Brand Directory: BENRUS

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Benrus was founded in 1921 by Benjamin Lazrus and his two brothers in New York. The brand name is made up of the first syllable of his name and the last syllable of the family name. With $5,000 in savings, they started importing Swiss watch cases and movements. Their headquarters can be still found in the Hippodrome building which sits in the heart of the Jewellery quarter of the city. During the 1940s their Sky Chief which is a combination of a pilot watch and their first chronograph became popular with the growing number of airlines and airline pilots around the world. The DTU-2A (MIL-W-3818) field watch was a common sight during the Vietnam war in both steel and later plastic. The use of plastic meant they could just throw away the watch when broken rather than get it repaired something that is very much frowned upon today. The development of their 666ft compressor dive watches began in the 1960s. In 1968 the late Steve McQueen wore a Belrus watch in his film “Bullitt”. Today their military field and dive watches can be seen worn by members of the Navy Seals and special operations. At the height of the 'quartz crisis" in 1977 BENRUS declared bankruptcy. Their intellectual property was bought and sold many times over the years until the company rights were bought in lote 2017 by their former principal's solicitor Michael Sweeney who heads an investment group that has begun reviving some of their classic watches as part of the Heritage range. In 2021 they celebrated their 100 years Anniversary.