The 1960s Fan-Favorite Benrus Ultra-Deep Returns
When I hear the name Benrus, the first two timepieces that come to my mind are the Type I diver and the DTU-2A/P field watch. These two models are much loved among fans of military watches. But Benrus also created more classics in the past that are worth checking out if you’re just learning about the brand. One of them is the Benrus Ultra-Deep ref. 6089 from the 1960s. It was part of a series of Benrus dive watches created when scuba diving took off. The new Benrus Ultra-Deep celebrates the classic model in style by maintaining the original size and details. This makes it a great modern remake of its 1960s counterpart, something that fans will most likely appreciate. I surely do.
Benrus is one of those brands that I have a big soft spot for. I like the Type I military diver a lot because of its remarkable case shape. That shape still looks modern, even decades after it was introduced. Additionally, the brand supplied the US military with field watches under both the Mil-W-3818B and GG-W-113 specifications. They have become classics in the world of military field watches. And for me, as a fan of Steve McQueen, the Benrus “Bullitt” is also a winner. McQueen wore the Benrus ref. 3061 in the 1968 movie Bullitt, and because he is considered a great style icon, it has given the Benrus “Bullitt” a lot of “cool points.”
The story of the Benrus Ultra-Deep
So there are plenty of interesting timepieces with great stories in Benrus’s history. That history also features watches created after scuba diving became popular in the 1960s. As one of the many watch brands at the time, Benrus jumped on the occasion to develop dive watches that people could wear underwater while diving. The brand created the Ultra-Deep series for its dive watches and released multiple models within it. A famous one is the Ultra-Deep ref. 6088, a cool-looking skin diver that Robert-Jan featured here on Fratello back in 2006.
Another was the Ultra-Deep ref. 6089 that this new watch is based on. The original watch came with the famous Super Compressor case built by EPSA. Its main feature was the spring-loaded back that, due to external water pressure, would seal the watch tighter the deeper its wearer dove. It made the Ultra-Deep water resistant to 666 feet (200 meters). Additionally, the watch had the typical Super Compressor look with two crowns. Using the upper crown, the wearer could rotate the internal dive bezel, while the second crown was for adjusting the time and date. It’s great to see that Benrus decided to keep everything as close to the original watch as possible for this new modern version carrying the Ultra-Deep name.
The specs of the new Benrus Ultra-Deep
So, let’s take a look at some specs. The watch features a 36.5mm Super Compressor-style case that is 13.8mm thick with a 41.5mm lug-to-lug length and an 18mm lug spacing. The case is not a real Super Compressor as modern techniques allow for the watch to be used at the same depths. This is why Benrus chose to use a modern screw-down design to maintain the 666ft depth rating.
I love that Benrus decided to keep the original 36.5mm case size. The 13.8mm thickness might raise questions about the overall proportions. However, since a good chunk of that thickness is due to the domed crystal, it seems like a nicely balanced case design both from the pictures and from reading the first impressions of people who have handled the watch. We hope to get the chance to check it out in the metal soon too.
The overall design feels familiar in a good way, but if we zoom in on the dial, a couple of details stand out immediately. First, the black dial features a white minute track with super long markers and large luminous hour markers sandwiched between them. The inner dive bezel also displays oversized luminous numerals for 15, 30, and 45 minutes. The result is a rather busy dial with a lot going on, but I absolutely love that. It keeps the design from being boring and gives it character.
Maintaining the details of the original Ultra-Deep
The dial also features a date window at 3 o’clock with a date magnifier. Benrus used an acrylic double-domed crystal with an internal rectangular magnifier to achieve that. Additionally, the brand chose to use the same charming cathedral hands that gave the original watch more character. The minute hand, in particular, is a more classic style than we see on most Super Compressor-style dive watches, but it suits the watch well. However, I must say that the hands seem a bit small compared to the oversized hour markers and numerals. Nevertheless, the hands are also treated with Super-LumiNova, just like the hour markers and markings on the inner bezel.
The watch comes fitted with a Jubilee-style stainless steel bracelet for even more character. Additionally, Benrus delivers the watch with a complimentary blue nylon NATO dive strap to mix things up. Although I prefer the bracelet, the NATO strap also looks good on the watch. It shows the great versatility of this style of dive watch perfectly. When it comes to the caliber powering this watch, Benrus opted for the automatic Soprod P024. The movement is based on the ETA 2824-2. It operates at 28,800vph, features a quick-set date, and has a 38-hour power reserve.
First impressions of the new Benrus Ultra-Deep
I love seeing a nice Super Compressor-style dive watch, and in my opinion, this Benrus Ultra-Deep seems like one of the best. It has plenty of character, and I simply love that the brand chose to create a faithful modern version of its classic. I am sure that many watch fans will appreciate the brand’s dedication to the small details that revive the style of the original watch from six decades ago in true form.
While I doubt as many people will go diving with it, there will be a lot of watch fans who would choose the Ultra-Deep as a stylish vintage-inspired dive watch to add to their collections. After seeing the images and reading all the details, I can’t wait to get this watch in for review and experience it for myself. It sounds like Benrus hit the nail on the head with this new Ultra-Deep. The watch is available on the Benrus site and retails for US$1,095 with deliveries starting at the beginning of October 2023.
For more information, visit the official Benrus website. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on the new Ultra-Deep in the comments.