Friday, October 31, 2014

Beurus Type 2 Class A

There were 9,223 Type II, Class A watches made, around 6,000 Type I, and maybe 1000 Type II, Class Bs...

I have found the Type II class B & Type 1 Class A

Need to get a Type II, Class A to complete the range

Benrus Type II Class A, US Issue
Case Diameter: 43 mm
Case Height: 16 mm
Case length: 47.5 mm
Lug Width: 19.5 mm
Movement: Benrus signed KG1D2, 17 jewel, hacking automatic. This is a ETA 2821 movement modified (by Benrus) to meet government specifications
Case material: Stainless steel, anti-magnetic to 125 gauss
Crown: screw down
Bezel: Bi-directional, no index
Water resistance: 1,200 feet
Vintage: 1973

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Benrus Type II Class B

II love wearing the two Benrus type 1 & 2 military watches as the watch design is so simple and without any brand name in front, really made it unique. Moreover, these were the last few real Made in USA watches.

The dome shaped crystal and the overall feel of the watch is really nice to touch and looking at the size now, it is right for the wrists and make reading time an ease. 

For those who love military watches should try to find them..

Information extracted from the forum:

Hello. I am new to this forum, and this is my first post. I am retired US Army after 28 years active duty. I have had a little experience in military production codes and procurement acquisitions. In my analysis of the Benrus Type I and Type II production codes, I have discovered certain similarities. For instance, it appears that every Type I watch I observe with a National Stock Number or Production Code starting with "N0", such as "N00104-75-D-2059" for example, was issued to the US Navy and serial numbered, hence the "N" meaning "Naval issue". It also appears that every Type II watch Production Code starting with "DA" was issued to the US Army, such as "DAAA25-75-C-0617", hence "Department of the Army." Overall, my summation is that the preponderance of Type I's were issued to the US Navy, and the preponderance of Type II's were issued to the US Army. This appears to make logical procurement sense as upon observation the Type I dials borrow heavily from the "Rolex Submariner look" and would have been preferred by Navy diving personnel in the 1970's with the Benrus's impressive depth rating. Conversely, the Type II's dial is distinctly military with the "1-12 and 13-24" hour military markings, much more condusive with land operations, but also depth rated in line with limited "combat diver" or SCUBA infiltration operations of the US Army Special Forces personnel at that time during the 1970's. In my observations I also encountered some watches without a serial number or Type or Class marking, yet all the other Production and Procurement Codes listed. These appear to have been not issued, as I cannot imagine a Quartermaster Officer worth his salt who would issue a watch without a serial number assigning responsibility to someone if they lost it. Well, those are my observations. I hope this is helpful in aiding those who need to identify their Benrus. Thank you and I enjoy the Forum. Bernard Cenney .
The first set of digits in a contract number are the Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DoDAAC). This is the activity that initiates the procurement. They are not necessarily the activity that issues the watches, but warehouses them until user activities request items for issue.

You have noted that the all but the first contract run* of the Type Is have a contract number starting with NOO104 (or N00104), this is the DoDAAC code for the Naval Inventory Control Point, Mechanicsburg, PA, meaning all of these watches (except the first contract) were originally ordered by the US Navy. All the Type II, Class Bs were also ordered through NAVICP, Mechanicsburg.

Conversely, all of the Type 2s have DAAA25 or DAAA09 as the first block of the contract number. DAAA25 is the DoDAAC for the US Army's Frankford Arsenal, (formerly) in Philadelphia, and DAAA09 is the DoDAAC for Rock Island Arsenal, IL. Rock Island took over all the responsibilities of Frankford, when Frankford shutdown.

However, it would be a mistake to assume that all production from the Frankford or Rock Island went to the Army, there are a number of ex-USAF personnel that were issued Type II's Further, Frankford Arsenal was "official DoD watch source." Frankford was, generally, responsible for procurement of all timepieces for the Department of Defense, as their DoDAAC prefixes pop up on a number of watches, including a number of primarily USAF issued watches**. Not to mention the fact the the Navy's MIL-W-22176 (SHIPS) were all procured through Frankford Arsenal. When Frankford Arsenal was closed in 1977 (despite a campaign pledge by Vice-Presidential candidate Walter Mondale made on the front steps of Frankford's building) all of the activities were transferred to Rock Island.

Similarly, while NAVICP, Mechanicburg ordered the all the Type I's (and Type II, Class B's), it would be a mistake to assume that they were only issued to Naval personnel.  

Now, the Rolex "connection", the dials on the Benrus Type I are almost a carbon copy of the dial specified for the TR-900 [MIL-W-22176(SHIPS)], which is heavily influenced by the original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. I would guess the BLancpain FF had more to do with the look of the Type I's dials, than Rolex...

I have postulated that the MIL-W-50717 was the result of "McNamara-esque" commonality. When the Navy was looking for a cheaper alternative to the TR-900 (without the high anti magnetic capabilities) and the Air Force looking to replace the FAPD-5101 and numerous other highly accurate navigational watches, some whizz-kid in the DoD saw two specifications in work for highly accurate wrist watches by both services, he require they be combined.

The Type I's have a number of design cues from the TR-900 and other contemporary diver's watches, and the Type II's nave a number of design cues from the earlier MIL-W-3818B, GG-W-113 and FAPD-5101.

Also, the initial specified accuracy of the watches (+10/-0 seconds per day, comparable to chronometer requirements), indicate the watch was intended for navigational proposes.

* the first contract run of MIL-W-50717, Type I, Class A watches was DAAA25-72-C-0528
** one batch in particular is the FAPD-5101 in Contract No. DAAA25-YY-XXXXX, FAPD-5101 is a USAF specification
Last edited by lysander; 08-15-2010 at 15:00.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Earth watch

I first saw this WN1 in Bkk during the watch fair at Siam Paragon. Owing to the lack of time, I didn't manage to get it. After almost 10 years, I finally came across a nice condition one. The WN-1 is very interesting watch as the. globe rotates in a 24-hour period - just like the real earth.  One has to read  the hours from a small, which moves counter clockwise and the minutes from an orange sphere which moves clockwise. 

Seiko Wn-1‘s titanium case is not only uncommonly tough but also featherweight spanning 45 millimeters in diameter and 23 millimeters in thickness. Wn-1‘s cloth band offers handsome looks and comfort. Protecting the Seiko Wn-1‘s display is a synthetic sapphire display window. With the bluecolor dial, the watch shows perfect color impact. Highly accurate quartz movement is utilized to insure world class accuracy. 

For details

Monday, October 27, 2014

Benrus Type 1 and Type 2

After months of searching, I am happy that I have finally managed to find both the Benrus Tyoe 1 and Type 2 with the help of Matthew. Even though the conditions of the watches were used, it's does show its signs of active duties...

Gubelin moonphase

Vintage Gubelin SS Triple Date Moonphase AutomaticSun, 03 February 2013 11:32
Gubelin is one of Europe's leading retailers of fine jewelry and high grade timepieces, and has often colloborated with the finest Swiss watchmakers (examples  Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet) in the production of watches under their name.

I have always love the large Moonphase watches especially those automatic ones. found a 1950's vintage high-grade 25 jewel double-adjusted triple date moonphase automatic with horn lugs when I visited Cheong gor. It has a Large  37mm stainless steel screw back case with four calendar and moonphase push buttons and fancy horn lugs , signed 25 jewel double adjusted triple date calendar moonphase automatic movement (Felsa calibre 693), near-mint signed silver satin dial with full arabic numeral markers, day and month apertures at 12:00 with moonphase aperture at 6:00, steel hands and sweep seconds with arrow-tipped date hand pointing out outer date chapter ring, acrylic crystal, 20mm black leather strap. 

The great thing about the Gubelin Moonphase is in its size as its about the same size as the 8171making it a desirable size to view the details. I didn't know the rarity of this watch after I start searching for it online. 

The calibre 693 was part of the second generation Bidynator automatics produced by Felsa, starting in the late 1940's, and was the most complicated movement of this series. The Bidynator series was the first automatic movement to wind in both directions, and represented a milestone in the development of the automatic wristwatch. Really love the case design, size, and the Moonphase.

