As bronze fever continues to grip those who live within our niche watch world, as evident by Tudor’s new Heritage Black Bay Bronze, Portugal based Borealis comes in strong yet again with their new model, the Batial (pronounced Ba-tee-al). This beautifully sculpted chunk of bronze is a deep diver that was made to fit any occasion. In February 2016, Maria, owner of Borealis Watch Company, was gracious enough to provide me with a black dial/date version for review.
- Case Diameter: 44 mm
- Case Height: 13.5 mm
- Lug Width: 22 mm
- Lug to Lug: 51.5 mm
- Strap: Premium calf leather strap with a custom made bronze CuSn8 buckle
- Movement: Miyota 9015
- Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inside
- Water Resistance: 3000m
Retail Price: $445.00
Since I have reviewed several Borealis watches in the past, I won’t go into too much detail about the Batial’s packaging, as nothing has changed except the color of the box, now green instead of blue. I’m not quite sure if this colored box will only be available for the Batial or if it will be used for any of their upcoming releases as well. Either way, it’s a green box, and within it, you’ll find a set of inexpensive strap changing tools. Want better tools? Use the money you saved by buying the Batial instead of the Tudor and go Bergeon! Not much else needs to be said about the packaging, which can be described as minimalist at best.
The Batial’s dial offerings are plentiful, which is something that I’ve come to appreciate from Borealis Watch Company and its sister brand, Prometheus Watch Company, which is family owned as well. Both brands are pleasing and relentlessly pursue those of us who appreciate homage-ish designs. The bronze Batial, which comes in four dial colors (black, brown, green, and blue), borrows distinct design cues from Anonimo’s Millemetri model 2000; most noticeably its case shape. While the Millemetri has two crowns that sit in the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions, Borealis only incorporated one that’s positioned at the 4 o’clock, which is usually called an offset crown. Once again I mention this striking similarity to a powerhouse brand early on as I feel it’s important to get the “homage” talk out of the way. For some readers who fall into the “homage watches are fakes” category, nothing I write in the review that follows will change your mind. If I still have your attention, let’s move on.
One of the most beautiful design elements of the Borealis Batial is its faux Guilloche wave pattern that traverses the dial horizontally. While under certain lighting conditions, the wave pattern is hardly noticeable, while at other times, the sun and the position of the dial make the pattern come to life. A second raised portion of the dial acts as a border that butts up to the Batial’s rehaut. It’s on this border that you find minute markers subdivided into five minute increments. Under each five minute increment designation you’ll find a small, lumed, and inward-facing triangle that yet again serves as a reminder of its Anonimo family lineage. The brand’s name and movement type are both found on the dial in white lettering while the Batial’s abysmal 3000 meter depth rating is in bright orange, much like its matching seconds hand.
Borealis reintroduces its powerful Swiss Made RC Tritec BGW9 lume technology, which provides us with enough lume to last us well into the night. The application to the dial markers and the Batial’s highly-polished, bronze-colored hand set is evenly applied throughout.
To the dismay of some forum goers, Borealis only offers this watch in CuSn8 bronze, and the company states they have no plans at the time of this review to make it in stainless steel. The case is thin, coming in at only 13.5mm, which is quite the feat since the depth rating on the watch is purported to be 3000 meters. While my wrist usually dwarfs any watch 44mm and below, I found the Batial’s size to look surprisingly proportionate, even for a Sasquatch-wristed fellow like myself. Watch enthusiasts with larger wrists may be a bit put-off as the Batial does wear smaller than its 44mm specs would suggest. As one can expect, the Batial is a long sleeve lover’s dream come true since it fits nicely under a sleeve with ample room to spare. I found no issue with the case’s brushing or edges, which some reported to be sharp.
The large screw down crown, positioned at the 4 o’clock, is made of stainless steel with a bronze overlay to match the case. Some have reported color variances between the crown and the case, but that’s due to the production dates since the crowns were produced first. An earlier production date equates to a richer patina; in this case – the crown. Wear the watch enough and both will even out nicely. As mentioned in a previous bronze watch review, I would have preferred for the crown to have been left in its stainless steel skivvies, but since I’ve yet to hear anyone else echo my sentiments, this appears to be something that only I want…literally. While my wish for a stainless steel crown did not materialize, the Batial does incorporate the material various other times throughout the case, including the HEV, which is found in the 9 o’clock position, its lug bars, and the low-profile, mermaid-inscribed screw down case back. The case back is screw down and flat, something I did not expect from a watch that is designed to go as deep as ½ the distance to the top of the Empire State Building, located in New York City. The sapphire crystal is flat and clear, and I found no distortion when looking at the time.
A bezel has always seemed like a mandatory pit stop: you must discuss it or fear being disqualified from the ‘true diver’ category. While initially I believed a dive watch with no bezel would bother me to no end, I found myself enjoying the case’s clean lines more each day. If PAM owners can appreciate their bezel-less timepieces, so can I!
Attached to the Batial you’ll find a thick calf leather strap with a signed bronze buckle. The strap is very nice and supple, especially when one takes into consideration the Batial’s nominal price point. Since Borealis now sells a rubber strap that many are calling ISOfrane’s closest viable competitor, I would have liked for this to have been an option, even if it would have been an extra expense for the consumer. There’s still time, Borealis. There’s still time!
Powering the Batial is the now tried-and-tested Miyota 9015, which has a BPH rate of 28,800. This speaks volumes of Borealis and their continued commitment to produce affordable, high-quality watches despite a reported 40% increase in movement cost. While it’s inevitable that future pricing will increase for any brand that houses our most sought after movements, materials, and other watch components, I remain confident that Borealis will continue to do right by the customer, even at their own expense.
Thank you for reading, please check out the Borealis Website for more info HERE.
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