The vintage Benrus Type I with its iconic, asymmetric design is probably one of the most legendary military dive watches ever produced – certainly to come out the United States where it was commissioned by the US Military for use in the Vietnam War.

The design of the Type I is one that has been coveted, copied and paid homage to by more than a few parties over the past decade or so – some efforts infinitely better than others;

some brands even owe their very existence to the Type I, so you would expect that Benrus or at least the brand’s current owners would knock a Type I inspired dive watch out of the park, right? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Here is the new SeaChief from Benrus, a watch inspired by and updated from the legendary Type 1. Its Basic spec. includes: a 44mm Stainless steel case with a Sapphire crystal and water-resistance of 300m.

BTW the original Type I was rated to 1200ft or 365m, a missed opportunity imho as it would have been super cool to have the exact same WR.

Unlike the original Type I which had a screw-down case-back along with its famous engraved lines of text, the case-back of the SeaChief is secured via 6x flathead screws and is instead engraved with the Benrus brand insignia which dates back to 1921.

Also, unlike the Type I with its Swiss automatic movement, power for the SeaChief comes from a Japanese automatic movement. Nothing wrong with that per se but Swiss would have been in keeping with the original. MSRP is 695USD.

Thoughts? Not quite as big a failure as the war that the watch (the Type I) it was inspired by was developed for use in – but certainly the biggest disappointment since the release of The Phantom Menace!

Day date aside, lookswise it’s okay, but spec. is a little off. There is huge potential for faithful reeditions of the Type I & Type II. What do you think?