Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch
Like Tree11Likes
  • 7 Post By guy0783
  • 3 Post By guy0783
  • 1 Post By guy0783

Thread: Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Middle America USA
    Posts
    708

    Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    I picked this watch up at an estate sale this morning. It was kind of out of place among the costume jewelry and missing the crystal, crown and having the hour hand broken it looked like it needed a home.

    I noticed that it was engraved, so I popped it open and was pleasantly surprised at seeing the 14K mark. Instantly it went from a much over-priced watch to a very good find. I snapped it up and then headed to work.

    When I got home I put a leather band on its 19mm hooded lugs and dug up a crown that fits, although not correct it works for now.

    The engraving reads: "Presented to Hon. Donald L. O'Toole March 23rd 1947 with sincere appreciation for a most valued friendship Executive Board Retail Jewelers Assoc. Greater New York"

    The 'Hon." part of that engraving is what got me wondering, 'Who is Donald O'Toole?'. Turns out he was a long-time New York congressman! That's different that most of the 50yrs service watches I come across.

    I haven't been able to find out a whole lot about him yet, or what his relationship with the jewelers association was, but if anyone has any information I would love to hear it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	benrus1.jpg 
Views:	165 
Size:	212.3 KB 
ID:	1581914

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	benrus2.jpg 
Views:	149 
Size:	235.5 KB 
ID:	1581916



    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	benrus3.jpg 
Views:	145 
Size:	169.1 KB 
ID:	1581911

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	benrus4.jpg 
Views:	143 
Size:	239.2 KB 
ID:	1581912

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	benrus5.jpg 
Views:	143 
Size:	167.6 KB 
ID:	1581913
    OhDark30, busmatt, radger and 4 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    1,703

    Re: Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    Wow very nice find there! Interesting and gold to boot!
    --Charlie

    -Citizen -Seiko -Heuer -Steinhart -Bulova -TagHeuer

  3. #3
    Member OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    5,643

    Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    Wow! Shrouded lugs seem too paltry a term to describe that design!
    Stunning watch, great find and interesting story - thanks for sharing
    DO NOT put sales verbiage in your signature.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Middle America USA
    Posts
    708

    Re: Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    It appears Congressman O'Toole had a strong opinion on the controversial 1946 Joe Louis-Billy Conn boxing match, which is interesting.....

  6. #5
    Member radger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    N.E England
    Posts
    3,383

    Re: Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    What a find.
    Now that's a deco watch, amazing sculpted case.

    That engraving has to be the longest inscription/dedication I've ever saw on any watch, pocket watches included.
    I'll bet the engraver rubbed his hands when he was commissioned for that job as he'd probably charge per character, amazing
    and very interesting.
    Nice one.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Middle America USA
    Posts
    708

    Re: Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    It seems he went as far as calling the fight a real 'stinkeroo' and also called for an investigation into the sport leading to lawsuits etc. What strong language!

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Middle America USA
    Posts
    708
    Updating an old thread....the following is a response I received from the New York historical society:

    "Thank you for writing. I am afraid I could not find the exact circumstances
    under which the Retail Jewelers Association of Greater New York presented
    the watch to O'Toole on.March 23, 1947, but I believe I know *why* they
    gave it to him. Earlier that year, there was a debate over the rate of
    excise taxes on furs, liquors, and jewelry, which remained at high, wartime
    levels. The rates were scheduled to drop on July 1st. Certain parties
    sought to freeze the taxes at their wartime highs; others, like O'Toole,
    sought to lower them. That would have put more money into the jewelers'
    pockets; hence, their gratitude for O'Toole's efforts. For more details,
    see the attached article from the *New York Times* of.January 18, 1947.

    O'Toole died in 1964, and I have attached his obituary from the *New York
    Times* from September 14th of that year.

    I hope this helps put your watch into context.

    Best wishes,

    Joseph Ditta
    Reference Librarian"

    I find it an extremely interesting watch, I enjoy the history that is tied to it as well as its amazing deco styling, and over-sized hooded lugs.
    Attached Images Attached Images




  9. #8
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Costa Blanca Spain
    Posts
    13,368

    Re: Interesting Benrus Presentation Watch

    Great research. Kudos to you
    a
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Middle America USA
    Posts
    708
    Thank you, I wish I could find a picture of him wearing it!

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Middle America USA
    Posts
    708
    Couple of pics after a cleaning, minute hand (still hunting a match for the hour), and glass crystal:
    Attached Images Attached Images



    James A likes this.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •