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The Benrus Type I Reissue

Look, we’re not ignorant to the fact that if you’re reading this, chances are you already know that the archetypal horology enthusiast has a better eye for details and minutia than just about anyone outside of a science lab.

The collective understanding that the seemingly minor things that differentiate one reference from the next, example from example, and the way things like 2mm more metal on the wrist or a polished case can change the entire feel of a watch, is part of the fun of the hobby. We’re all nerds here, and that’s great! However, the hyper-educated horology hivemind is also exactly where the toxic side of the hobby comes from. So it’s not lost on us that when we’re openly critical of a new release, unjustified market hype, or any other side of the watch world, we can’t be arbitrary about it. There’s already enough unnecessary anger, gatekeeping, and banal soapbox preaching in the watch community and at the end of the day, this shit is supposed to be fun – right? Right.

So, when it comes to a limited edition reissue of arguably the most important military wristwatch ever made, the Benrus Type I, we can’t help but be excited. But we also have to call a spade a spade. The fact is, we’re not doing our jobs as an authority if we aren’t calling out the things that fell by the wayside in the reproduction of a beloved and important watch, and there are plenty of sycophants out there that are happy to blindly hype new releases based on who is releasing the watch. That’s not us. So in this episode of our series What is on My Wrist, we take a look at the reissued Benrus Type I Limited Edition and we have some thoughts about what they got wrong here, but we’re all about transparency and in this video, we have a lovely example of a vintage Type II to compare the modern release to.

We do understand that in modern watchmaking sometimes it’s physically impossible to recreate the specifics of a vintage model using contemporary production techniques, and that’s not even considering the business side of tooling up to manufacture and sell these things. However, this is a niche that trades on details, and at a certain price point, we believe we all deserve a little better. The Benrus is just one small part of a larger conversation to be had on the nature of reissues, missed opportunities, and the nature of the modern watch industry’s nostalgia-based marketing schemes, but we’ll save that for another video.

For more information about Benrus, and especially their military history. Check out our guide to the Benrus Type I and II vintage pieces.

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