The MK II Paradive pays homage to a beloved military dive watch, the Benrus Type 1 (there’s also a Type 2 with a different dial setup, but that’s not one of the options here). These watches, produced in the ‘70s for the American military under spec MIL-W-50717, are pure mil-watch goodness, though today they’re relatively uncommon on the market, and even fewer are available in the condition you’d want them to be in. I won’t go too deep into the history of these watches today, but for those who are interested I would recommend checking out our primer here.
The Paradive, now in its third generation, is part of MK II’s ready-to-wear series (the Hawkinge was the first watch in this line, and you can read our review of it here). All ready-to-wear watches are manufactured in Japan to spec, with final QC (and even some assembly, but more on that later) performed by Mr. Bill Yao (MK II’s proprietor) in his Pennsylvania workshop.
Now, I’ve professed my adoration for MK II in the past, and I’m generally unbothered by homage watches (I’m personally of the belief that you should buy and wear whatever makes you happy, and if that’s an homage watch, then more power to you). It becomes even less of an issue when a watch is based on a long-out-of-production military timepiece. If that’s problematic for you, then the Paradive likely isn’t the watch for you. But, if you’re anything like me, then you’ll appreciate the Paradive for what it is, and that is a robustly spec’d dive watch with a clean design and solid manufacturing for a price that won’t break the bank.
Excuse the pun, but let’s dive right in.