MKII Paradive - Initial Thoughts

Several days ago, a box with my MKII Paradive Gen 3 arrived at the office, and once I opened it, saw the watch, and had the chance to wear it, I have to say that, this is one of my favorite watches. For many reasons. But I wanted to test it before I could say that properly.

I've been wearing the Paradive for over 10 days now, and here are my initial thoughts.

This is not the first time we feature the Paradive in the blog, Jon wrote about it back in 2014. But to recap, the Paradive is MKII's take on the Benrus Type 1, a rare dive watch issued to Special Forces and some CIA maritime units from the 1960s up to the early 1980s.

 Benrus Type I (on the right) and Type II (on the left)

Benrus Type I (on the right) and Type II (on the left)

MKII took this concept, and try to reimagine it as if the watch was re-introduced today, with modern technology and materials. The result is a stunning, durable, legible and easy to care watch.

Specs:

  • Case Width: 41.25 mm (bezel diameter)
  • Case Thickness: 15.54 mm
  • Case length: 49.50 mm end to end
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Weight: 98 grams (without strap)
  • Crystal: Double domed sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coating on interior surface only
  • Lume: SuperLumiNova BGW9
  • Movement: Made in Japan SII NE15 (Rotor features Côtes de Genève), quickset date, hack setting, automatic with manual winding capability. - Water resistance: 20 ATMs (200 meters - verified according to ISO 6425)
  • Case Finish: Bead blasted 316L stainless steel
  • Drilled through lugs.
  • Screw-down crown
  • 120 click unidirectional bezel
  • (in my case) Bezel: 12-hr aluminum inlay

Right out of the box, the watch looks solid. It's a big watch, but it wears supringly small. Don't get me wrong, it will look big on your wrist, but it feels (comfort) like a smaller watch.
One of the big issues I've had in the past with 42mm and bigger watches is that the crown tend to chew at the top of my hand when I'm folding it up, as in pushups, or when climbing, or when crawling somewhere. Not with the Paradive, which is really smooth and well designed. The crown blends in with the case and all the borders and bevels are smooth and not sharp.

Speaking of the case, the beadblasting finish is fantastic. It gives the case a matte dark gray finish, sort of like titanium, but much better. I personally prefer bead blasted cases to brushed ones. Not shiny and looks much better. For a tool watch, and this is a tool watch, the finish is perfect. We will see how it does with resisting scratches. It's too early to say.

One of the things I look on a tool watch is the ability to read time on any conditions. Whether during the day, at night, underwater, under rain or muddy conditions. Sometimes I need to quickly see the time, or use the watch to take a bearing, and I need it to be legible, always.
So far, the Paradive has delivered. It's simple dial and white hands/endexes combo is great. My only comment (not a complaint) is that the lume could be a little stronger, or rather all the surface of the hands and indexes could be painted with lume. The watch is perfectly legible at night, especially after a day in the sun, and the lume does last several hours, but I think there isn't enough lume painted on the indexes, to my preference, at least.

The other thing I tend to check on watches, is the ability to blend in. Often I start with a nice, dress shirt, and then I need to change to a field shirt or go to the gym, or the range. The watch I'm wearing has to be able to not only perform on all environments, but it has to adapt. Wearing the Paradive with a dress shirt, suit and tie, it might seems awkward, but with the right strap (leather, or even a NATO since they are fashinable now) allows for the watch to really blend in. It's a big watch, and it might not fit under a tight dress shirt cuff, but it won't look so out of place. In fact, I've had compliments by people asking me what watch it was.

So, first 10 days? I like the Paradive. It's a great tool watch.

Now the real testing begins. I'll take it everywhere for the next couple of months, and I'll report back.

Stay tuned!

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