Watch Freeks banner

Nodus Retrospect Vs Borealis Cascais. Head to Head

1450 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  AtomicTom

Two micro brands with similar dimensions, specification, and price tags. I am carrying out the review without having totalled up the scores, because I want to have the same surprise as you. So welcome to my unsponsored and unpaid head to head. Let the battle commence.

Dimensions –

Borealis – Case 40.8mm, Lug Width 20mm, Lug to lug 47mm, depth 13.2mm, weight 147g
Nodus – Case 40.0, lug width 22mm, lug to lug 48mm, depth 13mm, weight 165.

I am surprised the Nodus weighs more as it has a lesser water resistance, but I think the bracelet is probably thicker, thus heavier. The manufacturer’s measurements vary to mine, but unless my calibres are out, this is what I have measured.
NODUS Borealis
Brand Perception /Guarantee 9 8
Nodus use a Japanese movement, are put together in the USA,
But the parts are most likely produced in China/Hong Kong.
Borealis are a Portuguese brand, and to my knowledge are solely
produced in China/Hong Kong. It’s worth mentioning the Borealis
has a one year guarantee, against the Nodus’s two.

The Borealis has a fully vertically brushed case. It’s a simple shape that 8 8
fits perfectly on the top of the wrist. The back is laser etched. It also
has drilled lugs, as does the Nodus. Both watches have an AR
coated domed sapphire crystal. The Nodus has beautifully polished
sides and a circular brushing to the top. The case back is quite plain
and perhaps a 3d logo would have been nice.

The Cascais has this wonderful hobnail dial, pencil hands, and applied 9 9
Indices. The applied indices are filled with copious amounts of BGW9
lume. The green sandwiched and sunburst dial of the Nodus is a real
head turner, and beautifully executed. Spend as much as you want, I
believe nobody can do it better. That said, perhaps the indices could
be a fraction larger. The framed date window is at 6pm, just where I
like it. It has pointed hands, and I love the second hand being finished
in gold. The watch has C3 lume, and is generously applied. However,
when it comes to lume, the Borealis blows the Nodus out of the water

The bezel on the Borealis is lumed, and the action is close to perfection. 9 9
No back play or wobble and it all lines up. The action of the bezel on the
Nodus is also excellent, although somewhat lighter. I prefer the
Borealis bezel, but feel this is just a matter of taste. The Nodus bezel isn’t
Lumed, but is concave, and that is a rare and rather nice touch.

Movement /Crown
This is where the Borealis wins the day. It has a Miyota 9015 running 7 8
at 28,800 bph, and is presently running at+6spd with an amplitude of 0.1
. That’s a dial up reading on my timegrapher, in reality about +4spd.
The Nodus has the NH35 but it is regulated before leaving the factory. It
Is presently running about the same as the Borealis, but has a slightly
higher beat error. Nothing worth adjusting though. I should mention I
Regulated the Borealis when I first got it, as it was running +15spd. The
crown on both watches is easy to grip, is signed, operates smoothly, and
engages easily. The Miyota 9015 is undoubtably a better movement, so
the Borealis just gets this.

Water Resistance 8 9
Nodus is 200m, Borealis 300m, neither are ISO tested.

The bracelet on the Borealis is superb, Great tolerances, good fit to 9 8
the case, solid end links, and screws. It is a milled clasp with 6 micro
adjustments and push-button release. Very comfortable, but does
have a male end link.. The bracelet on Retrospect is outstanding and
does have a female end link. Brushed tops and polished sides. The
tolerances on the end link isn’t quite as good as the Borealis, but none
the less excellent. The bracelet is a little thicker. Both clasps are pretty
much the same, but the Nodus is a little more substantial

Value For Money
At full price both watches are excellent value for money. Buy either new 9 9
and they are about $400, of course, getting hold of either is easier said
than done. The Borealis has the better movement, but the fact the Nodus
is constructed and regulated in the USA equals things up.


The scores are 68/80 to the Nodus, and 68/90 for the Borealis, and I swear this wasn’t rigged. Both are fantastic watches. If asked which one I would rather keep, I honestly don’t know. This video was made for you, so you make up your mind. My suggestion is you sell an organ and buy both.


See less See more
1 - 1 of 2 Posts
Wiggles, honestly is so great seeing watches like this go head to head. 😉
We are so used to seeing well known watches going head to head, but
you not only do that. But also the lesser known brands, and the terrific
watches they offer. It's just THE best ! 🏆🥇

With these two, it really is tough choosing which would be the one to
pick over the other. I mean they both excel in every category, and even
when one does win out in some way, it's not by too much. Maybe a
slightly better moving bezel here, or 100m difference in WR there, or
even different movements. No matter the set-up, the watches aren't
cookie cutter, seem really well made, offer a lot of bang for the buck,
and just look amazing.

Am giving you, and the watches a 10/10 once again ! 😀😀 THX so
very much for the review, AND video too !!!
See less See more
1 - 1 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.