With origins dating back to 1921, Benrus disappeared during the quartz crisis of the 1970s and 1980s and was relaunched in 2020.
In 2019, just ahead of the company’s relaunch, Professional Watches met with Benrus’ head designer and previewed this timepiece, we also covered Sea Lord Sport Diver last year, and so far the retro designs have been good.
Vintage styling is a trend that’s been seen at many watch brands for years now, so there’s nothing new with regard to that. What is noteworthy, is that Benrus’s designs in many ways are reminiscent of Oris’ throwback watches, though offered at price points closer to Seiko. Coincidentally, both Seiko and Oris have moved up in price over the past 5 years — without any significant quality improvements — and in doing so I’d argue they’ve lost some of what made them appealing. Enter Benrus who has a good bit of history and coolness without the pomp.
The Orbit Robot Skindiver is a simplistic tool watch with some nice visual details, such as the gray fumé dial which transitions from lighter shades in the center to darker hues towards the perimeter. That, coupled with a resolutely vintage style brushed stainless steel cushion-shaped case that measures a conservative 41 mm x 13 mm (43 mm lug-to-lug), results in a rather attractive appearance.
Orange rectangular-shaped hour and minute hands, as well as a matching tip on the center seconds hand, and square-shaped applied indices — with a generous amount of lume on all — are faithful to the 1972 original design, further upping the appeal.
An outsourced Swiss-made Soprod P024 automatic movement powers the three hands and date, and while the 38-hour power reserve is nothing extraordinary, it is fairly standard at this price point. There’s a steel rotating dive bezel surrounding the domed sapphire crystal, the crown and caseback screw down to the case, and the depth rating is a respectable 200 meters.
Perhaps best of all, the Orbit Robot Skindiver (Ref. OR-BR-FU-SS) retails for $995.
Photos by Benrus.