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The Old and The New TWO Mil Spec BENRUS Type II Watches From the Shop

May 12, 2018

 

 

Check Out Our Sales Pages!

 

Well, because we are kinda cool like that...  

 

 

 

 

We Have on Offer TWO Genuine BENRUS Mil-Spec Watches On Offer Today

 

It's clear that 90% of the Value of these watches is going to be in the, 

1973 MIL-W-50717

But don't be so quick to dismiss it's newer brother! (or son perhaps) 

 

 

 

1973 Benrus Type II For The U.S. Military

MIL-W-50717

Calibre Benrus GS1D2

 

Original Tritium Black Dial 

12 / 24h Dial 

 

Bakelite Bezel

Parkerized Steel 

 

History & About 

 

A military watch issued to the U.S. Army; in this instance, specifically to the U.S. Navy Seals and the Underwater Demolition Team. 

 

 Think about all the things a military issued watch should be (robust, legible, functional), no watch comes as close to perfection as the 1970s Benrus dive watch.  Its super-solid case, highly-readable dial, and simple but functional features make it a real classic among military and dive watches.  

 

In the early 1970s, while the British were issuing their now-famous, essentially off-the-shelf Swiss military dive watches, American forces wrote article MIL-W-50717, a military specification that outlined all the design details they were looking for in a diving watch.

 Benrus, who had been producing field watches for the US military since the early 1960s, answered the mail with the watch on offer today as well as the dial type variant "Type I" 

 

Essentially both watches were purpose built and for military designation and assignment only.

 Above A type I Dial Curtessy Of "Worn & Wound" 

 

With guidance from the military specification, there were two types of these watches produced: Type I and Type II.  Although the Type is stamped on the back of the case (along with mil-spec number, manufacturer, NSN, manufacturer part number, contract number, production date, and serial number), telling Type I from Type II is as easy as looking at the dial.  Type I’s feature lumed markers at each hour: a triangle at 12; rectangles at 3, 6, and 9; and dots at the remaining hours.  Type IIs have a traditional 12/24 military dial, with small lumed triangles at each hour.

 

Above Photo Curtesy of HODINKEE

 

THE CASE

 

43mm wide including almost fully integrated crown 

47.55mm lug tip to lug tip 

19.5mm lug spacing 

15.5mm Tall 

Fixed Bars 

Original "Volcano" Dome Mineral Glass Crytal 

 

The case of the Benrus Type II Class A is what is known as a "monocoque" case, rather than the more commonly known "monobloc" case. "Monocoque" refers to the construction of the case as a sort of chalice holding the dial, while the bezel envelops the domed crystal, ultimately allowing this watch to gain its depth rating of 1,200 feet. The case-back is affixed permanently, and the bezel and crystal both have to be removed in order to service the watch. The code "MIL-W-50717" designates that this watch met the specifications of the U.S. Navy's needs - a watch that was stealthy, able to go deep and withstand a multitude of situations and environments. 

 

Another unusual but very military feature of the Benrus Type II is the Treatment of the steel case, This matte "Gun Metal" finish (and quite aptly described as you shall see) Is a process of hardening weatherproofing and protecting steel called "Parkerizing" 

 

Parkenized Steel (phosphating, or phosphatizing) is a method of protecting a steel surface from corrosion and increasing its resistance to wear through the application of a chemical phosphate conversion coating.  

 

The process involves submerging the metal part into a phosphoric acid solution whose key ingredient is often zinc or manganese, with varying additional amounts of nitrates, chlorates, and copper. In one of the many processes that have been developed, the solution is heated to a temperature of 88–99 °C (190–210 °F) for a period ranging between 5 and 45 minutes. A stream of small bubbles is emitted from the metal part as the process takes place; when the bubbling stops, the process is complete. 

 

This is a process most commonly used on Firearms. 

 

THE BEZEL

 

A Classic count up divers bezel 

The bezel is coarsely notched, making rotation easy for the wearer, even with gloves on. The Bakelite bezel insert has numeral marked hours 1 through 11 with minute dash markings from 1 to 20.  The insert has a beautiful three-dimensional effect caused by the markings being painted into recesses on the underside of the insert.

The Inverted triangle at 6 again in tritium luminous compound.

 

Another One Curtesy Of HODINKEE  Here  from a recent(ish) sale tho a add at risk of sounding a but snooty.. maybe not Quite as nice as ours 

 

THE DIAL

 

Like any other dial read divers apparatus a divers watch is designed to give maximum read clarity at a glance 

The Benrus does this in classic fashion by offering a stark contrast between the crisp white detail and the contrasting matte black dial colouration.

 

Type IIs have a traditional 12/24 military dial, with small lume triangles at each hour, most commonly associated with US issued military watches. 

 

"Stick" or "Pencil" hour and minute hands in white and tritium inset whilst the centre sweep seconds hand has a tritium arrowhead tip

 

All Tritium now creamy aged yellow colouration.

