Review: Benarus Megalodon Diving Watch

I rarely like to put my own little fetishistic watch reviews up here unless the watch is something amazingly unique or unless I think you, dear reader, will get a kick out of the quality or styling of a particular piece. That’s why I chose to write up this Benarus Megalodon Diving Watch, a huge monster of a timepiece that is water resistant to 2,500 meters or about 8,000 feet. Considering the deepest SCUBA dive was 330 meters while the deepest ADS dive was 610 meters, I doubt you’ll make it down to 2.5 kilometers in one piece.

Barring improbable diving capabilities, why is the Megalodon so cool? Well first it has a self-winding automatic ETA 2824-2 movement with date window and sweep seconds hand as well as a case the size of a small apple. The case and band are made entirely of titanium and so are surprisingly light and wearable although there were some fit and finish issues with the clasp and bezel.

The Megalodon comes in multiple styles and has a screwdown crown at four o’clock and a recessed automatic helium escape valve at 9 o’clock. The hands and pips – as well as the bezel pip at 12 o’clock, are slathered in bright Superluminova and light up blue in the dark. The clasp has a locking mechanism and the caseback and crown are signed.

Because this is essentially a big hunk of metal, I had a bit of a time unlocking the band clasp and turning the bezel. However, once you open and close the watch band a few times and give the bezel a few turns, the issues slowly begin to recede. I was, however, afraid that I’d break the clasp if I wasn’t careful.

For a watch this size – 49mm including the bezel – it’s surprisingly wearable. The lugs are turned down so even though the case looks like a praire hen egg you don’t notice much overhang. The band is quite comfortable and the titanium ensures you’re not wearing a pound of metal on your wrist.

I also like Benarus because it’s a small company based in Germany and the lead designer lives in Kansas City. Not unlike another favorite, Xetum, Benarus has always existed on the periphery of the high-end watch world, producing inexpensive pieces for forum fans and maintaining a presence in the enthusiast community. They are a “start-up” in the world of watches, which is something I love. For a long time Benarus has been making less expensive watches for watch nerds on the boards and forums, allowing them to maintain a successful indie brand.

I would wager that the Megalodon’s $1,100 price tag would turn off quite a few people and, as a rule, I rarely recommend non-complicated watches out of small houses at above $500 or so simply because often the value and craftsmanship aren’t there. At the low end (and $1,100 is at the low end, believe it or not) too many manufacturers resort to styling and snake oil to make the sale, tactics similar, in fact, to the tricks used by high end audiophile gear salesmen who promise the world and deliver little. However, I’m glad to report that the Megalodon passes the sniff test and is very well made. If you like a bold watch, this Benarus creation is, while polarizing, quite handsome and very wearable.

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