Benrus GI - April 1965
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Benrus GI - April 1965

True military watches exude a kind of toughness that's hard to replicate. These watches (with their black dials, easy-to-read numerals, and luminescent hands) pack a punch in a deceptively-compact package. No watches exemplify this toughness more than the General Issue watches manufactured from the Vietnam War to the early 1980s.

In the lead up to Vietnam War, the Department of Defense revised their specifications for various timepieces, eventually settling on two main specifications- the MIL-W-46374 and the MIL-W-3818B. While cosmetically similar, the MIL-W-46374 spec was intended as a simple, inexpensive field watch for infantry and most other Army personnel.

In contrast, the MIL-W-3818B specification called for a higher-grade unit approved for use by Army, Navy and Air Force and as such, differed in a few key ways. Most notably, a corrosion-resistant steel case, a sterile dial free of any extraneous markings to ensure maximum readability, and an upgraded 17-jewel movement with a hacking feature: a mechanism that stops the second hand from moving when setting the time. This enabled teams to synchronize their timepieces much more accurately for elite operations and coordinated maneuvers.

Despite putting out the specification to many manufacturers, including those who had won contracts for the infantry models, only Benrus initially met the more rigorous MIL-W-3818B specifications and were the exclusive manufacturers of this model until it was revised to the more well-known GG-W-113 speficiation in 1969.

This particular example watch dates from April 1965, making it a particularly early example of this model's nearly two-decade run. The luminous elements have darkened from age and while many examples seen now have been polished, this one retains a matte-gray corrosion resistant finish.

Combining sturdy construction and a respectable history of use by American service members, this Benrus GI watch is a true testament to the versatility and timeless appeal of proper military timepieces.

Details

Parkerized steel case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). Benrus DR2-F2 hacking movement. Dates to April 1965.

Overall Condition: Parkerized steel one-piece case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and minimal signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Unsigned crown. Case back has signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle

SKU: TT01119

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