Below see a follow up review from the winner of the highly desired Bathys Benthic Ti watch that I gave-away here. Thank you Pat for the thoughts:
When my Bathys Benthic Ti arrived over a week ago, the first thing I did was pull out my recently acquired 1962 Omega Seamaster. I love my Omega. it has a definite 60's vibe which sits well with me, thank you very much. It reeks of three martini lunches and steno pools.
I laid it next to the Bethnic Ti.
"Christ", I thought. "This is a big friggin' watch".
Madmen.... Meet Mad Max!
PRESENTATION: Simple, practical and to the point. The watch arrived with a Benthic catalog Signed by John Patterson, CEO of Bathys, instructions and comes in a Pelican case. Not an inexpensive option. Pelican makes O-ring sealed, virtually indestructible cases to house and transport, munitions, optics - essentially anything that needs protecting. My watch could have been kicked all the way to my house from Hawaii and would have arrived in perfect shape. For those like me who tend to throw away the packaging the pelican case could easily be re-worked to hold a camera, lenses, etc.
CASE: The Benthic Ti case is made from Grade 5 Titanium. Grade 5 is a workhorse alloy for the aerospace industry, containing palladium and nickel, giving the alloy it excellent resistance to acid, salt water and chloride. It's also extremely difficult to machine.
The case is beautifully machined and extremely well finished. Rather than having testosterone laden chains, covers and latches to protect the crown, Bathys went with two radiused "lugs" that extend from the case and enclose the crown. Simple, durable, elegant and effective.
STRAP: The Benthic Ti comes with two straps - one in rubber, the other wonderful black leather strap with contrasting red stitching which matches the second hand and retrograde day indicator (nice touch!). The strap is padded and treated to protect it from salt. It's supple, hugs the wrist, and is very comfortable.
MOVEMENT: I was surprised to find out the Ti has a Ronda 7003 quartz movement. Now I'm not a big fan of quartz movements. This has nothing to do with reliability. My indifference to quartz movements stems from my love of all things mechanical. But now I've seen the light.
There's something to be said for waking up in the morning, strapping on your watch without having to wind it or set the time. And the darn thing is dead accurate.
CROWN and BEZEL: One word: Precision. It's obvious that Benthic put a lot of thought into the crown design. When pulled out to its maximum position, it DOES NOT MOVE. There's a bit of resistance when turning the crown and pulling it out - I assume due to the seals and the close tolerances.
Same goes for the bezel. Unidirectional, no slop - only precise, definite clicks. The bezel has machined indentations - a more cost effective solution would have been a simple knurling pattern along its perimeter. I'm not crazy about knurling. Cleaning a knurled pattern is akin cleaning a cheese grater.
CRYSTAL: The Bethnic's sapphire crystal has an AR coating and is an impressive 3.8 mm thick (that's over an 1/8 of a inch to you and me).
LUME: Nice and sharp. Very well done.
DIAL: No surprises and that's a good thing. It's well laid out with large numbers and indices. Date displace is big. I love the hands. Sizable but well proportioned. The retrograde day indicator is a very nice feature.
GRIPES: Minor. The instructions leave something to be desired. The directions for setting the watch are in reverse. This is my only gripe, really. When assigned a technical writing task, I always assume that the end user knew nothing of the product. More concise instructions on setting the watch, replacing the strap, etc. Would have been nice. But - from what I am told - no watch company is big on directions, so my minor complaint may be a moot point. The brochure maybe should be reduced in size - so it will fit in the case. Also - the inside and underside edges of the lugs are a bit sharp - not unfinished just a bit less finished.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: At 48mm, the Benthic Ti is big - at least by my standards. I have puny wrists - wrists better suited for Gore Vidal's pool boy than a 250 lb 6'-1" male. But I've been wearing the watch for over a week and surprisingly, the watch is incredibly comfortable to wear as an everyday watch thanks to the comfortable high quality strap and the thoughtful case design. I love this watch. The titanium case makes it easy on the wrist. Keep in mind that Titanium is lightweight - not weightless. It has bulk to it.
It's obvious that the folks at Bathys paid attention to detail and spent money on the things that mattered most. The watch is not overdone or gaudy. Not by any stretch of the imagination - certainly not Invicta-fabulous. Everything on the Benthic Ti is there for a purpose. I'm a firm believer in form following function which I why I feel this watch is good looking and wears well.
Now for the confession. I don't dive. Hell I can't even swim. I'm like those old guys at Brighton Beach - standing in six inches of ocean and splashing water under my arms while complaining about the heat. Luckily, I have five diving enthusiasts in my engineering group. I passed the watch around to them to get their opinions.
They were beyond impressed with the Bethnic Ti's quality and price. One of them showed me his TAG diver - a new one - and spun the bezel around like a roulette wheel. One of them emitted a low whistle when first viewing it.
One manager looked over my shoulder and asked to see it. He shrugged and said "never heard of the company".
So there you go. Not everyone will buy this watch. But the right people will.