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BOREALIS Cascais Dive ( pencil hands) watch review

42mm in diameter by 49 mm lug to lug, by 12.96 mm thickness an overall a perfect sized dive watch, not grossly large like so many "Walter Mitty" trying to look macho. type dive watches on the crowed watch market today.
A nice sized screwed down 8 mm diameter crown with the trademark B (incidentally mine lines up vertically perfectly, maybe just a manufacturers anomaly) is well executed for this sized watch. Two types of newer synthetic gaskets are used; Viton on case back and tefzel for the sapphire crystal both greatly improved over the traditional rubber gaskets.

Drilled lugs are a welcomed design for ease of changing straps/ bracelets.

** NOTE: Some Asian manufacturers have followed the traditional Rxxxx trip-lok crown gasket system which uses 3 rubber O rings, one on the crown tube, two inside the case on the stem and a flat rubber gasket inside the crown, for added water resistance. From the cross section drawings of the Cascais it appears that 2 O-rings are used inside the case on the stem.

Dial/Hands: 33 mm in diameter a very visible dial with well sized indices and traditional diver larger indices at 12, 3, 6 and 9.

The Cascais and 30 ATM in red right above the date at 6. The Borealis branding in white being a bit larger under the 12 indice, no other needless dial cluttering lettering or information is needed. A nice touch with the second hand being red tipped.

The pencil styled hands and the indices on mine use the the Swiss manufacturer; RC Tritec C3-X1 luminescent material, so far the brightest available on the watch market. Other Cascais models offer several,color and dial variations use the cathedral hands or pencil hands in either BWG9/C3-X1

Based on my 20 years of dive watch wearing one of the best, if not the best visible dials lasting all night without ANY fading, for those of us night watch wearers. Nice date at 6 o'clock number in white on a black background blends in well with the overall dial.
A small diameter 120 click ceramic lumed bezel is just a perfect size for this watch.

More specification info is on case back, movement, case material, etc.
A Double Domed (slightly domed) Sapphire Crystal with A/R coating inside is standard.

Bracelet/Both: The pre-ordered Cascais were available with the original 22 mm Ratchet clasp, a traditional oyster designed style bracelet which was designed for wrists 7 in in diameter and larger. It features a nice well made ratchet clasp with micro adjustments on both sides and 6 removal links, the ratchet is smooth and locks into place securely for a prefect wrist fit.

An optional pre-order only flip-lok clasp with micro adjustments oyster styled bracelet which has more adjustable links for a better fit for smaller wrists.

Both bracelets feature a single head screw in each link for adjustments, a welcome innovation over double headed screws. Both have well designed fixed end pieces.

Movement: The Swiss movement company; Swiss Technology Production uses the STP1-11 26 jewels, 28'800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hz , hacking seconds and a power reserve of 44 hours.

It is so far well proved to be an alternative to the Swiss Made ETA 2824-2.
Our Products | Swiss Technology Production.

so far, mine is consistently ( 1 week of wearing 24/7) within 7 seconds based on the NIST ( National Institute of Standards and Time) website. A excellent independent review link:

A very well designed dive watch. 300 meter depth rating maybe an overkill over the traditional 200 meter. The Asian Watch industry has come light years in its quality and overall build workmanship vs the traditional Swiss watch industry that ruled for several decades and of course still produce wonderfully/quality built watches by highly skilled technicians. The Borealis brand is well designed and worth considering

Borealis website Cascais info: Borealis Watch Company


3,223 Posts
I have a Cascais and agree with all your review points, although this watch has been out of production for a year and I've never seen any indication that Borealis will be making it again. Did you just recently get it on the used market?

I have owned six Borealis watches and they are by far my favorite micro-brand. The Cascais is an interesting model in that it is the only one so far (to my knowledge) that used the STP1-11. Later watches used NH38 or 9015s. It also shows signs of a developing design direction for them, away from obvious homages.

Edit: I removed the discussion about the case size since the OP corrected it.


8,726 Posts
I'm enjoying mine. It has great daytime readability, and the lume is awesome...evenly applied, and still bright and easy to read after 8 hours. I've put mine on a Hirsch Mariner, which - I think - looks and wears great. I found the corners of the bracelet clasp to be too sharp.

This is the only watch I have with the STP1-11 movement, but after a year it's more than holding its own against the 2824-2s, sw200-1s, and 9015s I runs 2-3 seconds slow per day (24 hours on-wrist). I sometimes wish mine had a date window, but I'm getting too old to see the dang thing even if it was there.

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