 

THE MOVEMENT 

 

A High-grade reliable Swiss Made 17 Jewel Calibre Benrus GS1D2 movement – a 17-jewel automatic Benrus-modified (or "base") calibre ETA 2620

 

GS1D2

 

Features

automatic

sweep second

17 jewels

f = 21600 A/h

power reserve 42h

 

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That's Watch ONE but we did not forget! This is a SET Sale

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Now before we start here it's important to remember that this is a GENUINE Swiss Made BENRUS Watch and NOT one of the countless 100s if not 1000s of "CopyCat" or "Homage" watches on offer that "Emulate" the style of the Benrus Type II

 

 

 

 

 GENUINE Benrus Mil-Spec Type II PVD. 

Exceptionally RARE Watch this is only 1/300 Watches made. 

Swiss Quartz Electonic Analogic ETA Calibre 

 

 

This Watch is a "reissue" of the classic Benrus Military Issued Type II MIL-W-50717

This is most unusually and unexpectedly, a JDM Model (That's "Japanese Domestic Model")

 

This was released in exceptionally limited numbers I think in steel and PVD coating (a reported 300 of each variation) for retail by BEAMS  

 

 

Japanese luxury fashion retailer Swiss Made watches United States NavyWhy exactly a  originally intended for thewould commission Benrus to produce  is beyond us but we are damn glad they did! This is perhaps one of the most "True To Original" reissues we have ever seen. Its exceptionally well executed throughout. 

 

BEAMS winter 2011<BENRUS>MILITARY WATCH "TYPEⅡ"

 

 

THE CASE

 

43mm wide including almost fully integrated crown 

47.55mm lug tip to lug tip 

19.5mm lug spacing 

15.5mm Tall 

Spring Bars Bars 

Original "Volcano" Dome SAPHIRE Glass Crytal 

 

Again it's just astonishing that the re-issue is just close to form and matching the 73 MIL Spec watch. In essence, if Benrus were given specification MIL-W-50717 this is what they would have produced. 

 

The only major and obvious difference is in executing the case in Matte PVD steel rather than the "Gun Metal" Matte finish. 

 

One other notable difference perhaps more down to practicality and improved modern gaskets is the addition of the screwback case, however, the Re edition is only tested waterproof to 10 bar (That's 330 feet) Only a quarter of the original depth issued to the 73 

 

THE BEZEL

 

Is much the same, but this time in black steel with silver Arabic numerals, 

The Bezel is now also now a 120 click monodirectional bezel, as oposed to the 73 bidirectional. 

 

THE CYSTAL

 

 

 

Does, however, bear special note for the Benrus Re-dition.

Producing synthetic sapphires - the hardest stone after the diamond - calls upon extremely sophisticated skills and production means, and involves a large number of operations. Applying the glare-proofing on both sides implies highly specialized expertise and equipment.

Synthetic sapphire is made from alumina (an aluminium oxide).

 This material is brought to its fusion point at 2050° C, with the addition of oxygen and hydrogen. It takes around 15 hours for the "corundum" (crystalline alumina) to form on the rod somewhat like a stalagmite. The stones are then refired at a temperature of 1800° C in order to stabilize the material. The corundums are sawn by thin diamond-polished blades. Machining the crystal continues with grinding the diameter to within 2/100ths of a millimeter, and then surfacing, meaning adjusting the thickness. The cambered shape of the crystal is achieved by grinding the lower and upper surfaces.

 

 Above: Saphire Crystals 

 

 

THE DIAL 

 

The best bit about the re-edition is the dial and this is true for the Type II ONLY there were other variations and the type I but these were not "Like For Like" representations, 

 

The type two is almost a clone of the original MIL-W-50717

 

Swapping over only the original radioactive tritium lume for a now superpowerful luminova luminous compound. 

 

But again we love this "Sterile" dial it would have been so easy and common for Benrus to "slap on" a load of "extras" that would not be true to form 

 

 

A few usual suspects and culprits spring to mind here perhaps none more obvious than Longines and especially with the 1918 "Heritage" trench watch...

With added DATE FEATURE???? REALLY!!! WHY the F...    lyingSwiss Cheese! 

 

And remember this is amongst one of the very EARLIEST "Re Editions" before Reeditions were really a thing! (yea Way back in 2011!!!) 

 

Since then Longines have rectified this with the Longines "Military" heritage so we can let them off... 

 

But again BENRUS did the Re-Edition thing FIRST and "before it was cool"

Before the MKII Racing Before the Bulova stars and stripes Before the "Trilogy" Line 

(we are getting a bit geeky here but +1 watch nerd points to anyone who gets every reference here!) 

 

Benrus did it right the FIRST time and seemingly the only time without all the market research of all the perhaps better documented Swiss Brands. 

 

Hell, I bet there are still those out there that did not know there was a re-edition Type II Benrus! 

 

Until Now =) 

 

All In All 

 

I think we can comfortably say we are the ONLY Place you can buy this set Net Wide. Not only a set of TWO already VERY rare and very desirable Watches but perhaps individually the BEST examples of either watch we have not only ever seen but ever sold. 

 

 

 

 

 

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