Exploring the world of watches on a budget

Borealis Sea Storm V2

When Borealis introduced the Sea Storm last spring, I jumped on it. It was the right size (just under 42mm), had the right features (domed sapphire bezel and crystal), and evoked the right look (50’s Fifty Fathoms), for the right price ($300). I ordered one with a black dial and Old Radium lume, and I loved it. The first run of Sea Storms sold out quickly, so Borealis went back to the drawing board and whipped up a new batch, this time on a bracelet with some new dial and bezel designs. They let me have a turn with a prototype review sample.

Borealis Sea Storm V2

Version 1 and Version 2 Sea Storms use the same 41.5mm wide, brushed stainless steel case. Short, tapered, downturned lugs keep overall length to a very manageable 48.5mm long. Vertical sides and a case thickness of over 14mm lend it a beefy presence. I hesitate to say that something wears large or small, because there are so many factors at play in that subjective assessment, not the least of which is the wearer’s own physiology, but I can say the Sea Storm sits comfortably on my 6.5” wrist and cuts a sporty, but not at all oversized, profile.

Borealis Sea Storm V2  wrist

A screw-down crown and caseback seal the Sea Storm for a rated 300m. Both are decorated, the back with Borealis’ trademark angel, the polished crown with an embossed “B.” Inside is a 24 jewel Seiko NH35 automatic. A microbrand stalwart, the movement has a 21.6k bph vibration rate, hacking and hand winding capabilities, a 40+ hour power reserve, and Diashock protection.

Borealis Sea Storm V1 and V2

Borealis offers four different dial layouts in blue or black, with post hands, BGW9 or Old Radium lume, and an optional date. My personal V1 has a Tornek-Rayville style black dial, RC Tritec Old Radium lume, and no date - a combination you can still order on the new model. It came on a 20mm black canvas strap, but I’ve since swapped it for distressed leather to accentuate the vintage vibe. The V2 loaner features a 12/3/6/9 dial in bright BGW9. Sharp-eyed typography nerds will notice the brand name is now in an updated typeface with tight kerning. It's a little thing, but I think it really elevates the dial.  

Borealis Sea Storm V2  lume

Both have a fully lumed, double domed sapphire bezel for some sexy retro curves. A lumed ceramic insert is an option on certain models. Regardless of which you choose, the action through the 120-clicks will be smooth and firm without any untoward movement. 

Borealis Sea Storm V2  side

There isn’t a bad design in the bunch, but I think the standout is the biohazard dial. It’s available in black and Old Radium, or white with black lume and a ghostly white-on-white symbol. Why biohazard? I have no idea. Granted, there were some radiation dials back in the day, but this particular warning sign makes no practical sense, it just looks cool, and that is fine with me. I can see this becoming a microbrand cult favorite like the phantom Jolly Roger on the Helson Blackbeard. 

Borealis Sea Storm V2  white biohazard

The biggest difference between the two models is the V2's bracelet. It's a brushed three-link with fitted, solid end links. I was pleased to discover that the bracelet was rattle free and there were no sharp corners or edges on the signed, flip-lock clasp. It more than justifies the V2's modest $50 increase in price over the V1.

Borealis Sea Storm V2  bracelet

Borealis consistently turns out watches that deliver amazing value for the money and the Sea Storm is no exception. Most variants are $350, and the Biohazard is $400.  Pre-orders are open now, and certain models are already sold out so if you want one for yourself, I'd suggest you head to the Borealis web store soon. ⬩

Borealis Sea Storm V2 case back
Borealis Sea Storm V2
Borealis Sea Storm V2

© The Time Bum | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig