Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AUTHENTIC VINTAGE BENRUS ROMAN TEXTURED DIAL GENTS WRISTWATCH












BRAND: AUTHENTIC VINTAGE BENRUS ROMAN TEXTURED DIAL GENTS WRISTWATCH
MADE IN: SWISS with JAPAN MOVEMENT
CIRCA: 1970's
MODEL: ROMAN TEXTURED DIAL DRESS WATCH
CRYSTAL: ACRYLIC VERY CLEAN, NO CRACKS NO SCRATCHES
MOVEMENT:V JAPAN MADE HAMAZAWA 17JEWELS MANUAL MOVEMENT CAL. 5062A
DIAL COLOR: GOLD TONE ROMAN TEXTURED DIAL
FUNCTIONS: HOUR, MINUTE, SECOND AND QUICKSET DATE AT 3:00
HANDS: GOLD TONE 
MARKERS: BLACK SILVER TONE ROMAN MARKERS
CASING : GOLD PLATED TOP AND STAINLESS STEEL BACK
LUGS: 18mm 
MEASUREMENT: 34mm DIAMETER EXCLUDING CROWN and 40mm LUG TO LUG
BEZEL: GOLD PLATED BEZEL
CASEBACK INSCRIPTION: BASE METAL BEZEL, STAINLESS STEEL BACK, WATER RESISTANT
CROWN: ORIGINAL UNIGNED BENRUS CROWNS
STRAP: NEW BLACK LEATHER BAND
SIZE STRAP: 9.5" FULL LENGHT
DISCONTINUED MODEL & VERY RARE.. EXCELLENT CONDITION, KEEPING GOODTIME, NO BOX and NO PAPER but GUARANTEED AUTHENTIC
PRICE: USD150 (NEGOTIABLE)
LISTING USD150 SOLD RM

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BENRUS 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.

Brief History of Hamazawa Watch Movement
Hamazawa Ltd was founded in 1954. This company seems to have had close ties to Suwa Seikosha Ltd, including jointly applying for a couple of patents on electronic devices in the 1970s. In the late 1960s Hamazawa developed their 50xx and 80xx family of calibres. The base calibre of the 50xx series follows the cost-saving engineering practices found in Timex movements of the time, but with some refinements such as a jewelled lever escapement and jewelled balance bearings. 

Significantly, the Seiko magic lever winding mechanism was used in the automatic variants. As the patent was still in force for this technology, a license agreement between Seiko and Hamazawa would have been required. 

Most likely there was a joint venture to develop these movements, which were then used in Seiko’s cheaper lines such as Tomony and School Time. Hence the reason these movements are often identified as originating at Suwa Seikosha, despite their almost totally un-Seiko-like design. They were also used by Orient (in whom Seiko owned a majority share) as well as various other Japanese and foreign watch brands e.g. Benrus, Sears and Astral. In non-Seiko/Orient watches the movements are usually signed “Hamazawa Ltd.” In 1983 Hamazawa merged with Takagi Ltd and Tenryu Ltd (a major watch case supplier for Seiko) to form Sanritsu Ltd. In 1986, this company was swallowed up by Seiko-Epson. 

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