I don’t generally care for large watches. Much over 44 mm and I usually don’t even pay attention, which is why I largely ignored the first three iterations of the Benarus Megalodon. Regardless of my general indifference, the Megalodon has been soldiering on as a very successful, low production model aimed at buyers who are interested in a large watch which packs considerable wrist-presence without costing too dearly. Now in its fourth generation, the Megalodon 4 is the product of careful evolution, adding polish to its proven formula of offering a large case, distinctive prehistoric styling and as much luminous paint as can be applied to any single watch. Given the previous success of this line and some general curiosity as to how well a watch this large can actually wear, we were happy to experience a Megalodon first hand when Benarus offered one for review.
- 47 x 19.5 mm titanium case
- 49 mm unidirectional bezel
- 55 mm lug to lug
- 239g fully loaded (209g as reviewed)
- ETA 2824-2 Automatic movement
- 4mm thick double domed sapphire crystal
- Fully lumed bezel scale
- Automatic helium escape valve
- 2500m (8200 ft) Water resistant
- Titanium bracelet with solid end links and screwed construction
- Fitted rubber strap
- Price of $1,100 USD
The Megalodon, perhaps unsurprisingly, is unlike any other watch I’ve ever worn. With the Megalodon 4 on wrist or simply in my hands, I am unable to see anything other than its almost ridiculous size. 49mm wide at the bezel and nearly 20 mm thick, it is a large watch by any comparison and you had better prefer rolling up your sleeves as the Megalodon 4 will not fit under any standard cuff. That said, if you close your eyes or simply go on with your day, you’ll soon forget just how large the Megalodon is as its “visual weight” is not at all a strong indication of how it wears once strapped to your wrist.
Once sized for my wrist, the Megalodon weighs a noticeable 209g, which is heavy for a dress watch or even a proportionally-reserved dive watch, but for a watch like the Megalodon 4, 209g is quite light. The lightness can be attributed to two factors. First, the case, bezel and heavy-duty bracelet are made from titanium which is considerably lighter than stainless steel. Second, the hook shaped lugs and flat center portion of the case-back make for a very comfortable shape and one that sits well on the center portion of your wrist (see the included video for an on-wrist view with the titanium bracelet).
The Megalodon 4’s 55mm lug to lug length is actually rather short for its 47mm frame. For comparison, consider the 42mm Helson Shark Diver has a 51.5 mm lug to lug measurement. The lightness and comfort of the Megalodon is surprising given its size and it should suit any wrist providing the owner prefers a big watch or simply has a very large wrist.
While the Megalodon has been available in many different variations of case materials/finishing, bezel design and dial color, it has always shown its signature over-sized hands and dial markers which are designed to be reminiscent of the teeth from the prehistoric shark, the Megalodon. I think the shape is both distinctive and very successful in terms of being practical (triangular shapes work well for markers and these are very large so they can handle a lot of luminous paint), aesthetically interesting and rather unique.
The dial has two layers with the markers and minute scale being slightly raised in comparison to the center of the dial which remains very sparse showing only the brand, model, water resistance and date aperture (white text on a black background).
Timekeeping is handled by the simple and reliable ETA 2824-2 and the review sample was accurate to within a few seconds a day. Legibility is excellent and the date display is both large and shallow set in the dial so reading the date from an angle is not difficult. The Megalodon 4 offers excellent low-light viewing. The hands, markers and even bezel scale are fully treated with BWG9 Superluminova and the end result is nothing short of excellent. Initial brightness is very good but is easily bested by its longevity which lasts throughout the night and is easily viewed once your eyes have acclimated to the darkness. Previous models of the Megalodon used the slightly brighter C3 Superluminova variant but Benarus wanted the hands and teeth (dial markers) to look as white as possible so BWG9 was a much better option (C3 has an off-white/yellow coloring in daylight).
The Megalodon 4 proudly shows off its 2500m (8200 ft) water resistance rating and no doubt achieves such a depth thanks to its massive case and 4mm thick double domed sapphire crystal. The Megalodon 4 could no doubt be used as a divers watch given its inclusion of an automatic helium escape valve (HeV), a rubber strap and a bezel design that offers good grip and a noticeable click for all 120 stages in its travel. The bezel action is positive and though it did exhibit some light play in its travel, accuracy and hold was excellent.
The titanium bracelet uses screwed construction, solid end links and has a fold over dive-style clasp (no wetsuit extension). Divers will likely want to use the included rubber strap which features fitted ends and a signed buckle. The bracelet or strap is secured to the Megalodon via a small hex-style screw set for which Benarus has included the required tool (see video).
These tools provide a more stable grip with the screw head and should prevent owners from scratching the Megalodon’s lugs during strap changes. The watch, bracelet, strap and tool come packed in a screw-top dive tube, similar to those commonly used by other indie dive watch brands.
Benarus is selling the Megalodon for $1100 USD and it has little in the way of close competition. Other brands like Deep Blue and Breiting have large watches which sport 2000m+ water resistance but the Benarus is more distinctive and original than the Deep Blue and far cheaper than the 3000m Breitling Avenger Seawolf (~$3900). Is the Megalodon subtle? No, quite the opposite actually as its large case and bezel ensure a rather shouty wrist presence.
The Megalodon 4 is a very nicely made, and easy wearing over-sized watch that features some original styling from one of our favorite indie dive watch manufactures. If you hate large watches, we don’t think the Megalodon 4 will necessarily change your mind, but if you prefer a large watch that is both very tough and very wearable, we don’t think you can do much better than the excellent Benarus Megalodon 4.
We would like to thank Benarus Watches for providing a review sample of the Megalodon 4.