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Thread: Benrus Type 1 Sterile Ebay

  1. #21
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    The seconds pinion on these ETA movements can be different. While the hands are always the same, Could be that a different seconds hand was used for that run of watches.

    I read the story from the wife. Our camp was next door to 5th SF HQ and the jungle school in Nha Trang That was in 2 Corps up by the highlands, I don't know if they ever operated down in the delta? That was far away s/o Saigon. I was gone by June 67.

  2. #22
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    Default Changed my mind on this one. I vote yes. It's legit

    I have been reading this post with interest. Certain things seemed off on the watch. I felt it was too new and didn't like the sweep second and the
    bezel insert fonts. Especially the zero on the ten. I went into my my images of sterile examples .Both my own and other that have posted on MWR and E Bay over the past twenty years .
    I was shocked to find out I own a sterile with the exact sweep second and 10 font as discussed. My sterile is serial # 05089XX. It has very strong strap wear on the reverse side so it was surely used.The watch
    was purchased in 1999 from a very active contributor to MWR. My other steriles do not have do not have this sweep second. As another member suggested this may be of a very early example. Twenty years ago no one
    was bothering to copy a $500 to $800 watch. I would like to hear the original owners story on this.

  3. #23

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    BEZELS
    There was some discussion a few months ago about Benrus bezels with a straight "7" and an elongated "0" on this thread: BEZELS LINK. The questions were also about a bezel from a sterile, so it seems like the first set(s) of bezels might have had the straight seven and elongated zeroes.

    CROWNS
    I have also seen varying degrees on indentation on the crown dimple. I have about a dozen from '73 through '80 and the indentation definitely changes from batch to batch.

    STRAPS
    I looked for a photo of my original strap and I couldn't find it. I was always under the impression that the genuine dive strap was less webbed and had a claw buckle (looks like a small beat trap, but not spring loaded). I know the original mesh straps were heat-seamed, so I think this strap is old, but I think later issues had a slightly different one.

    My vote is still for "legit." Now, if we could find the new owner, that would be great... I'd like to see the insides.

    -Chris
    Last edited by cj415; 01-01-2018 at 22:45.

  4. #24
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    As mentioned earlier, the one in that link also had the same unusual thick spring bars.
    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...nother-like-it


    Quote Originally Posted by cj415 View Post
    BEZELS
    There was some discussion a few months ago about Benrus bezels with a straight "7" and an elongated "0" on this thread: BEZELS LINK. The questions were also about a bezel from a sterile, so it seems like the first set(s) of bezels might have had the straight seven and elongated zeroes.

    CROWNS
    I have also seen varying degrees on indentation on the crown dimple. I have about a dozen from '73 through '80 and the indentation definitely changes from batch to batch.

    STRAPS
    I looked for a photo of my original strap and I couldn't find it. I was always under the impression that the genuine dive strap was less webbed and had a claw buckle (looks like a small beat trap, but not spring loaded). I know the original mesh straps were heat-seamed, so I think this strap is old, but I think later issues had a slightly different one.

    My vote is still for "legit." Now, if we could find the new owner, that would be great... I'd like to see the insides.

    -Chris

  5. #25

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    Sorry for coming in late. I bought the Type 1 Sterile mentioned in the OP. Having handled several Sterile over the years and still owned three, I have little doubt about the authenticity of this particular one when I pulled the trigger.

    The previous owner was a communication Sergeant assigned to Company D of 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He stationed in the Mekong Delta area in the Binh Thuy district and acquired the watch soon after arrival in 1969. He kindly provided old picture of himself in uniform and newspaper clipping report of his assignment to Vietnam in 1969 as proof of watch provenance. This, together with the marking on the box and perhaps, to my knowledge, represented the earliest indication of timeline (1969) to these mysterious sterile watches.

    The watch is in immaculate condition and appeared completely untouched.

    An unique feature of Type 1 Sterile is that they all have pie-pan dial with ‘Swiss Movement’ printed at ‘6 and crudely applied hour indices. The misalignment of the hour markers against the minute track is very noticeable, almost like hand painted, when compare to the regular non-sterile models.




    From the earlier posts, it seems that the most contentious point about this watch is the uncommon sweep second hand. It was certainly not seen in the regular Type 1 or 2 models and also not on most other Sterile. The particular hand actually closely reflects the original specification drawing as show below. It is not clear though why this hand was not followed through in the subsequent production models.



    I have noted at least 3 bezel variants on the Sterile todate:-
    -straight ‘7’ with font positioned close to the bezel edge and thin ‘0’ in ‘10’
    -straight ‘7’ with more centralised font and fat ‘0’ in ‘10’
    -curved ‘7’ with more centralised font and fat ‘0’ in ‘10’, as seen on all regular Type 1 and



    Another interesting observation on this watch is the movement: it has the same caliber GS 1D2 as the others but the finish is in gilt instead. The regular GD 1D2 has chrome finish and they both hack. The base cailber for regular GS 1D2 is ETA 2620 but this one has ETA 2520, although the rotor bearing resembles more closely with a 2620! The underside of dial is copper tone, as compare to silver in the other Sterile and Type 1 or 2.




    Here is a picture of a GS 1D2 in chrome finish from another Sterile for comparison.




    I also believed that the nylon strap came with this watch is original. It has the distinctive weld “dimple” (left in picture below), which has been seen before on some early issued Type 1 and 2.


  6. #26
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    Great Post!!!

  7. #27

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    Fantastic post and great info on perhaps the best one I've ever seen - a real 'time capsule' watch. I certainly learnt a bit!

  8. #28

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    Such a great post! Thank you, Siewming, for taking the time to so carefully document all this information.

  9. #29

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    Amazing! The gilt movement is an interesting surprise. I concur that the 69 date code means this is one of the earliest examples and I think the sweep hand and the movement color also support that.

    Does the crown look legit as well? Some were concerned that the dimple was too wide, but I've seen others like it.

    I said it before... but if I had been a few minutes ahead of you, I would have pulled the trigger as well. Nice one!

  10. #30
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    My sterile Benrus I have had since about 1994.


  11. #31
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    Wow, a Benrus, issued to S.F. while in-country, never worn & still in it's box. Never see another one like that i'll bet.

  12. #32

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    Great thread indeed. Shedding new light on an interesting timepiece. Never had much time for them but I shall view them differently now.

  13. #33
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    The 2620 is a 21,600 beats per hour movement while the 2520 is a slower 18,000 beats per hour amplitude. I have no idea if this has anything to do with the odd sweep hand, seems unlikely, but? It is my understanding that the ball bearing rotors were an option on these movements, ordered by the end user, in this case Benrus Corp.

  14. #34

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    What a great post by seeming. Well done and lovely watch.

  15. #35
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    If I had a choice between being issued a Tudor Submariner or a Benrus IA or IIB, I'd probably still take an issued Tudor.

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