Benrus relaunches its Type I-C dive and field watch with a new series that recreates the look and feel of the original pioneering 1960s-era Benrus Type I military watches.

One of four new Benrus Type I-C watches

The historic U.S.-based brand is recreating the Type I-C with a design faithful to the original asymmetric-cased model, including its spare, logo-free dial, full 300-meter water resistance, big indexes and large luminous hands.

Benrus offers a choice of three dial colors, white, blue and black, each cased in a 42.5mm by 47.5mm bead-blasted steel case with a screw-in textured crown, bidirectional rotating hour bezel and double-domed sapphire crystal.

Inside Benrus fits a Soprod P024 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve.

Benrus offers the black-dialed model with two bezel and strap options. One features a matching black bezel, a direct echo of the original design. That watch comes with a black two-piece rubber tropic strap. The second black-dialed model comes with a red bezel and is available on a red two-piece rubber tropic strap.

Other variations include a white dial with black bezel on a white two-piece rubber tropic strap and an all-blue model featuring a blue dial with matching blue bezel and blue two-piece rubber tropic strap.

Each Swiss-made Benrus Type I-C watch benefits from a healthy dollop of white Super-LumiNova markers and hands. On the back of each watch you’ll also find an image of an American flag.

Benrus was the first watchmaker to land a U.S. military watch contract during the Vietnam war. Its Mil-Spec MIL-W-50717 watches were used by soldiers in the various branches, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the Green Berets and the CIA.

Price: $1,495.

Specifications: Benrus Type I-C

Case Diameter: 42.5mm (without crown)

Case Length: 47.5mm (top lug to bottom lug)

Case Height: 15mm

Lug Width: 20mm

Bead blasted 316L stainless steel case w/ screw-in high-grip textured crown

Double domed sapphire crystal

BW G9 Super-LumiNova on dial markers and hands

Soprod P024 w/ 38-hour power reserve

30ATM water resistance

Quick release two-piece rubber tropic strap

Special American Flag case back

Swiss Made

Benrus revives one of its best-selling dive watches with the new Benrus Ultra-Deep, a recreation of one of the watchmaker’s historic models from the 1960s.

The new Benrus Ultra-Deep.

Originally created in response to the rise of scuba diving for sport, the Benrus Ultra-Deep retains the 36.5mm case size of the original model’s ‘compressor’ case. Such cases, built for the U.S.-based Benrus by Swiss-based Ervin Piquerez, would become more water resistant as the diver went deeper because the caseback would pressurize. Modern screw-down cases fulfill the same role in new watches.

The revived Benrus Ultra-Deep also retains the dual-crown design found on the original model.  

One crown rotates an inner timing bezel instead of an external bezel, which makes it less likely the bezel will be shifted by mistake, leading to timing errors under water.

Also note the same cathedral-style hour and minute hands and magnified date window as the original.

The new models of course benefit from numerous technical updates, including a screw-down winding crown, C3 SuperLumiNova hands and dial markers. Inside, Benrus fits a reliable Soprod P024 automatic movement. The watch arrives on a high-end Jubilee-style stainless steel bracelet and also includes a blue nylon NATO dive strap.

Price: $1,095. 

Benrus revives its 1972 “Orbit Robot” dive watch, remaking that model’s 41mm by 13mm cushion-shaped steel case, eye-catching grey fumé dial and orange accents. 

The new Benrus Orbit Robot.

The recently-revived U.S-based watchmaker, well known for its military field watches and dive watches, perfectly mimics the original Orbit Robot’s exterior dimensions and hues.

When reproducing the dial, Benrus notes that it took extra steps to “fully replicate the depth and radiance of the original grey watch model.”  At the dial’s center you’ll see a light grey metallic color that subtly darkens toward the bezel. The luminous orange-framed hands echo the original.

Inside, Benrus updates the new watch’s technical details, powering the Orbit Robot with a new Soprod P024 automatic movement.

The watch’s caseback features a custom Benrus robot orbiting the Earth.

A domed sapphire crystal covers the dial, held with stainless steel bidirectional friction-fit bezel and protected to 200 meters of water resistance with a screw-down crown and a solid, decorated caseback. Only the lug dimensions have changed, now measuring 20mm (inner lug size) to accommodate modern 20mm straps and bracelets.

Price: $995.

Benrus re-launches the Type II dive watch, one of the historic American brand’s best-known military watches.

The Benrus Type II dive watch.

Echoing the earlier Benrus Type I, the new retro-inspired model retains the original’s no-logo dial that focuses the eye only toward its strictly functional 12/24-hour ring with its ultra-clear numerals, markers and hands, all of which are highly infused with SuperLumiNova. The bi-directional rotating 12-hour bezel and double-domed sapphire crystal underscore the dive watch’s primary function, which is also aided with a 300-meter water resistance rating.

Benrus originally produced the Type I and Type II as U.S.-military-specified dive watches between 1972 and 1980 with no changes to the design. Benrus notes that approximately 16,000 Type I and II watches were produced and issued to the Elite Forces from the Vietnam War through the 1980s, but were never made available to the public.

“Since the release of the Type I, we have made it our mission to retell the significance Benrus had in watchmaking history with the U.S. military,” says Michael Goeller, COO of Benrus.

As with the earlier release of the Type I, Benrus says this newest reissue “faithfully follows original design details with improvements for everyday use and to meet and/or exceed the original military specifications.”

The watch’s engraved caseback features original markings.

The new watch is a 42.5mm steel model fit with a Soprod P024 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve. Benrus will make 500 individually numbered Type II watches with an engraved caseback featuring original markings. Each will be supplied with a black two-piece nylon seatbelt NATO strap with quick release functionality. Price: $1,495.


(Editor note: Benrus has discontinued selling this watch. “Unfortunately there was a question around the movement and its authenticity,” according to a Benrus publicist. “Out of an abundance of caution Benrus has removed this product and is conducting further research.”)

Mechanical alarm watches combine a truly useful timekeeping function with the collector’s love of automatic or manual-wind movements. This week the recently revived watchmaker Benrus, founded in New York in 1921, debuts a superb retro-inspired alarm watch that offers these enticements, but also adds another compelling component: a vintage movement.

Inside the Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild manual-wind movement from the 1970s.Thus, inside the new Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild 1931 manual-wind movement from the 1970s. Benrus is utilizing movements that were never used and have been carefully disassembled and fully serviced in Switzerland to assure they are operating as if they were new. More than 330,000 original AS 1931 movements were sold between 1970 and 1974, according to Benrus, which offers more details about the history of the original movement on its website.

The new 38mm steel Benrus Wrist Alarm allows the wearer to set the alarm hand as desired using the crown at the 2 o’clock position. After winding the alarm with the same crown, the user can expect a fairly loud buzz for about ten seconds at the chosen time.

The watch itself echoes the look of a Benrus alarm watch circa 1956. Within its steel case you’ll see an off-white linen patterned dial, applied polished stainless steel numerals and markers and domed sapphire crystal.

Benrus sets the Wrist Alarm with a dark blue genuine leather strap with deployant buckle. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and has an enhanced 50-hour power reserve. Benrus will make 500 Wrist Alarms. Price: $1,295.

(Please see note at the top of this story regarding the availability of this watch.)