Benrus is yet another American watchmaking company from the twentieth century. The watches produced by this brand are elegant and distinguished. The company was founded in New York, in 1921, by a Jewish immigrant named Benjamin Lazrus. The name Benrus is a combination of Benjamin Lazru’s forename and surname.
His brother joined him a little but later and together they began to create magnificent timepieces. Up to 1924, both brothers worked together selling and importing watches, but then Benjamin went to Switzerland and created his own brand from there.
The key point here was that, by them the timepieces created by Ebauches, which were still incomplete, were becoming trendy all over. Benjamin acquired the watches and proceeded to complete them using his own pieces. He would then send them to the United States and place his own stamp on them. This is why it is said that the watches have Swiss movements, but an American design.
This proved helpful during WW II, when watch companies had to make watches and machinery for soldiers, as their factory was in Switzerland. This was an opportunity for Benrus to continue to make fine watches unaffected by the war.
After the war, Benrus produced a vintage calendar watch with a window that showed the day, the month and the year. By the 1950s Benrus was already the third largest watch producer in the United States.
One of Benrus watches, the Sovereign Belforte, was highly popular in the 1960s, as well as the Technipower, a watch that was ahead of its time.
The Benrus Company remained under family management until the 1970s. This is when it went from owner to owner, including a German brand in Pfzorheim. This is why you’ll find some Benrus watches that are made in Germany. Finally, in the late 1970s, it went to the Wein family, owners and managers of the Hampden Watch Company.
During the 1990s, the Weins sold it to Gruen, who sadly went bankrupt one year after. After all this, Benrus has been dormant almost 15 years. However the name Benrus was bought by a company from Hong Kong just recently.