Benrus has long been synonymous with “field watches,” basic tool watches with an absolute focus on legibility and durability. We looked at their Type II a few weeks ago and now we got the watch in our hot little hands and I’m pleased to report that it’s a solid and striking field watch with enough history to warrant a second look.
The watch itself runs a Soprod P024 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve and comes in a sand-blasted case with a screw-down protected crown. The back is adorned with the traditional part markings required by most militaries and the face features a free-turning 12-hour bezel for timing and setting a second timezone.
This watch isn’t cheap. It starts at $1,495 on a quick-change nylon strap. It’s small – 42.5 mm but it wears smaller – but it fits comfortably on the wrist and the whole package is very pleasant and stark.
I would definitely pick one of these up if I were in the market for a microbrand diver with some class. The watch itself has beautifully lumed hands and triangular pips and it features the 24-hour dial familiar to field watch fans. It’s a striking watch – black and white and little nuance – and it looks like it could exist in any era, from the 1940s to the 2020s, and fit right in.
Benrus has been making watches for most of the 20th century and recently got a resurgance thanks folks bringing brand back into the fore. As you can see from this Vietnam-era watch face from the “old” Benrus, the new Type II is pretty accurate.
Obviously, you have to decide whether you want to pay over one thousand dollars for a three-handed diver but I’d wager those who love this kind of watch will definitely be smitten by the Type II. It’s a great little watch from a great brand and I’m excited that someone is bringing this stark and utilitarian design to the fore once again.