Benrus Orbit Robot Skindiver Watch Review | A Nostalgic Ode to the ’70s

Recently, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Benrus Orbit Robot Skindiver for a few weeks to evaluate. As a gear reviewer, I have a lot of stuff come across my desk for review, and I get a chance to check out a lot of different watches, and honestly, it’s rare to get an exciting watch. However, the Orbit Diver broke the monotony when it showed up at my doorstep.  

When I opened the box, I was smitten with the Orbit. I love any cushion case diver, and the looks and size of this guy just added to the perfection. The watch I have here today is a close reproduction of Benrus’ original 1972 Orbit Diver, right down to the excellent gray fume dial. 

This guy is just awesome on the write and looks the part. I love the square batons with the rectangle hands and how it looks new yet still has a relaxed vintage vibe.

Design and Build

Overall, this is a lovely watch. The finishing on it is decent, and it has a solid feel in the hand and on the wrist. The case steals the show, and it sits perfectly on the wrist. Its balanced weight distribution means that it sits comfortably during extended wear, whether you’re navigating a busy day at the office or exploring the aisles of Home Depot. The watch has a rugged, but classy feel to it.

The Case:

The case is well done, and the brushing is excellent. It is also the supporting star of the show because the dial needs a partner, and the watch’s case it is and helps bring the whole package together. As a die-hard Seiko Turtle fan, you knew I was going to love the case here.

The Bracelet:

This is the only weak spot of the watch. The bracelet is just so-so. On my review piece, the clasp felt a little loose, and it only had three holes of micro-adjustment. I wish the bracelet didn’t have polished center links. I know many folks will like it, and it’s authentic, but I am not a fan. This watch has a really rugged, do-anything feel, and the polished links detract from that—just my opinion. 

Benrus did increase the lug width to a more reasonable 20MM, which opens up a whole world of strap options and a nice design upgrade from the original.

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The Case-Back:

One of the coolest features of the Orbit is often hidden, and that’s the case back. It has one of the neatest designs I have seen, it’s a robot circling the globe and is very funny. I absolutely love it.

The Dial:

The grey fumé dial is the highlight here, and the pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s hard to capture, but as you move or rotate the watch, the dial really comes alive as the light hits it. The interaction of light really makes the face of the dial look deep. On top of the gorgeous dial, the hands and markers really add some pop to it. 

The Crystal:

Topping off the dial is a domed sapphire crystal, and surrounding all of this is my favorite part, the stainless steel bezel. The bezel and its skinny markings are what really give the watch its charm. It looks so 70’s. It also has a sweet, tactile feel when you rotate it.

The Lume:

The watch has decent lume, but it’s not winning any lume wars, which is surprising since it’s BGW9, but it’s not a deal breaker and lasts well enough. The slightly lackluster lume could be there isn’t a ton of space on the markers to drench with lume.

The Movement:

The watch is equipped with a Soprod P024 Swiss movement and offers fairly reliable timekeeping. The Soprod P024 is a Swiss-made automatic movement based on the ETA caliber 2824-2. 

While they share similarities in automatic movements, they have distinct differences.  I won’t go deep into the weeds here, but the Soprod is easily serviced and repaired. 

Also, I think it is a sturdier movement that seems to take shocks and bumps much better without affecting the accuracy.

Another nice touch of the Orbit is that Benrus went with a signed crown, a nice added touch of attention to detail, and another step in making feel they cared about the watch they were making. Even today, so many watches in this price range get plain crowns.

Water Resistance:

As expected of a modern dive watch, the Orbit Robot has 200 meters of water resistance. 

With 20ATM water resistance and a screw-down crown, I felt confident wearing this watch in various environments. It’s not merely a style statement but a functional tool watch, adept for diving adventures or daily wear.

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Value:

So, as with many of my reviews, I attempt to answer what I think is the most important question, should you spend your money on this Benrus diver? If you don’t want your run-of-the-mill diver and desire something with some heritage, the Orbit fits the bill. It treads water in an insanely competitive price range, and at just under $1,000, I would like to have seen a nicer bracelet, but what you get instead is originality and ruggedness. This watch will go the distance and will be a nice addition to our collection.

ORBIT ROBOT SKINDIVER SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Dimensions:
    • Diameter: 41mm (without crown), 43mm (with crown)
    • Height: 13mm
    • Length: 43mm (top lug to bottom lug)
    • Type: Brushed 316L stainless steel case with screw-down crown
  • Movement:
    • Soprod P024 with quick set date function
    • Power Reserve: 38 hours
  • Bezel:
    • Stainless Steel Friction Fit Bezel
    • Lumed 12 o’clock Triangle
  • Strap:
    • Stainless Steel Bracelet
    • Deployment Clasp
    • Lug Width (Strap Size): 20mm
  • Water Resistance:
    • 20ATM (equivalent to approximately 200 meters or 660 feet)
  • Crystal:
    • Domed Sapphire crystal
  • Luminosity:
    • BGW9 Super-LumiNova on hour indices and hands
  • Dial:
    • Grey Fume Dial (gradient from light to dark)
    • Orange and white hands for enhanced visibility

Do You See A Robot In Your Future?

The BENRUS 1972 Orbit Robot timepiece is a beautiful fusion of retro aesthetics with modern functionality. It’s a watch for those who appreciate the nuanced design cues of an era gone by but expect the reliability of contemporary materials. 

It’s unique dial and robust build make it a must-have for watch nerds like me looking for something off the beaten path. If you’re in search of a timepiece that stands out from the crowd, the BENRUS Robot Skindiver is a compelling choice.

Purchase A Benrus Orbit Robot Shindiver Here

https://www.benrus.com/

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