Benrus G.I. Watch - 1973

Benrus G.I. Watch - 1973

There are some watches that scream at you from the wrist, blasting their provenance and their precious-metalness from miles away.  Then there are watches that prefer to stay half in the shadows; horological ninjas executing their perfect timeliness with understated poise.  In our opinion, the Benrus G.I. watch is about as ninja as a wristwatch can get.  

The General Issue wristwatch, ordered by the Department of Defense in 1964 for the ramp-up to Vietnam, was designed to resist the exposure that combat in inhospitable environments presented.  Built from a corrosion-resistant steel, the uni-body case excelled at protecting the movement from debris, moisture, and shock.  The spartan dial design, reminiscent of the Rolex Explorer I dial, was daubed with Tritium luminous paint to be legible in low and modified light conditions.  The 17-jewel, manual wind movement was equipped with a hacking feature - a mechanism that stopped the second hand from moving when setting the time - enabling soldiers to synchronize their timepieces to incredible accuracy for elite operations and coordinated movement.

Although the mechanical G.I. watch was produced under contract by a number of manufactures (Hamilton and Benrus, most notably), and went through a handful of modifications during its war-time production, it remained virtually unchanged during the 30 or so years it was made - a testament to it's stalwart form-follows-function engineering.  

This particular example was produced by Benrus, and dates to March of 1973.  It has a tremendous patination across the dial and hands, and is a fantastic example of a well-worn military watch used extensively during the Vietnam War.  While military watches of all kinds attract a certain eye, there is no question that an American watch built for American service members is an incredible piece of history to wrap around your wrist.


Matte corrosion-resistant steel case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). DoD Contract# DR-2F2

Overall condition: Case is in very good condition overall, showing light signs of use and normal wear. Original dial shows a nice even patination across the hour markers and luminescent plots without any major blemishes. Original hands show matching patina.

Includes two 18mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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