HANDS-ON: Benrus returns to the ’60s to revive the Sea Lord diverRicardo Sime
In late 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Benrus released the Type 1 diver. Two years later, they followed up with the Type II. These watches were faithful reissues of the ’70s originals the brand created for the U.S. Military, with both offering a straightforward, no-nonsense militaristic vibe that Benrus has quite a claim to. And while these watches alone would make a great dive-watch collection, they barely scratch the surface of what Benrus has to offer. Something many of us became aware of when the brand went back into their bag in late 2022 to give us the Sea Lord.
Let’s take a hands-on look at the diver Benrus made for the people.
The Sea Lord was originally created as a public option for watch buyers in the ’60s, who wouldn’t have access to the military-issued pieces Benrus was creating at the time.
This difference in audience shows itself in the case of the Sea Lord. Multiple facets and polished trim, around the bezel and caseback, adorn its 39mm case. Add the 13mm thickness and 45mm lug to lug, and the watch wears smaller than the Type I and II. Which creates a more versatile wearing experience.
Yet even with these aesthetic and dimensional changes, the Sea Lord still comes with 300 metres of water resistance. Preserving some robustness from its military brethren.
For the dials of the new Sea Lord, Benrus decided to go as true to the original as possible. From the no-date design to the thin coin edge bezel. Even the choice of indices. All from the classic.
As for differences, we have the addition of a green colourway and hands which have added a bit more luminous material. And finally, the 120 click unidirectional bezel, which is now ceramic, has lumed markers and numerals.
Together, these dials, in their simple layout, give off both a classic and casual look that need not be relegated to the depths of a body of water.
When it comes to straps, the Sea Lord has two options. If you pick the green dialled version, it comes on a 20mm five-piece bracelet. With three pieces being brushed while the two smaller centre links are polished. This all leads to a butterfly clasp. With the lack of micro adjustments, you’re reminded of the casual nature of this offering.
But if you’re looking for that classic diver look and feel, the black and aged lume version provides a perfect option. It comes on a black rubber tropic strap with a simple signed clasp. No issues here for on-the-fly adjustments.
All in all, I found both to be comfortable on the wrist and perfectly suited for the case.
Powering the Sea Lord is the Soprod P024. It’s an ETA 2824-2 based movement that provides the same 28,800 vph. With 38 hours of power reserve. It’s a dependable option that can be serviced as easily as the 2824-2.
For these divers, Benrus has opted to hide the movement behind the caseback. A decision I do not mind, as we are instead treated to the Benrus seal, beautifully etched on its surface.
After spending a week with the Sea Lord, I asked myself, where does this fit in a sea of classically designed divers. With so many options out there, why would choose this?
For me, that answer boils down to the significance of the brand. Benrus has a storied history and back catalogues full of great designs. And even though today’s current ownership isn’t a continuation of that from the past, there exists a drive and dedication to staying true to what the brand stood for. Which is making a quality watch.
Take that, add above average specifications as well as reasonably sized dimensions and you have a great option for a diver.
Benrus Sea Lord pricing and availability:
The Benrus Sea Lord is available online on the brand’s website. Price: US$895 on strap. US$995 on bracelet.
|Model||Sea Lord Dive Watch|
|Case Dimensions||39mm (D) x 13mm (T) x 45 (L2L)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||300m (screw-down crown)|
|Dial||Black Dial, Green Dial|
|Strap||Black Tropic Rubber or Five Link Bracelet|
|Movement||Soprod P024 movement (ETA 2824-2 based)|
|Power Reserve||38 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds|
|Price||US$895 Strap US$995 Bracelet|