Recently gave my father (approaching 80 years) a new mechanical automatic winding watch, which he loves. Afterward, we chatted about his old watches (I remembered a Benrus in particular that he wore when I was a child).
He didn't have the one I remembered, but he pulled this old watch out of a COIN BOX!. It was missing the crystal, and as you can see, the face of the watch was damaged and discolored and the case was pretty well beat up. This vintage Benrus watch belonged to his father (my grandfather). He thinks it was purchased around 1946.
It has a 17 jewel swiss mechanical (wind up) movement and a 10k gold filled case with the fancy knotted lugs.
The hands were smashed against the face so it was impossible for them to move. When I got it home, I gently raised the hands to clear the raised numbers, wound the watch, and it worked perfectly....keeping excellent time.
I did some research and decided to restore the watch. I figured since it was running and keeping good time that the movement was probably fine. I sent it off to have the movement serviced -- disassembled, ultrasonically cleaned, oiled and regulated. The dial was sent off to be restored (numbers removed, stripped to bare metal and repainted) and a new acrylic crystal (true to the period) was installed. The case was cleaned and polished. It also needed a new stem. I finished it off with a simple French leather matching strap.
Here's what it looked like upon return:
My thoughts always went straight to "I can't wait until Dad sees it." I thought about it all the time. Then the thoughts started drifting toward giving the old Benrus back to Dad. I started to become compelled with the thought of returning it to him.
Last Sunday, Dad, and my step mom, Barb met us in Seattle for my grandson's birthday party. I decided the old man needed an early father's day present.
I laid the old watch into a nice case along with the printed "before" photo and gave it to him on Sunday.
As you can see, he was touched. My heart was full. I hope this grand old man has an opportunity to wear this vintage Benrus watch for those coming grand occasions in his life for another 30 years or so.
Greg Perry, Kirkland Realtor