Borealis Bull Shark review

The Borealis Bull Shark is a Submariner-style diver watch with a smaller-sized case. How does it fare in the crammed dive watch market?

Borealis Bull Shark Review

Most dive watches’ cases these days are 40mm+, with many reaching 45mm and beyond. Borealis has eschewed the “bigger is better” trend and come up with this 38mm beauty: the Bull Shark.

At a glance

Borealis Bull shark

$500 (£220)
Case size
Water Resistance
Miyota 9015

The Borealis Bull Shark comes in a leather travel case which protects it just fine in transit. As it is not custom fitted the watch is able to move a little within it, but not so much as to risk damage. It’s good to get a tool watch in a practical package like this rather than a box that will just end up in the loft (or in the bin).

Case and Movement

Inside the Borealis Bull Shark is the Miyota 9015 high-beat automatic movement. This is a superb movement which I think is as good as most mass-market Swiss options. Some of the features: the lumed ceramic bezel; the embossed case back; make this watch punch well above its weight. I’d be happy to pay more than the asking price for a watch this well made.

The case itself is 38mm in diameter, and putting on the watch after wearing a more contemporary watch does make it feel extremely small. I think 38mm is a great size, which makes dive watches wearable for the smaller-wristed and answers the obvious question: “why do we need another Submariner-style dive watch?”. The case finishing is excellent..

Dial and Hands

No surprises in the Borealis Bull Shark dial and hands: it’s a “standard” Submariner homage design with Mercedes hands. On the one hand, this is a classic design that is familiar to millions and has proven to work well. On the other hand, the lack of originality places the watch in competition with any number of homage brands, including Chinese factory brands like Pagani Design – and they can deliver these specs at a lower price.

Nonetheless, the dial is extremely well executed, with large applied indices and great lume, which combines with the bezel to give a great green glow in low-light conditions. In daylight I could detect a slight difference between the tone of the hands and the markers, with the hands appearing a tiny bit whiter.

Bracelet and Clasp

The bracelet is a pretty standard oyster-style, with a very good clasp (I like plenty of micro-adjustments). You don’t get a ratcheting clasp, but with six slots to choose from you should have no problems getting this watch to fit. The links are screwed (another feature usually found in much more expensive watches) and drilled lugs make it a cinch to swap to a strap, should you wish.

Borealis Bull Shark – Video Review

What I Liked

What I Didn’t like

  • Excellent build quality and case finishing
  • Superb lumed bezel
  • Good value for money.
  • 38mm may be too small for some.
  • Not the most original design in the world!
  • The lume on the hands and markers differs in colour slightly

Borealis Bull Shark – The WRUK Verdict

I really like the Bull Shark: it is well built, and it looks great. The lumed bezel is a really nice touch, and the price is right for the specs on offer. The downside is that because of its conservative design, it competes not only with other microbrands but also the Chinese factory homage brands. I recommend checking out the snowflake version of the watch, which I think looks fantastic and given the quality on show here, represents a great buy.

Buy a Borealis Bull Shark

You can pick up a Borealis Bull Shark direct from the Borealis website.

By Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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