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ender18d
11-12-2012, 07:59
I'm a bit of a watch guy, and I've been doing my homework on the Benrus dive watches that were issued to the SEALs and *allegedly* some Special Forces teams back in the 70's and 80's.

They look like this:
http://scubawatch.org/TYPE2.html

Anyway, there are multiple different versions of this watch (Type I, Type II, "sterile"). I am curious as to whether any of you folks from that era were actually issued one of these. If so, what version do you have? I'm a great lover of history, and it would be neat to wear a watch historically associated with our regiment... but only if its truly an SF watch as well and not just some SEAL thing. :D

Point being, I'd want to be sure it was really an SF watch and that I bought the correct version. I have found one site that said:

"There exists a sterile version of Type I Class A that has no specification markings whatsoever on the caseback other than a serial number identifying the watch. These were mostly issued to Green Berets, Special Forces, and CIA members who were engaged in behind-the-line operations and other covert missions. The watches and equipments they used had to have no trace of evidence indicating the country they were serving."

longrange1947
11-12-2012, 10:20
The only watches issued to me were first cheap pot metal and then plastic cases in the color green, well the cheap pot metal was a kinda green/patina color. They did tell time and worked quite well though. At least the ones I had. :munchin

Should have mentioned that this was from 1968 to 1990. Most of the dive guys wore Rolex or Seiko dive watches. Being cheap, I wore the Seiko and later a Citizen Dive Watch.

Peregrino
11-12-2012, 11:04
We had Tudors in '78-82. Never took them out of the team room, nobody could afford the inevitable statement of charges. Of course that was the same for the Timexes (the original disposable watch). The guys who got the Roof Shingle missions usually bought Rolexes, the rest of us had Seikos and eventually G-Shocks. No "sterile" anything in general issue during that period.

ender18d
11-12-2012, 14:26
No "sterile" anything in general issue during that period.

Yeah, I've also seen it put forward that the "sterile" thing just meant the watches were prototypes, rather than the sexy secret-squirrel explanation. (http://scubawatch.org/type1.html) That said, those are the only models I've seen explicitly linked to "Green Berets" as opposed to the chronically mis-applied "Special Forces" designation.

I was just researching dive watches since I might have a chance to go to scuba school (Navy version, not CDQC**) this summer and happened across that Benrus story. Obviously, an expensive vintage mechanical piece isn't the most practical operational watch, but the only "operating" I'm likely to do at this point is with a scalpel anyway. :D Plus, I already have my practical Suunto.

**(Dive school will help me along my way towards DMO, and hopefully a return to Group eventually. Unfortunately, CDQC doesn't fit the block of time available even if I could score a slot.)

Eagle5US
11-12-2012, 15:08
**(Dive school will help me along my way towards DMO, and hopefully a return to Group eventually. Unfortunately, CDQC doesn't fit the block of time available even if I could score a slot.)

Your first clue of something "goofy" was in the description:
These were mostly issued to Green Berets, Special Forces, and CIA members
Prior to the era of SOF...GB's and SF were rarely confused as being anything other than synonymous. Marketing gimmick-

WRT CDQC and DMO:
They really have little to do with one another. Get to GP as a physician and you get a shot at DMO (Classes are Feb and Aug).

Good luck in your endeavors:lifter

JJ_BPK
11-12-2012, 15:15
I had a couple of the plastic ones.

They worked well and were moderately water proof to couple feet. As I never held the squirrel under water to long, they were GTG.. :D

They did not pass the back-handed wall-knocker test, but neither did my knuckles..

longrange1947
11-12-2012, 15:20
JJ, I never did break one of mine. Had one until just a few years ago when I got rid of a bunch of old stuff to a collector of old s**t. :D

Forgot to mention, old man bought me a Bulova Dive watch many years ago, broke that one. :(

The Reaper
11-12-2012, 21:33
The main thing I remember about the plastic issued ones was not to get bug juice on them or they would melt into a blob, most rickey tick.

TR

longrange1947
11-12-2012, 22:26
The plastic "crystal" would melt on the metal one as well. :D

Beef
02-26-2013, 17:12
I was issued a Chronosport UDT in the late '80's. Still have it. I have seen the Benrus watches, but don't recall the story. I saw lots of SEALs with the Tudors. And I saw quite a few people in SF, Force Recon and Seals wearing Rolexes. I bought a Rolex Sea Dweller at the advice of a fellow Recon Marine in 1978. I paid $564 for it and because its a "Double Red Sea Dweller" it's worth north of $20,000 today. I don't wear it anymore, but wore it daily for 20 years, jumping, diving, climbing, in SFQC., etc.