness)
After seven days since setting the time my example is six (yes 6) seconds fast, so it’s gaining under a second a day.
A few words about Borealis themselves:
I reached out to them with questions, they responded to every message I sent (it was a lot!) very quickly (in some minutes usually) and very helpfully. Trust me, not all brands do
1. Prefect size of 38 mm diameter for my smaller wrist; indeed it looks much balanced on my wrist than my other 39 mm watch, so interesting that 1mm makes difference.
2. Bezel rotating and clicks is so smooth & positioned.
3. Beautiful & bright lume.
4. Very comfortable to wear.
Borealis Bull Shark V2 Black Snow Pattern Dial Mercedes Hands no Date BBSV2AA
Fantastic finishes and very accurate details. Excellent portability even for small wrists. Fast delivery (two days). Top!
5.0 / 5.0