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Review of the Benarus Remora

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the ever expanding world of independent watch makers, it can be hard to know if you are buying a fad that will flash in the pan and one day leave you with an unreliable and unserviceable watch. There are so many new companies sprouting up and making sports watches for an eager online market that keeping them all straight can be tough. Recently, we had the opportunity to spend some time with the new Benarus Remora. You might remember Benarus from our review of the Moray and the Worldiver GMT Auto, two excellent dive watches that represent only part of the model line up from Benarus, a company that is always making new limited edition watches (Barracuda, Moray, Moray II, Worldiver GMT, Sea Devil, 1km, Megalodon, Megalodon 2, Bronze Moray). Due to their popularity all of these models have sold out, except for the new Remora. The Remora takes the vintage style tool-dive archetype and adds some definitive maturity.

44 x 13 mm
42mm Ceramic bezel
Miyota 9015 Automatic Movement
Stainless Steel Case
22mm lugs
Mesh bracelet and rubber strap
Sapphire Crystal
Limited production of 150 units
Variety of dial styles/colors
Cost: $610-650

The shape and profile of the Remora case is really special and rather unique. I have reviewed other watches that have hooded lugs but the Remora is the perfect shape. Please see the photos to see the concave edging on the bottom side of the case, and notice the beautiful curvature on the sides of the case. The crown fits perfectly into its guards and the edge of the crown is very easily gripped and feels sure footed in its connection to the Remora's movement. The movement in the Remora is a Miyota 9015, a top shelf asian automatic movement from Miyota which is a subsidiary of Citizen watches. Miyota is known for their 8215 movement, a well priced, simple automatic movement that never really wowed collectors or kept up with the reputation of the ETA 2824 it was designed to compete with. The 9015 was introduced in 2009 and features 24 jewels, hacking, handwinding, and a 28,800 VPH heartbeat. This movement is meant to be levelled directly at ETA with the 2824-2 and the 2892-A2. Those are high expectations, the 2824 is a basic enough movement but is also the work horse for a great many Swiss automatics. Even more difficult, the 2892 in all its variations is considered to be ETA's best movement and is the building block of many high end manufactures calibers. So how does the 9015 actually work out? The crown action is easy and sure, simple to set the date and time, winding is smooth and without much noise. Furthermore, the accuacy is excellent in this example. I have been wearing the the Remora on and off for about a month and have found this watch to run reliably between 0 and +4 seconds a day. This is absolutely excellent and makes this one of the most accurate independent divers I have reviewed to date.

So with a beautiful case, strong and accurate movement, and excellent mounting options show the Remora is a very respectable watch from a good brand, but it has another trick up its sleeve. The Remora features a ceramic bezel that is made from a much harder material than the normal stainless steel or aluminum. Ceramic bezels are generally seen on models from Rolex, Omega, or Hublot. Its fantastic to see innovation like this trickle down to watches that the average buyer can afford. Just the replacement ceramic bezel on a Rolex would cost more than an entire Remora so this isnt a small feature that was just tacked onto the Remora because everyone is doing it. Benarus has included the ceramic bezel because they predict people will wear these watches and occasionally hit them on door jams, ledges, or worse, the ground. Ceramic should help keep the Remora looking fresher longer, its not indestructible, but its better than aluminum or stainless steel. The dial is a deep black that is medium gloss. This is the numeral style dial with 12, 3, 6, and 9 painted on while other hours get large dots of luminous paint. The luminosity of the paint is excellent, very bright and long lasting and is matched with a lumed pip on the bezel at 12 o'clock. The dial is sparse and fitting for a diver like the Remora.

The curved shape of the case and the excellent build quality and materials make this a fitting companion for your wrist. It seems as though benarus is striving to make the best watch possible for a reasonable price and while the Remora is not an example of haute-horlogerie, it is a very nice watch with a quality movement, good build quality and a ceramic bezel. Combine the features with a slick vintage diver look and 500m water resistance its definitely hard to find a fault in the new Remora except that Benarus has limited production to only 150 units. Luckily, if you miss this one, you can always wait and see what surprises Benarus has in store with future models.

By James Stacey
source: Watch Report

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