The MIL-W-50717 specification called for two different wristwatches, and while the Type I might be – deservedly – grabbing all the attention today, the Type II is plenty cool for its own reasons. The Type I was always intended to be unsigned and unmarked, with a clean dial sans any verbiage or numerals. The Type II, on the other hand, was also unsigned, but it was required to feature a 12/24-hour display on its dial, which gives it a slightly more conventional military aesthetic. The Type II is further split into two separate models. There’s the Class A execution, which features an application of lume on the dial and hands, while the Class B was a non-lume alternative that could be used in areas where no level of radioactivity was permitted. The Benrus Type II we have available today in the HODINKEE Shop is a Class A from 1979, which makes it a later production example. It’s a fantastic reference point of no-frills, function-first 1970s watchmaking, which you can see for yourself now in the HODINKEE Shop.
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