While Japan and Switzerland largely dominate today’s horological landscape, America was once a major player in the trade. And one outfit leading the charge during this time was Benrus. Founded in 1921, the New York City-based horological spent decades producing noteworthy timepieces, including a bevy of standard-issue field watches for US armed forces prior to the company going under in the 1970s. Fast-forward approximately half-a-century and Benrus has now reentered the watch game with its Heritage Collection, consisting of three new models heavily inspired by the firm’s prior horological offerings.
The first of the three is the Field Series, a ($1,095) minimalistic, timepiece based on Benrus’ Series #3061 of the 1960s — one of which was famously worn by Steve McQueen in 1968’s Bullitt. Next, there’s the ($1,195-$1,395) Classic Series, a more formal take on a minimalistic military-themed watch that, like the Field, gets a knurled crown, Miyota 9015 movement, and a 41mm stainless steel case. The Classic also benefits from Super-LumiNova. Finally, there’s the ($895) Air Chief, an affordable chronograph modeled after Benrus’ iconic Sky Chief, updated with rectangular pushers, and powered by a Ronda quartz split-seconds chronograph movement. The trio of Heritage Collection watches are available in at least three color and band options, including Milanese mesh, NATO straps, and “fauxtina” bracelets items.