Saturday, June 20, 2009

VINTAGE BENRUS SQUARE AUTOMATIC MEN'S (SOLD)WRISTWATCH











VINTAGE BENRUS SQUARE MEN'S WRISTWATCH CIRCA 1960'S
TWO TONE BROWN/WHITE SQUARE DIAL WITH QUICKSET DATE WINDOW AT 3 O'CLOCK
CRYSTAL IS CLEAN WITH NO CRACK AND NOR SCRATCHES
SWISS BENRUS 21 JEWEL AUTOMATIC WINDING MOVEMENT
OPEN THROUGH CRYSTAL
GOLD TONE METAL HANDS
RAISED GOLD TONE STICK MARKERS
STAINLESS STEEL CASE MEASURES APPROXIMATELY 38mm INCLUDING THE CROWN AND 36mm LUG TO LUG
UNSIGNED CROWN
ORIGINAL WIRE MESH BAND FITS 8.5" WRIST
DISCONTINUED MODEL... VERY RARE AND HARD TO FIND!
WORKING CONDITION, KEEPING TIME AND RECENTLY SERVICED
PRICE : RM550.00 NOW OFFER AT BELOW COST FOR RM450.00 SOLD

BRIEF HISTORY OF BENRUS, SOVEREIGN AND BELFORTE WATCHES
Although the company went out of business in 1977, large numbers of their well made and dependable fine Benrus watches are available as vintage collectors’ items.
Way back in 1921 three brothers called Oscar, Ralph and Benjamin Lazrus founded the Benrus Watch Company. History doesn’t tell us why Benjamin was the brothers’ name that was chosen but the company name, Benrus, is a combination of the first syllable of his name and the second syllable of their family name. Benrus watches is sometimes mistaken for a Swiss watch making company because early in its history the American owned and operated company leased one floor of factory space from a Swiss owned watch making company that was located in La Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland. Their reason for doing this was to help to circumvent the draconian regulations against the use of Swiss watch movements in foreign time pieces. The earliest models of Benrus watches featured precision movements made by the Schild Company, a well known and established Swiss watch maker. The first watch casings from the Benrus Watch Company are not marked with their brand name due to the Swiss regulations discussed previously.
In the decade of the 1930’s the innovative and creative styling of Benrus watches started to attract quite a following. Their chic designs featured such innovations as cushion watches and rectangular shaped watch casings. It was during this period of time that the Benrus Watch Company first became well known to the American consumer market. The company continued to be known as a leader in style and design in the watch making industry. During the 1940’s they made a range of fine time pieces that are avidly sought after by vintage watch collectors today. Perhaps the most famous of these was the manually winding calendar watch.
Other brands that sold under the Benrus name were

SOVEREIGN

BELFORTE

In the 1960's through the late 70's, Benrus made military issue watches used by the Army and Navy. These were issued to servicemen fighting in the Vietnam War.

Early in the 1960's Ben and Ralph Lazrus were in their 70's and ready for retirement. By the mid to late 70's Benrus Incorporated was a diversified manufacturer of a number of consumer products. Companies included: Benrus Watch Co. Watches, Wells, Inc. Jewelry, and Destino, Ltd. - Christian Dior Products. An attempt to consolidate all the various manufacturing enterprises under one roof proved to be a much more expensive move than anyone calculated, and a final blow to the company which subsequently filed bankrupt in 1977.

The company was then sold, and after passing through several more hands, came under the ownership of the Hampden Company, which also owned "Fantasy Diamonds", with factories in both the Virgin Islands and Chicago. An attempt was made to bring back the Benrus brand under Hampden/Fantasy, which was somewhat successful but short lived. Among others, a reissue of Vietnam service watches proved very popular.


1 comment:

  1. I have an old square Benrus watch and it is square has a 14K gold case. The case number is 70139. On the face it says Benrus Shock Absorber. The watch face has a small circle second hand separate from the regular minute and hour hand. Can you help me to figure out if it is worth anything? My e-mail is artisthecenterofearth@gmail.com. It was given to me by a friend whose father was a watch maker. Thank you for your time. Take care & Have Fun.
    Stephanie Cerins

    ReplyDelete