I’m the first to admit that I am a bit of a sucker for an impulse buy (and lets face it, in this forum, who isn’t?) and top of my most recent off the cuff purchases is a new Benarus Ti 47 smooth bezel, first version, which I’ve been wearing for a week or so now. This some of the old stock that Steve been putting up for sale recently – and I am really happy to get an original Ti 47 with a new warranty. I will come out and say that I really love the looks of the Moray case and have been tossing up buying a used bronze one for ages, but given the cost of bronzes and a general uncertainty having never seen I’ve held off – and I’m glad that I did.
At this point it is fair to warn readers out there that I am not questioning whether ‘My arm looks big in this’ or ‘is it too thick?’ I know it is big. It is 47 mm, what do you expect. If you aren’t into big divers with serious wrist presence, please tune out now. Otherwise….
I have only had two divers made out of titanium, this being my second after my Oris TT1. The Oris is a nice watch and I like it because of its unique cushion case, but I don’t really like the way it feels on (no offense to those that do). I hardly wear it and the only reason that I keep it is that I really like the way it looks now that I’ve modded the hands to have a single big red polngeur hand. There was something that I really didn’t like about the titanium. It seems too light and doesn’t wear nearly as comfortably as my Turtle, despite having much less weight. Maybe it is just that I am more conscious of how light it is. No matter. Not a big fan. I thought it was just the titanium, but it’s not, just not my favourite case design. Doesn’t happen at all with the Ti 47. In fact, if the 47 was made out of 316L I would be anchored to the desk, I’d swim along the bottom of the pool. The case is massive, but it is comfortably weighted. The caseback is smooth and brushed, no sharp edges (my personal peeve). Actually, REALLY comfortable. I’m lucky, my last two buys have been crackers in the comfort stakes, both the Helson Turtle and the Ti 47 are absolutely top notch, wear really well for me. BUT, the 47 is not so light that I don’t know that it is there.
I really like the smooth bezel. It is unique, and still functional. I wore it diving on Sunday, and the lume pip was a great placemarker for my time. Not quite the classic divers style, but works well and has a cool aesthetic. Kind of like an inner bezel diver, but not. Huge dial, love it. I’m pretty sure that if I pointed it at the International Space Station, the astronauts would be able to read the time in Australia off of my wrist. I know it is big because I stuck my wrist out of the window and my friend could tell the time….. in Perth. (A little Australian humour for you readers). I also love the grey sunray finish – looks like the grey runtheum dial that is on a Bathys 100F but with a little more depth, kind of like a layered metallic paint job. Not hugely bling, but a really classy understatement. I think the dial helps make the watch wear a little less large, if it was red it would be like wearing a stop sign. It also helps make the watch legible underwater, and it is really legible in even low-visibility water. As for the lume. If I put my watch near a book at night with the lights out, I can read. I’m not joking, I tried this last night. In the pitch dark, fully-charged, I can actually read by the lume. Not the easiest way to read, but it works. It’s nuts. Nuff said. Puts the Deep Blue MD 2000 II that I partially funded the watch with to shame.
The case is my favourite part, it has that Moray profile similar to a kettle drum, large on the top with domed sapphire crystal, angling down to the smooth caseback. It flows well and because the lugs are angled downwards, it fits my little wrist comfortably. It came with the Isofrane-style band, which I have tried once and doesn’t provide me with enough holes and so doesn’t wear well at all, a leather zulu which works really well and the fat, heavy leather Benarus band that looks cool, but doesn’t allow it to fit under my shirt cuff (which it does, just not on that band). Last weekend I used it on an orange NATO. I’m pleased for the screwbars. I don’t know if I would like to wear a watch this big on just springbars, especially not surfing or diving.
Now for the question part. For most of the weekend I wore the 47 on the outside of my wetsuit on the orange zulu, not wanting to use the Iso band. It didn’t work that well. I don’t mind wearing a smaller watch on the inside of my suit, especially if I am surfing, but not a watch this big and not if I am diving (which would make it pointless to have a diving watch at all). The thing is, with the zulu on, the watch works its way down to the end of my wrist and over the edge of the wetsuit. If I tighten too hard, it cuts off my blood flow (and the water is cold enough anyway). It would be ok if I was wearing external gloves since they would stop the slide, but I wasn’t, and don’t want to have to. Does anyone know of a good 24mm diving band that will grip the outside of my suit, will flex but doesn’t look too gawky so I don’t have to take it off when I go to work? An Isofrane would be good, but I have tiny wrists and they don’t have enough holes.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the review. The Ti 47 is a sturdy beast, but is extremely comfortable and built bomb-proof. It has lume like a laser. Get one, or don’t.