1960's Belforte Destro Custom
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Thread: 1960's Belforte Destro Custom

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  1. #1
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    1960's Belforte Destro Custom

    This is a lil custom I just finished up. The original case was beyond help so I planned a recase and just happened to have this nice all stainless 60's mondaine case, it is for an automatic but fits this taller 7 jewel eta 1296 (belforte 11b15) handwinder nicely. I was doing the usual clean and lube when I noticed the dial feet were symetrical so I tried flipping it to a 9 oclock crown position and for sure it lined up perfectly (no dial feet were harmed in this process). So a new SS crown, crystal, vintage pencil hands and easy movement fitment and now it is a Destro (lefty) homage. Hand mirror polished case turned out nice. Original dial lume is weak but stays as is. Anyone familiar with omega seamaster 30's will notice the dial layout similarities and is the reason for the project.
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    dougcee likes this.
    1979 5513 Submariner
    1977 Timex Milspec Custom Conversion
    1966 Timex 600 Skindiver
    1969 Benrus US Military Issued
    1961 Belforte Sheppard AFB
    1961 Omega Seamaster



    "Time spent waiting between the seconds is only conspiring to make me older" DV 2018
    "I don't always agree with everybody but when I do it's because I'm Right"
    DV 2011
    Dirtvictim The Watch Mechanic.

  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 1960's Belforte Destro Custom

    Nice resurrection as a Lefty. Belforte is commonly considered a sub-brand of Benrus (the trademark registration lists first use as 1966, with the tag line: BELFORTE COMPANION WATCH TO BENRUS SOLD AND SERVICED AROUND THE WORLD). Benrus used that brand for their early MIL-W-46374 watches. Interestingly, some of those seem to date to as early as 1964, which would seem to contradict the trademark filing, although some of the commentary I've read suggests that Belforte may have existed as a separate company prior to joining with Benrus. Your watch may prove that out, as it doesn't use the Benrus import code. That may also explain why Belforte watches don't seem to really be "lower" or "higher" quality (unlike their "Sovereign" line). I've read in other places that Benrus was involved in a dispute with Bulova over their participation in the early military contracts that might have been a factor.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: 1960's Belforte Destro Custom

    Its turned out to be a very handsome watch. Easier said than done finding cases and dials that fit a movement. Well done!
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  5. #4
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    Re: 1960's Belforte Destro Custom

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrick View Post
    Its turned out to be a very handsome watch. Easier said than done finding cases and dials that fit a movement. Well done!
    thanks it was fortunate that it fit without
    any shoe horning. it's even a nice 36mm w/o crown
    1979 5513 Submariner
    1977 Timex Milspec Custom Conversion
    1966 Timex 600 Skindiver
    1969 Benrus US Military Issued
    1961 Belforte Sheppard AFB
    1961 Omega Seamaster



    "Time spent waiting between the seconds is only conspiring to make me older" DV 2018
    "I don't always agree with everybody but when I do it's because I'm Right"
    DV 2011
    Dirtvictim The Watch Mechanic.

  6. #5
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    Re: 1960's Belforte Destro Custom

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    Nice resurrection as a Lefty. Belforte is commonly considered a sub-brand of Benrus (the trademark registration lists first use as 1966, with the tag line: BELFORTE COMPANION WATCH TO BENRUS SOLD AND SERVICED AROUND THE WORLD). Benrus used that brand for their early MIL-W-46374 watches. Interestingly, some of those seem to date to as early as 1964, which would seem to contradict the trademark filing, although some of the commentary I've read suggests that Belforte may have existed as a separate company prior to joining with Benrus. Your watch may prove that out, as it doesn't use the Benrus import code. That may also explain why Belforte watches don't seem to really be "lower" or "higher" quality (unlike their "Sovereign" line). I've read in other places that Benrus was involved in a dispute with Bulova over their participation in the early military contracts that might have been a factor.
    excellent info never thought to look up the import code
    thanks
    1979 5513 Submariner
    1977 Timex Milspec Custom Conversion
    1966 Timex 600 Skindiver
    1969 Benrus US Military Issued
    1961 Belforte Sheppard AFB
    1961 Omega Seamaster



    "Time spent waiting between the seconds is only conspiring to make me older" DV 2018
    "I don't always agree with everybody but when I do it's because I'm Right"
    DV 2011
    Dirtvictim The Watch Mechanic.

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