Benarus is a long-time friend of the brand, and it is with great interest when we get wind of a new model coming down the pipeline. Though it’s been some time since we’ve seen something completely new, they manage to come out with some interesting variations on their established models. The latest of these is the Benarus Vintage Moray.
When “vintage” is applied to anything, there are certain connotations. With watches, this means a hearkening to old watches in some form of fashion. Here, on the 44mm Benarus Vintage Moray, there are actually quite a few design cues. Most predominantly, they have gone with a high-dome acrylic crystal that definitely gives thing an old-school feel with the distortion near the edges of the dial. The dials also carry the vintage theme, as they have a sun-brushed pattern in it, with some of the colorful dials going from a lighter color in the center to a darker color near the edges.
Flip the watch over, and you see that it’s a truly modern diver, as there is an exhibition case back (something I’ve not seen on a Benarus diver before, let alone one rated for 300m) showing off the Miyota 9015 movement, complete with its custom rotor. With that, the signing is ok enough, but the interest is really at the edges of the rotor. While this portion is commonly beveled and perhaps polished, here we have the look of some sort of grinding or sharpening wheel.
Back on the dial, it looks like the lume is fully modern as well. The dial (both options) has a fairly familiar font applied on it for the numerals, with a handset familiar to those who are used to looking at Benarus watches. These are all filled with C3 Superluminova, which means you will get plenty of glow out of it. There is a single lumed pip on the bezel (in keeping with the vintage theme), which is probably adequate enough if you were trying to time something at night (or under water).
For my money, the blue faded dial seems the most intriguing, with the wider indice variant getting the nod. That’s just me though – between the two dial types and four colors (blue, brown, grey, black), there are eight different options available for you to choose from. Not everyone is going to want a vintage-style diver, of course, but they are a popular style for a reason, and I think the Benarus Vintage Moray will appeal to a wide variety of folks. And, at an asking price of $480 (plus shipping) it’s definitely well in the realm of affordable. Of note, we are working to see if we can get a sample in for a hands-on review, so stay tuned for that. benaruswatches.com
- Brand & Model: Benarus Vintage Moray
- Price: $380 (plus shipping)
- Who we think it might be for: You’re looking for a solid independent diver with a vintage flair
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Possibly – the “faded” dial is intriguing, especially with the acrylic crystal
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The printing on the dial is not the most attractive – wondering if a sandwich dial could get in the mix here
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s a great variation on the existing Moray, which was already a good value prospect
Tech Specs from Benarus
- Case Material: 316L Stainless steel
- Caliber: Miyota 9015, 28,800bph
- Case Width: 44mm without crown
- Lug Tip to Lug Tip: 53mm
- Lug Bar to Lug Bar: 48mm
- Crystal: Plexi Acrylic Dome
- Case Back: Stainless / glass
- Height/Thickness: 17.5mm
- Weight: 120g on the leather
- Viewable Dial Area: 35mm
- Crown Diameter: 8.5mm
- Luminous: C3 Superluminova
- Strap: Brown leather 24/22mm
- Water Resistance: 300 meters
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $480 + shipping