Grandfather's Benrus

Thread: Grandfather's Benrus

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  1. #1
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    Grandfather's Benrus

    Anyone know anything about this watch? I can't locate it online. My grandfather used to always wear it, and gave it to me when I was a kid (I'm 48 now).

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  2. #2
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    Benrus was one of the largest watch companies in North America in the mid 1900s. They bought Swiss movements and put them in cases for sale. They were big enough to have made a move to buy Hamilton in the 1950s but were blocked by the US government and their antitrust laws (IRC). Like many watch companies, they had trouble when quartz became king and got sold several times for marketers to take advantage of their old reputation. There is lots of Benrus info here: Ceasuri Romania | Ceasuri de colectie | OREX | BENRUS | Ceasuri militare

    They occasionally used AS movement but mostly used ETA movements (AS and ETA merged in the 1970s anyway).

    Because they use fairly high volume movements, parts are usually pretty easy to find. I'm quite certain you could get yours serviced by a watchmaker (not a jewellery store) and wear it. It likely wouldn't cost more than buying a new watch and you get to wear your grandad's watch!

    Despite the dial and hands showing some signs of age, they are still quite legible so I would leave them alone.
    My new sig -----

    Over the years I've collected all sorts of movements and "project" watches ... mainly inexpensive vintage pieces.

    These days I've widened my gaze to include modern pieces (including quartz with analog or analog + digital displays) but with those I'm generally looking for models in solid steel cases.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    Any info on the age? I can't find anything with the same ">"s used for most of the numbers.

    My photo does not do the body justice - it looks quite good in person.

    I'm not sure if it is accurate, but it does work. Just a few moments of tipping back n forth and she starts running like a champ.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    I would estimate it to be from the 1950s

    Like a car, mechanical watches require occasional servicing to change the oil (for the same reasons). It's good that it works, but the dirt and degraded oil may be causing irreparable damage. Either don't run it, or get it serviced and enjoy for years
    My new sig -----

    Over the years I've collected all sorts of movements and "project" watches ... mainly inexpensive vintage pieces.

    These days I've widened my gaze to include modern pieces (including quartz with analog or analog + digital displays) but with those I'm generally looking for models in solid steel cases.

  6. #5
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of Benrus information out there. They sold a LOT of movements in primarily the mid-quality range, and many of them didn't really have "names". This one is a "three star" (for obvious reasons), which was their common line of automatics. The dial on this one is in surprisingly good shape compared to many I've seen. Is it a bumper automatic, do you know?
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    Quote Originally Posted by bjohnson View Post
    I would estimate it to be from the 1950s

    Like a car, mechanical watches require occasional servicing to change the oil (for the same reasons). It's good that it works, but the dirt and degraded oil may be causing irreparable damage. Either don't run it, or get it serviced and enjoy for years
    I'll keep that in mind - thanks. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    Is it a bumper automatic, do you know?
    I do not know what it means, I do know it is self-winding as long as you wear it.

  8. #7
    Member TheJohnP's Avatar
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    A picture of the movement would help give you more information about your watch.
    Can you open it up from the back and take a photo?
    Be advised that the movement could only be accessible from the front through the crystal.
    So you might want to take it to a watch repair shop to have them open it up for you.
    I've got more Converse sneakers than watches, but it is a close race.

  9. #8
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    Benrus made a lot of front loaders. This looks like one of that style
    My new sig -----

    Over the years I've collected all sorts of movements and "project" watches ... mainly inexpensive vintage pieces.

    These days I've widened my gaze to include modern pieces (including quartz with analog or analog + digital displays) but with those I'm generally looking for models in solid steel cases.

  10. #9
    Member ltri's Avatar
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    Re: Grandfather's Benrus

    I was actually eyeing an old stock dial almost like your's. I was so tempted to buy the dial and then find another automatic benrus watch of the same age just to put the dial on. Benrus NOS watch dial silver for automatic | eBay
    Last edited by ltri; April 15th, 2012 at 07:31.
    I'm a watchbreaker not a watchmaker.

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