BOREALIS SEA HAWK 1500m DIVE WATCH REVIEW

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Company: Borealis Watch Company
Website: http://www.borealiswatch.com
Watch: Sea Hawk
Price: $355.00

Specifications:
Borealis Sea Hawk 1500m Automatic Diver Watch with Seiko NH36 / 4R36 Specifications:

Case Size: 42mm x 50mm
Screwed down crown
Double Domed Sapphire Crystal with A/R coating inside
120 clicks unidirectional ceramic bezel with BGW9 lume applied to indexes
Seiko NH36 / 4R36 Automatic Movement
316L Stainless Steel Case
Lug Width: 22.00 mm
Water Resistance: 1500 meters
Case height: 15.9 mm
316L Stainless steel bracelet with precision adjustable buckle
Swiss Made BGW9 Superluminova applied to dial, watch hands and ceramic bezel
Screwed Case Back with engraved mermaid
12 months warranty

The newest offering from Borealis is the Sea Hawk 1500m dive watch and this is their best watch so far. We will ‘dive’ into why it is in this review. Borealis definitely listens to feedback because many things that were talked about on the Seafarer, were addressed on the Sea Hawk. Borealis customer service is also top notch and the communication is excellent. I have been very amped to review this watch since the preliminary drawings were first released.

The Packaging:

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The packaging is very simple and nothing out of the ordinary which is fine because it keeps the price of the watch at the affordable price point. It has a white labeled outer sleeve that covers the blue cardboard watch box which is also labeled with the Borealis name. Inside is the watch that is attached to a watch pillow. Underneath the watch and pillow is the instruction manual and warranty card. Nothing fancy, simple yet gets the job done.

The Case:

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The case is made from 316L stainless steel that is polished nice and shiny on the sides of the lugs and brushed on the top of the lugs. The case and it’s angles catch the light quite nicely which makes this watch pretty noticeable on the wrist. The dimensions are 42mm x 50mm which is much smaller than their previous watch the Seafarer. It’s had a nice presence on the wrist and wears comfortable. My personal sweet spot for watches is at 44mm, but the Sea Hawk’s dimensions work well for me despite only being 42mm.

The case back is engraved with the Borealis mermaid and features the Borealis name, automatic movement and 1500m depth rating. The case back is secured down by 6 screws which also add a nice degree of detail giving it a tool/serious dive watch feel. The lugs are much shorter than the Seafarer which was a minor complaint that kept some people away from purchasing it. I really like the fact that Borealis listens to it’s customers and fans, I think that’s very important for companies to do. The top of the lugs are brushed steel and the sides of the case are polished. I was surprised to see that there was not a helium release valve on the side of the cae.

The other feature that Borealis listened to was giving us a signed crown this time around. It’s has an engraved ‘B’ on the top of the crown which adds a nice detail to the crown and overall look of the watch. The crown is a screw down style with very easy to grip and screw in/out usability. It feels pretty solid and the screwing action is extremely smooth.

 

 

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The bezel is matte black 120 clicks unidirectional ceramic bezel with BGW9 lume applied to indexes. The bezel at first movement is pretty hard to turn, it’s nice and tight with no play whatsoever. At the 12 o’clock position is a triangle which is a must if using this for diving so you can mark your oxygen supply time to know when you need to surface. I think that’s pretty darn important, don’t you? There’s less play in this bezel than I experienced with the Tudor Pelagos. Anyone who has experienced the Pelagos bezel knows that is a hard one to beat in terms of there being little to no play. I like that it’s 120 clicks which means greater accuracy when using the bezel for timing purposes. The matte black is a beautiful choice for this watch. Why? Because the finishing on the case is so highly polished, a high polished ceramic bezel would have too bling bling for my liking. The matte black gives the watch a nice tool feel to it. I also like that the indexes on the bezel have lume applied to them because it really comes in handy when in low light or darkness, plus it just looks so pretty at night. The white is applied evenly on the indexes except in on spot which quality control must have missed. You can see this in the pictures, it’s the index after the 10 position.

The Crystal:

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The Sea Hawk’s crystal is a double domed sapphire crystal with an inside AR coating. The crystal is actually raised a few millimeters above the bezel itself which I’m not sure how I feel about this choice. The crystal is flat on top as opposed to the traditional rounded top. I won’t have experience with this watch in the water for a few weeks, so I will surely update this once I have that experience. From a purely style aspect, I think it fits the overall design of the Sea Hawk and it looks really nice.

 

The Movement:

Ticking away inside the Sea Hawk is the Seiko NH36/4R36 automatic movement. This movement first appeared in 2011. It has hacking seconds which is a must for me personally, there’s nothing more beautiful than watching a sweeping second hand make it’s way around the dial. I seriously can watch this for hours, and I often do just watch the hacking second hand throughout the day, oblivious to what time is actually on the watch. Those familiar with dive watches know that Seiko has been around for a few years and know how to make a good, reliable dive watch. I think Borealis made a good choice with the Seiko movement. As for the tolerance of the movement, I need to spend some good quality wrist time to give that a qualified answer. I will update this section after I do get that time in with the Sea Hawk.

