Or, more precisely, their latest model is. And, surprisingly enough, even though it’s just a three-hander, it actually caught John’s eye. It’s been a little while since we looked at Benarus, so let’s dive into this one.
The watch in question is the Sea Snake, and it’s a nice bit of kit:
- Swiss ETA 2824-2 mechanical automatic movement (hacking and hand-wind capable)
- 44mm 316L stainless steel case (14mm thick, 24mm lugs) with alternating brushed/polished surfaces
- Double domed sapphire crystal
- 42mm lumed bezel
- Screw down crown and case back
- 500 meters water resistant
In terms of the spec run-down, there’s not a lot that differentiates it from other watches out there. In the styling front is where this watch sets itself apart. In some ways, this piece reminds me of the Fifty Fathoms, although it’s definitely not a homage. In fact, I can’t even put my finger on why my mind draws that comparison – it just is.
Of the various dial and hand combinations, my favorite is the dark blue dial with the polished hands. This just comes together with the font (doesn’t seem like the right word, but there it is) used for the numerals, which look to be lavishly lumed. The blue is subtle difference from the black bezel, but enough for some visual variety.
This watch also addresses one of my favorite pet peeves with date displays – we’ve actually got a black background here. The window is large enough to be readable, but it still blends in nicely with the dial.
At $730 (with steel bracelet and a rubber strap included), you’re definitely entering a category of watches that has a lot of competition from some other small brands, but it is a compelling option. If you do pick one up, I’d really recommend taking a look at their adjustable mesh bracelet. At an additional $70, it’s not an impulse buy, but it does further set the watch apart from the rest of the crowd (translation: it looks pretty sweet).
And keep your eyes open for a future post on this very model – we’re talking with Benarus to see about getting a review sample in.