Rolex 16700

In the past, I have not thought of keeping the 16700 but since I have the opportunity to trade for one, I have decided to extend the GMT family from 6542,1675 to this 16700. This is a good middle way from the amazings 1675-16750 and the modern Gmts with ceramic bezel. This is my second transitional models, after the 16800..

The watch is from 1997 and is one of my modern this is a birth year watch for JJ, I shall keep this watch for home when he turns 21... 

I have goggled and found that many of the Pepsi dial red has turned pink and I am still contemplating whether to send to Rolex center for a change in bezel?

Some details

Ref. 16700
Production Period: 1988-1999 
Model Name: Rolex GMT Master 
Caliber: 3175, 28800A/h, hacking, quickset (direct)
Pressure proof to 100m/330ft
Bracelet: Oyster 78360 and 78790 (Oysterlock starting 1989), Jubilé 62510
Glass: Sapphire crystal
  • Tritum up to U-Series 1997: T<25 dial
  • Luminova starting 1998: Swiss dial (variant: Luminova on T<25 dial)

1988 the Ref. 16700 replaced the Ref. 16750. The Ref. 16700 was cheaper compared to the Ref. 16710 which got introduced at the same time.
The caliber 3175 (same functions as the 3075) had still the non-independant hourhand which was the main difference between the Ref. 16700 and the Ref. 16710.

New introduced with this watch:
  • Sapphire crystal
  • White gold indexes (altough some predecessors (Ref. 16750) were also already equipped with these).
  • New case

Date-wheel has vintage open numbers until 1992/1993.
Only available in Stainless Steel.
Bezel colors:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rolex 16800 service

I just send my Riolex 16800 for a complete overhaul and change the bezel as the luminous dot at the bezel is missing. It will take about 3 weeks. Looking forward to receiving it soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rolex Bubbleback 5050

One of the more unique and historical significance Rolex watches is the Rolex Bubbleback, whose name comes from its protruding rounded case back, which bulges in order to accommodate the thick movement and rotor that turns on a pivot, powering the winding of the mainspring. 

The first Bubbleback, in automatic, made its appearance in 1933, and the watches were produced for only about twenty years. The Bubbleback helped establish Rolex as a brand known for its reliability, and these watches certainly are reliable—as evidenced by the relatively high number still functioning today.

Most of the early Bubblebacks displayed time only. The original model featured subsidiary seconds, which later changed to sweeping seconds. Later models also in the 50-60s also included the date, becoming the first DateJust models produced by Rolex. In 1935, Rolex developed the “Super Balance,” a streamlined balance wheel that improved the functioning of the Auto-Rotor. Rolex then began producing the watch in three different sizes to make it more appealing to individuals of both genders. In 1941, Rolex launched a Bubbleback model intended specifically for ladies.

Most popular versions of the Bubbleback are steelium stainless steel,  Rolesor (half gold, half steel) and gold (9k, 14k, 18k pink or yellow gold). The terms Steelium and Rolesor are unique creations of Rolex, who patented them in 1931 and 1933 respectively. 

Case style variations include engine-turned and smooth bezels as well as some with hooded lugs made for the U.S. Markets. More variation can be seen in the dial designs, which differ between black, pink or white dials, two-tone dials, 24-hour military-style dials and an atypical California dial with mixed Roman & Arabic numerals.

The Rolex Bubbleback is a very iconic watch and a coveted collector’s piece. This is a simple stainless steel bubbleback ref 5050 in very good condition from 1949. The 5050 is the larger version of the bubbleback with a diameter of 34mm versus the standard 32mm. 

When playing with this bubbleback, one needs to be careful with the condition of the movements as there is no more spare parts available and the only way to fix a non working one is to salvage parts from other working Bubblebacks.

First weekend in Bangkok

This is my first weekend in Bangkok. Just took out some of my watches for winding.. At the same time, it has given me time to reflect on the direction of my collection. 

Vintage Glashutte diver

This is the vintage Glashutte diver made in Germany. Case: chrome plated; diameter excl. crown approx 38mm; lug to lug approx. 46mm; lug wid...