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One of the Very Best Military Watches Is Back

The Benrus Type 1 was only ever available to military divers, commandos and spooks. Not anymore.

hodinkee benerus
Hodinkee

Hear ye, hear ye — come one and all, military watch nerds. Today we have something truly special for you.

No, really, I swear, this is dope: Benrus, once-defunct, NY-founded American watch company, has remade one of their most famous watches, The Type I/II. Previously, you had to go through Basic Underwater Demolition School or raise fifth columns in Southeast Asia in order to get your hands on one of these. Not so anymore.

hodinkee benerus
Hodinkee

Benrus has remade a special, limited edition of the Type I, and it's available from the Hodinkee Shop. The new Type I is largely true to the original: 42mm steel, bead-blasted case; bi-directional 12-hour bezel; automatic ETA movement; lumed hands and dial; and 300m of water resistance. (The original had 1,200 ft. of water resistance, but it also had an acrylic bezel insert, tritium lume, and an acrylic crystal, all of which has been upgraded here.) Non-fixed spring bars also allow you to use two-piece straps, which is an added bonus.

Powered by the ETA cal. 2681 with hacking, the new LE is true to the original's dial design, which featured only round hour plots, lumed sword hands and a minute/seconds track — there were no extraneous elements, such as an inner 24-hour track, to distract from the watch's legibility. A matte finish to the case kept the watch's visibility low, while the asymmetric shape ensured protection for the crown and a highly robust, impact-resistant design. Such is also true of the LE, which even features case back engravings that near match those of the original (save for the production date).

hodinkee benerus
Hodinkee

Limited to 1,000 pieces and priced at $1,695, the new Type 1 is a military watch collector's dream (though you could conceivably get a very similar watch for significantly less money in the form of the Mk. II Paradive). A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to the Boulder Crest Foundation, however, which supports veterans with PTSD — a worthy cause if ever there was one.

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