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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.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options