The Dial:

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Absolutely love matte black dials, especially when you view them in natural light. The hour markers are applied rather than just painted onto the dial. This is a really nice detail which adds some great depth to the dial itself. At the 12 o’clock position is a triangle, and each other of the hour markers are square. The dial also has the Borealis name printed on it along with 1500 Meters and automatic. Nice, simple and clean, nothing too busy or cluttered here. The hands are traditional snowflake style white hands that are lumed. This style of hands are becoming my favorite hands for a dive/tool watch. The hands are evenly coated and the edges are crisp, clean with no spotty edges. The black and white combination of the dial nicely complements the white and black bezel which is also matte black with white. The minute hands, square on seconds hand and the indexes on the dial are coated with lume as well. The lume is applied very evenly and it’s really nice when it glows. It’s applied better than some watches I have owned that cost 4-5x as much as the Sea Hawk.

The Bracelet:

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The Bracelet is 22/20mm solid stainless steel bracelet that has solid end links which are brushed on the top and bottom, the sides however are polished making a smooth transition from the side of the case which are also polished. The bracelet closes/opens with a nicely down ratcheting style clasp which feature micro adjustments for fine tuning a good fit for your wrist. The links are attached using single sided screws which a lot of people prefer but I’m not a huge fan. I recommend using lock tight on the screws because from past experiences with this style of braclet the screws will come loose with wear.

 

Wrist Shots:

For reference my wrist 7 3/4″

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Conclusion:

This is Borealis’s best offering to date, it’s an extreme value for what you are getting for $355. Your getting a nice sapphire crystal, reliable auto movement, solid constructed bracelet and case, a water resistance of 1500M. It’s a nice watch that pays homage to the style dive watches of the past. I didn’t really mention this in my review because I wanted to give a review that you looked at as the Borealis Sea Hawk and not compare it to other watches as you were reading the review. It’s a great watch from a great company that has excellent customer service. There isn’t anything I would change or that I don’t like about this watch, because it’s hard to beat considering the price. Keeping that in mind, how could you change anything and keep it within that price point. Borealis has a real winner here with the Sea Hawk. Thanks for reading!

 

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WATCH REVIEW SEVENFRIDAY P1-1 INDUSTRIAL BEAUTY

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Company: SevenFriday
Website: http://www.sevenfriday.com
Model: P1-1
Price: $1017.50

SEVENFRIDAY P1-1
INDUSTRIAL ESSENCE

Stainless Steel case
Animation ring: eloxed aluminum pantone 428C, vertical brushed finishing
Interface: Silver / rhodium and black; finished alternatively circular, brushed, mat, diamond cut with 11 applied parts
Automatic movement: open balance wheel on Miyota 82S7
Customized with special disc for 24H indication and small second function
Special minute hand designed to be the extended arm of the mechanical movement
Size: 47 X 47,6 mm
Specially hardened and antireflective treated mineral glass

This was an extremely refreshing review that I had an absolute pleasure doing. It’s a huge departure from the watches I have reviewed in the past. Everyone here knows my love for tool and dive watches, I just can’t get enough. Always need my tool/dive watch fix. The SevenFriday P1-1 is the exact opposite of what my usual fix is. The P1-1 immediately caught my eye when I was online one night. It has such an industrial revolution feel and look to it which is why I was initially drawn to it. A sexy and gritty styling, but also giving off a very manly vibe.

The Packaging:

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The packaging for this watch is completely amazing and very unique. I was blown away by the packaging actually when I opened up the shipping box, I didn’t expect to see what I saw. It’s the coolest packaging by far out of all the watches that I have experienced. The packaging also has that cool industrial vibe going on. I usually put my watch boxes in storage after I initially open them, but this box I would definitely keep out in open view. Once you slide the top of the box open and remove the foam, you get a nice view of the watch which sits in a cardboard tray along with the warranty card and operating instructions. The operating instruction are also very unique, they actually look like an old blue print which is printed on paper that’s just as unique.

The Case:


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The square shaped case is a departure from the typical cases I usually am drawn to. It measures in at an impressive and attention grabbing 47.6mm x 47mm. I really like the P1-1 case design though, I don’t think a round case would do this watch any justice. The square shape is perfect for the design and feel to the watch. I don’t want to label this watch as a steam punk because I don’t really think it is, but it definitely has a retro, edgy look and feel. The sides of the case are brushed steel and around the dial it’s high polished steel. I like the case back on the P1-1 a lot, simple yet there’s nice details. Such as the small picture engravings that indicate the case size, the strap size, the water resistance and the movement, each with corresponding pictures and measurements. The SevenFriday name and logo are also on the caseback which I really like the press logo. The crown design ties in nicely with the dial as it features a engraved gear which nickel matches the ornamented gear style hands. The crystal is a hardened, anti reflective treated mineral crystal. This is my only complaint about this watch, I wish it was sapphire crystal. I think this should be automatic addition to any watch over the $500 mark. The SevenFriday name, along with automatic release, and industrial series are clearly printed on the dial, all balanced and not too big. Another nice attention to detail on the case is how each layer of the case has different finishing, brushed around the crystal,then polished and then brushed again, this adds great depth to the top down look of the watch.

