A Personal Story (That has nothing at all to do with real estate)

Real Estate Agent with Windermere Real Estate N.E.

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.

Face crop Movement flash crop 

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:

Benrus restoration Benrus restoration 5 Benrus restoration 3 
This old Benrus watch, purchased in 1946 is stunning.  I am thrilled with it.  I have worn it several times, proudly showing it off to anyone I could corner (complete with the "before" photo".  

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.

DSC_9714 DSC_9721 
 DSC_9717 DSC_9726 
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


Comments (5)

Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Greg -  what a wonderful story!  You are a very kind son who must make his Dad so proud.  Thanks for sharing the story and the photos

Apr 16, 2010 06:44 AM
Vickie Slade
Colorado Landmark, Realtors - Boulder, CO
Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On

Greg, want a wonderful story for you to share with all of us.  I lost my father in January of 2008 and miss him terribly.  Cherish every moment you can with him; I don't have to remind you the gift you have been given for each and every minute!

Apr 16, 2010 06:47 AM
Greg & Brian Perry
Windermere Real Estate N.E. - Kirkland, WA

Thanks Susan and Vickie.  It was quite touching to see him as he received it.

Apr 16, 2010 11:28 AM
Greg & Brian Perry
Windermere Real Estate N.E. - Kirkland, WA

Thanks Susan and Vickie.  It was quite touching to see him as he received it.

Apr 16, 2010 11:30 AM
Linda Hinson
S & L Properties - Calabash, NC

Thank you sharing.  It was a great story.

Apr 16, 2010 02:15 PM