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The founding of Benrus extends back to the 1921 founding of a New York City-based watch-repair shop by a Romanian immigrant named Benjamin Lazrus.  One of three brothers, Lazrus branched into the manufacture of watch cases, filled with movements, dials, and hands first assembled in then imported from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.  Benrus would hit its stride in the 1960s - the same era of this full serviced Benrus manual-winding mechanical here - and would go on to manufacture watches for the USMIL for decades.


During the 1930s, Benrus cases evolved into more stylish products.  Benrus had an early advantage over other U.S.-based manufactures – it didn’t have to produce watches for the U.S. military during World War II (although it did manufacture timing devices used in military munitions).


Benrus attempted – and failed – a hostile takeover of Hamilton in the 1950s, losing a subsequent legal battle against the latter in which Benrus had acquired Hamilton stock for the stated purpose of investment but for the actual purpose of a hostile takeover.  The attempt was so “textbook” that the U.S. Department of Justice added it to its, well, textbook – the DOJ’s Antitrust Manual.


Benrus debuted automatic watches in the early 1960s, coinciding with unique Benrus-made automobile steering wheel-mounted clocks, which wound themselves when the wheel was turned in the course of normal driving.  The 1960s also witnessed Benrus retaining the services of comedian Jerry Lewis as a pitchman.


However, Benrus’ legal troubles weren’t over - in 1964, it was found guilty by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission of misleading marketing practices, due to its practice of publishing list prices that were misleading for a large minority of potential customers at the time.


Legal issues aside, Benrus continued to produce quality watches to this day, changing hands multiple times between the late 1960s through the 1990s.

This Benrus mechanical comes on a leather strap, and with a nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1960's Benrus Ref. 6865 Mechanical Watch

  • DIAL: Silver Benrus-signed starburst dial, with raised hour indices and black and silver hour and minute hands. 


    CASE: Common for the era, this watch case measures 34mm (37mm w/crown) x 40.5mm. 


    CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal with no cracks.


    BAND: This Benrus comes on a dark brown leather strap; it also comes with a black, red, and grey nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: 17-jewel Benrus hand-wound mechanical movement.  We have performed a full service on this watch.


    CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel bead-blasted crown.

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