39jewel Benrus 3 Star
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  1. #1
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    39jewel Benrus 3 Star

    Well, it's been WAY too long for me; I had my watch bench put away for several months while I sold my house and moved. But the drought is over, and I'm finally back to tinkering with watches again! Here's my first victim...

    I picked this up at an antique show last year, and frankly I think I paid too much for it (I think I talked her down to $90), but it came with a presentation box, and the 39 jewels was interesting. Plus I'm light on automatics that have date complications.

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    The case is a bit dinged, and no one will call the dial "mint", but it has a nice patina to it. Inside is a Benrus FR45, which is based on the AS 1581.

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    It was obviously a well-used watch; big gouges in the lugs, and some of the winding gears are very worn in places, but otherwise a very nice watch. The winding module is standalone and can be removed entirely without affecting the rest of the watch. This requires a number of additional parts to the design though. Several of the gears in the autowind modules are highly customized and would be extremely difficult to fabricate, so I'm imagining this is one model that will quickly become scarce as time goes on.

    Ranfft lists the base model as having 17-25 jewels; they push this one up to 39 by adding a bunch of nominally "functional" jewels underneath the date ring. Because we all know how often the date ring wears out.

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    I had to cheat a bit on the mainspring; it's supposed to take a 3-10.5-13.5 mainspring, but the closest I had was a 3-10-12.5. That means the amplitude will be a bit lower, and the reserve a bit shorter. Shouldn't affect it too much though. And so far, it's keeping perfect time.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  2. #2
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    Re: 39jewel Benrus 3 Star

    Yep, one from the "Jewel Wars'.

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: 39jewel Benrus 3 Star

    Wonderful post! I am glad Benrus solved the problem of date rings wearing out. I don't think anyone else ever did... LOL
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: 39jewel Benrus 3 Star

    nice watch with an interesting movement
    Omega the sign of Excellence since 1848. Jaeger Le Coultre Horlogerie de Luxe depuis 1833
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    Omega and Rolex for ever
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  6. #5
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: 39jewel Benrus 3 Star

    Amazing, never saw anything like that.
    Nice one.

  7. #6
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    more really important jewelling

    This is nothing - you should see the Centurys, Radger.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Courtesy of ULF.

  8. #7
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: more really important jewelling

    57 jewels....jeepers, does anyone have a watch to beat that?

  9. #8
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: more really important jewelling

    Someone somewhere has one with 100 jewels. 83 of them "support" the rotor.....

    Hartmut Richter

  10. #9
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    Re: more really important jewelling

    Quote Originally Posted by pithy View Post
    This is nothing - you should see the Centurys, Radger.
    Sorry, Radger - Century = 100 (Bulova?, Waltham?, etc??)

    Radger, you going to the wedding?
    Courtesy of ULF.

  11. #10
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: more really important jewelling

    Quote Originally Posted by pithy View Post
    Sorry, Radger - Century = 100 (Bulova?, Waltham?, etc??)
    Radger, you going to the wedding?
    These watches are unfamiliar to me Pithy...I live in the UK. Of course I know
    that Century refers to a hundred but you didn't post a watch with a hundred jewels,
    I was hoping someone might have one s'all.

    What wedding's that then?

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