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BENRUS –ROMANIAN ORIGIN?


Introduction – Why Benrus?


1. The Origin: Romanian immigrants or American natives?

2. The Beginning: First years or “… a watch at the hand of Liberty Statue”!

3. The Apogee: Among the first three!

4. The End: On one’s own account!

5. The Glory: Alongside …in Vietnam!


* * *


Introduction – Why Benrus?

 

I heard for the first time about the Benrus watches, on the ceasornicar.ro forum, from Lucian Marcu, a special collector, that was trying at that time to find out what was known about them in the country of origin of their founders. Somewhere among the ones that were writing about the history of this company there was a record that the Lazrus brothers were at the beginning of the XX century, Romanian immigrants in USA.

Both thewatchguy.com and pensandwatches.com that I found as reference on the Internet (then but now they are still the only ones) were beginning their presentations with this mention.

Brunner|Pfeiffer-Belli in their Wristwatches, more circumspect, were mentioning only Benjamin Laz(a)rus introducing an “a” that will determine the repetition of Lazarus name in several quotations.

 

Of course that after seeing the famous Benrus Tricolor, the finding of more information has become an obsession but also the desire to have such a watch and, by becoming a collector of American military watches, the different Benrus watches that I wanted to have in my collection become numerous.

 

Benrus Watch Co. is today a company almost forgotten in America! I was surprised to find out how little is known but especially how little interest exists for revealing its complete history. There are no exhaustive references; NAWCC or any other association doesn’t have materials in the bibliographic lists but I have noticed the lack of interest of the Lazrus descendants in telling the story of their family.


Highly demanded today, the military variants or the SkyChief and Dial-O-Rama models rouse the collector’s interest but only in such a manner that, appreciating their beauty and by becoming more and more rare, the collectors want them in their collections. The company has remained, regardless of the striving of the Lazrus brothers to deny, a Swiss company that assembled watches on in USA.

 

From here derives my interest for this history and the watches of this company! Were the Lazrus brothers originating from Romania? Does the Tricolorul from the Benrus Citation dial have any connection with their presumed country of origin? These are the questions from which I started!
The answer, more or less expected, I try to present in the following pages.

I don’t believe that I say spectacular things or definitive and consequently, any new contribution or completion is welcomed.

December 2008 - January 2009


                                         1. [1890-1920] The Origin ... =>

Lazrus brethren | 1955

Calendar | foto: Dragos P.
Calendar | foto: Dragos P.

Tricolor | foto: watchcat.com
Tricolor | foto: watchcat.com

Calendar | foto: Dragos P.
Calendar | foto: Dragos P.

Wristalarm | foto: Dragos P.
Wristalarm | foto: Dragos P.

Sky Chief | foto: strela@WUS
Sky Chief | foto: strela@WUS

Tricolor | foto: Dragos P.
Tricolor | foto: Dragos P.

Dial-O-Rama | foto: will@TZ
Dial-O-Rama | foto: will@TZ

Sky Chief | foto: Dragos P.
Sky Chief | foto: Dragos P.

Tricolor | foto: Gabi U.
Tricolor | foto: Gabi U.

Embraceable | foto: Dragos P.
Embraceable | foto: Dragos P.





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