Pop star icon, Justin Timberlake, isn’t the only one who is bringing “sexy back.” Borealis Watch Co. — a brand we love to feature — debuts their longest, sexiest lugs yet with their newest masterpiece, the Portus Cale.
The Portus Cale’s distinct dial will be offered in black, white, and what I consider to be its flagship color: the Fade to Black dial. Fade to Black is a nod to the colors a professional diver would experience as he descends from the ocean’s surface to the sea bottom. Since all color combos will be available with a date/no date iteration, including three types of lume: old radium, white lume and C3X1, the Portus Cale will offer buyers 18 different variations.
Borealis’s Portus Cale packaging remains unchanged, but it fits the bill of a one-watch travel case well. Once removed, the watch’s quality can be instantaneously felt. The bracelet is long, finely brushed, and should fit the wrists of even the grizzliest of men. It doesn’t have that sharp tin-can clink, like on some of our favorite budget-friendly pieces. Need a bit of wiggle room as your wrist swells throughout the day? The Portus Cale comes equipped with four micro-adjustments on its fold over clasp for quick, on-the-go sizing.
Of course, it too must be equally sexy, as it rendezvous with the Cale’s long, down-turned lugs mentioned above. The vertical brushing found on the outside of the lugs give way to a high-polish chamfer that adds a subtle touch of bling to this world-class diver. While my review pieces were still in prototype form, I found the fit of the bracelet to the case to be exceptionally good.
The Cale’s 41.5 mm case is less robust than one would expect. To me, the watch looked a lot larger in my hand than in did on my wrist. Once strapped on, the watch felt right at home, as it was well-balanced and thin enough, coming in at an astonishing 11.5 mm, to fit underneath my imaginary shirt cuff. As of late, I’m on a short sleeve kick, but for some that are wanting to wear their dive watch to the office without having to tailor their sleeves, the Portus Cale is a must-have preorder this holiday season.
The coin-edge bezel on all of the Portus Cale’s color variations is constructed of 316L stainless steel and are PVD coated to match their respective dials.
Although Carlos Carvalho, owner of Borealis and its sister company, Prometheus Watch Co., wanted to make note that the bezel action would be improved on all production models, the truth is, I found nothing wrong with the bezel action on either of the three pieces I reviewed. All clicks were strong and the lumed bezel markers stopped exactly where they should.
The Portus Cale’s printed dial is uncluttered, giving its larger-than-life round and rectangular lumed markers ample breathing room to radiate brightly day and night.
Should you choose the date version, the aperture is in the 3 o’clock position and sports a black date wheel on all models, except the white dial.
The Cale’s signed crown is offset and easy to manipulate due to its tapered design. I’m not sure that I love the tapered crown look on a diver, as my mind associates them with pilot-style watches. This of course is a personal quirk alone, as I found its operation to be buttery smooth when screwing and unscrewing the crown.
All models sport a ladder hand set, powered by the time-tested (pun intended) automatic Miyota 9015 workhorse movement, which ticks away at 28,800 bph. A flat sapphire crystal with its internal anti-reflective coating made the dial easy to read from all angles.
As for the case back, Carlos has decided to abandon the traditional mermaid since its been said that a similar mermaid has landed on a competitors case back. Good move, Borealis! It’s smart to rebrand yourself every so often as it reenergizes your forward momentum and helps further separate you from the rest. The Cale boasts a respectable 300-meter water-resistant depth rating.
The Portus Cale, inspired by the grand shipping port that eventually influenced the country of Portugal to adopt its current name, will be available for preorder early December 2017, with an estimated delivery mid- to late summer 2018. At the time of this review, the price had been slated to hover near the $350 USD mark.
Click the video below to hear what Ariel Javier, co-founder of WatchWabi, has to say…