r/watches Brand Guide - Benrus

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AJC
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r/watches Brand Guide - Benrus

Post by AJC » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:05 am

http://www.reddit.com/r/Watches/comment ... de_benrus/

This is part 38 of our community’s project to compile opinions on many watch brands or trends into a single list. Here is spedmonkey’s original post explaining the project and contains a master list. I am planning on these being done every first and third Wednesday of the month so expect the next one on the 20th of August!

Founded in 1921 by the Lazarus Brothers, Benjamin, Ralph, and Oscar, the company's name is derived from a combination of Ben and the -rus of their last name, to form Benrus. The company began in New York by buying Swiss and German made movements and assembling them in America in their Connecticut factory. World War II provided a great boost in production as the US contracted many watch companies to produce items for military use, ranging from bomb timers to watches. Today, this leads to an abundance of Benrus watches available through various online outlets.

In the 1950s Benrus had become the 3rd largest watch company in the United States, right behind Bulova and Elgin. They had surpassed Hamilton, another US watch manufacturer of higher end watches, and begun to buy shares of Hamilton over the NYSE and slowly began to appoint a new director to Hamilton's board of directors once a year. During this, Benrus began to approach Hamilton with a business deal to sell automobile clocks. After feeling the pressure, Hamilton sued Benrus for violation of anti-trust laws and won their injunction in 1953.
In 1965 a ruling by the Fair Trade Commission determined that Benrus' marketing practices were misleading to the public, slightly crippling the company. In 1967 Benrus was sold to the Remington Company who began to sell watches using asian movements under the brand name. Throughout the 1960s-70s, Benrus was contracted again to make watches for military service in the Vietnam War. It wouldn't be until 1977 that benrus would file for bankruptcy after trying to consolidate all of their holdings among various jewelry and fashion brands, like Christian Dior.

After that, Benrus would pass through many hands until it was bought by the Hampden Company in the 1990s, who tried to revive the brand. Gruen, bought the rights to the brand in 1997 even though Hampden continued to use the name. Today, and pretty recently, Benrus is held by American entrepenuer, Giovanni Feroce, who has plans in Fall 2014 to open a boutique for the revival of Benrus as a fashion brand.

Overall, the brand was pretty successful until a number of blunders led to their demise. Their vintage watches have stood a test of time and many are still ticking to this day. While their more recent offerings are of questionable quality and origin, we may yet see the rise of the brand again to its former glory.

Known For: Sky Chief, Date Pointer, Type I & Type II

http://www.reddit.com/r/Watches/comment ... de_benrus/
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I can't wait to see what these new Benruses are going to be about...
DOOM - The WatchForums Supervillian
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