Borealis, a name that has become synonymous with budget-friendly timepieces, does it again with their newest aluminum-bronze diver, the Borealis Oceanaut. As before with the Batial, Borealis takes inspiration from famed Italian powerhouse brand, Anonimo (Anonymous in Italian) when designing the Oceanaut, albeit, with smaller dimensions.
Retail price: $345.00 USD
The truth this, my review of the Borealis Oceanaut has been a bit ass backwards. Since I have reviewed so many of their pieces to date, I wanted to do what I could to not sound redundant. So, I reviewed the Oceanaut on video first, without a script, and then published it to Youtube, before starting on the written review (as it reads now). For those interested in listening to my voice rather that reading what I’ve written here, click the link below.
If you’re back from having watched the Oceanaut video review or just plain skipped it, let’s move on to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of this timepiece.
As mentioned above, the case is strikingly similar the the Anonimo Nautilo, a style that seems to be a departure from their very popular Polluce and Millimetri (a design used in Borealis’ Batial timepiece) series, and with good reason. At first glance, it’s very unique and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Its lines are sleek, and aerodynamic, not unlike a fine Italian sports car.
The Oceanaut’s case wears very well on the wrist, and since it’s not too tall or fat, it falls well within everyone’s comfort zone. The real magic of the Oceanaut is that it’s made from aluminum-bronze, an alloy that is much stronger than CuSn8, and less susceptible to pitting than brass. I was so blown away by the case material that I scrubbed my original video review so I could mention how it differs from brass.
Positioned in the 4 o’clock portion of the case, the signed Borealis crown is protected by its own crown guard that gracefully flows from the aluminum-bronze case outward. Once you screw it down, it sits flush with the case as a whole. The unidirectional coin-edge bezel turns as it should, with strong, firm clicks that lined up properly on all three of the models I had on hand.
The Oceanaut’s dial, which comes in three different color variants (all with date and no-date options), is uncluttered to say the least and is very legible day and night, thanks to the sandwich-like element of the dial which allows lume to radiate up and through the marker cutouts.
The Swiss made RC Tritec C3 lume is bright and evenly applied to the Oceanaut’s lumed handset.
The case back, also screwdown, is simple and matches the Oceanaut’s no-frills dive watch approach. Unlike the Oceanaut’s uncommon case material, Borealis went with stainless steel to minimize any reaction to your skin.
Borealis employs a Seiko NH35 Automatic movement in their Oceanaut, which has proven itself to be both both reliable and hardy in many of Seiko’s entry-level timepieces. Few, that I remember, have ever had an issue with a Seiko 5 and I’m confident that the Borealis Oceanaut’s movement will perform flawlessly for years to come.
Although the Oceanaut would look amazing on one of Borealis’ rubber-frane straps, Carlos Carvalho, owner of Borealis, was adamant, and rightfully so, that it should be worn on the quality leather strap and matching aluminum-bronze signed buckle it came on. I found it to be supple from day-one and thankfully, it came ‘big-wristed guy’ ready!
After more than a month with the Borealis Oceanaut strapped to my wrist, it’s still very much a jaw-dropping concept that Borealis Watch Co. can produce such well-made watches, with some of the best sourced materials for under $400 bucks. Knowing the brand as I do, I’m both humbled and excited to see what’s next!