We here at WWR have long been fans of what Benarus has been putting together. Much of the lineup is on the beefier side, as you would expect from a boutique-brand diver. The Moray has been prime evidence of this, having been made available in 47mm and 44mm variants. Now, for those of us looking for something a bit more compact, the Benarus Moray is now available – in the 42mm that we have seen in the past, as well as a 40mm variant.
Like its larger siblings, these latest versions are in steel, and still retain the 1000m WR rating courtesy of the thick sapphire crystal and solid caseback (you can see our review of the previous 42mm version here). Also carried over is the automatic HEV – something that not a single one of us will need, I am willing to venture, but a feature that nevertheless has become just about de rigueur for dive watches.
We very often (or at least I do, not being a diver) view dive watches as a great everyday sort of a tool watch. They are generally pretty rugged, and stand up to the wear and tear of our day-to-day lives pretty easily. With these new versions of the Benarus Moray, we get another nicety for a daily wear – anti-magnetic protection for the Miyota 9015 inside.
This is courtesy of a soft iron cage (which is a pretty common way of getting the anti-magnetism rating) which you can see this in some of the shots they include. In those open-back case shots you will also note a bright green gasket.I inquired, but there is not much information on the material, other than it is an upgraded rubber gasket.
The last Benarus Moray (one of the 42mm variety) that we looked at was a fun one, coming as it did with Chinese numerals on the dial. This time around, they have stuck with more traditional markers. For the 42mm version, you are limited to either Arabic numerals (at the compass points), or the dart indices that I have come to really like from the brand, on a black dial. For the 40mm version, we have the standard Arabic numerals, with your choice being a black or grey dial, and date or no-date. Lume also differs between the two models, with the 42mm using BGW9 (blue) and the 40mm using C3 (green).
There is also some choice to be made with the finishing for the 42mm version (the 40mm has no options in this regard). You can go for a brushed bezel and polished case ($700), black DLC bezel (again with the polished case; $750), or you can go for a fully-DLC watch (including the 22mm bracelet; $750). For the 40mm Benarus Moray, you price comes in at $680. Regardless of which case size or variations you end up choosing, this should be a solid everyday sort of a watch. And let us know (because I am a bit curious) – what has been your favorite Benarus Moray design, past or present? benaruswatches.com
- Brand & Model: Benarus Moray
- Price: $680 – $750, depending on selections
- Who we think it might be for: You are a fan of the Moray, but previous iterations have simply been too large for your wrist.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I were looking for an affordable diver, yes, this would definitely be on the short list.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: On the 42mm, I would have liked to see a dark grey dial, instead of black. On the 40mm, why not the dart indices?
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: How compact the watch seems in the smaller diameters
Tech Specs from Benarus
- Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Movement: Miyota 9015, Anti-magnetic protection
- Water Resistance: 1000 meters, screw down crown, Automatic HRV
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire
- Case Back & Crown: stainless steel
- Case size:
- 40mm case, 20mm lugs, 48mm lug to lug, 16mm high, 200 grams
- 42mm case, 22mm lugs, 50mm lug to lug, 16mm high, 254 grams
- Straps: Steel Bracelet and 20mm black rubber strap
- Limited production:
- 40mm: 100 total watches (DLC version coming soon)
- 42mm: 120 watches: 20 of each design