The Dial:


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The dial is one of my favorite parts on this watch because it is quite beautiful and it is what draws the eyes into it.  The attention to detail on this watch can be seen throughout and the dial does not disappoint. At first glance, telling time looks like it will take a college degree to figure out, but after some short, quality bonding time with the watch it becomes quite easy. The largest hand on top is the minutes hand, the short bronze-colored hand is the hours hand, the circular disk at the 9 o’clock position is a GMT style 24-hour indicator, and lastly, the circular disk at the 5 o’clock position is the running seconds tracker, all tie in nicely together and complement one another. I really like the screws that are on the dial that are holding the arrow indicators, matching the screws on the case back, all in which add to the overall industrial styling of this watch. The open heart area at the 7 o’clock position gives you a nice peak into the heart and soul of this watch. This watch has tons of character and soul.

The Strap:


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The strap is a straight forward padded black leather strap with a tang style buckle, which is signed underneath with SevenFriday. The strap attaches to the case via an integrated lungless case on the back side of the case itself. The strap is comfortable on the wrist and it measures at 28mm at the case and tappers to 24mm at the buckle. I would like to see a nice custom, distressed leather strap on this watch, I think with would really add to the overall look to this case.

Overall impressions:

I love this watch. Its a piece of industrial artwork, both unique and edgy. There is only one thing that I would change is the crystal which would be a no brainer for me to have a sapphire crystal as opposed to the hardened mineral crystal. Not that I would use this watch as my choice for an outdoors/sports watch, but you know accidental bumps do happen when wearing a watch.
I would recommend this watch to people who are looking for that weekend watch, a watch that can be dressed up or dressed down for going out. It grabs your attention and surely gets noticed when on the wrist. I’ve become quite obsessed with dive/tool watches over the years, and this watch has caught my eye and has truly intrigued me.  I absolutely love this watch and I can’t say enough good things about it. There’s a cool mystique to this watch that I can’t explain. When I first saw the P1, it reminded me of the original Frankenstein movie with Boris Karloff. Which is quite cool on two levels, one it has that old school scientific laboratory feel to it and second it’s from the industrial series, and Frankenstein was written about the industrial revolution.(so what, I know I’m a nerd) I also had a great time photographing the watch, which has amazing angles from top to bottom. It’s hard not to take a bad picture of this watch to tell you the truth.

SevenFriday has excellent customer service and shipping is super fast. I can’t wait to see what comes next from this innovative and creative company.  I want to personally thank SevenFriday for this amazing opportunity to do this review it was an absolute pleasure.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out their website at http://www.sevenfriday.com

For reference my wrists are 7 3/4″

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Christopher Ward Extreme 1000 Dive Watch

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When you’re exploring the wonders found in the alternate world of the sea bed, the last thing on your mind should be the reliability of your dive watch. So have you ever wondered exactly what the strict conditions are that dive watches undergo to ensure they really are waterproof?

Here we take you through the process of waterproof testing, as per the conditions of ISO 6425, for diving watches up to 1000m/100ATM.

A) Condensation Test
The watch is warmed on a heated plate to between 40°C and 45°C. A drop of water at a temperature of 18°C to 25°C is then placed on the watch glass. After about a minute, the glass is wiped with a dry rag. Any watch that has condensation on the interior surface of the glass is eliminated.

B) Resistance to Thermal Shock
The watch is immersed in 30 cm ± 2 cm of water for 10 minutes at 40°C, 5°C and 40°C again, each changeover being less than a minute. No evidence of water intrusion or condensation is allowed.

C) Reliability under Water
This test immerses the watch in water to a depth of 30 cm ± 2 cm for 50 hours at 18°C to 25°C, and checks for signs of water ingress afterwards. The condensation test described above is carried out both before and after this test to ensure its accuracy.

D) Resistance of Crowns and other Setting Devices to an External Force
In this test, the watch is subjected to an overpressure in water of 125% of the rated pressure/100 bar for 10 minutes and to an external force of 5 N perpendicular to the crown and any pusher buttons. The condensation test described above is carried out both before and after this test to ensure its accuracy.

F) Water-tightness and Resistance at a Water overpressure
In this test, the watch is immersed in water in a suitable vessel. Then an overpressure of 125% of the rated pressure is applied within 1 minute and maintained for 2 hours. After this, the overpressure is reduced to 0.3 bar within 1 minute and maintained at this pressure for 1 hour. The watch is removed from the water vessel and dried carefully with a rag. No evidence of water intrusion or condensation is allowed.

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