Benrus DTU-2A/P Military Issue c. 1965

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Benrus DTU-2A/P Military Issue c. 1965

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The classic military-issued Benrus DTU-2A/P is the epitome of Vietnam War watches. Produced under the MIL-W-3818B specs, these tend to be standard for contract US military watches during the period. While many over the years haven’t necessarily survived unscathed, these are well-known timepieces that are an asset to your collection in nice condition.

These cases of these watches are thin and attractive, due to their parkerized finish cases and their frontloading design (no case back — dial and movement can only be removed through the front side of the case). This reduces moisture intake, even for a vintage watches that aren’t recommended to get wet to begin with, which is a great, lasting design that Benrus utilized on many of their civilian models.

This dial style has been produced in plentiful iterations since its inception, stemming from the military design standards used with these and other watches, like their Hamilton counterparts. Even further, the style was brought into the public eye with civilian models, the most well known being Benrus’ own #3061 model which Steve McQueen wore in the classic “Bullitt” film. That model certainly owes its modern notoriety to this G.I. classic.

The handwind movement inside is derived from ETA’s 2372 caliber, with 17 jewels and the ever-desirable hacking feature: pulling out the crown stops the watch and allows for time synchronization. This proved very valuable for military purposes, but has also become a well-appreciated novelty feature in a sea of vintage watches that rarely have it.

The DTU-2A/P is a staple in many vintage watch collectors’ stash, and it’s not tough to see why.

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  • Movement: Benrus DR 2F2 hacking movement (ETA 2372 base), 17 jewels, 18,000 bph

  • Case: Parkerized stainless steel

  • Powered: Mechanical - Handwind

  • Case Width: 34.3 mm (36.6mm incl. crown)

  • Case Length: 41 mm

  • Lug Width: 18 mm

  • Thickness: 11.3mm

  • Crystal: New acrylic

  • Crown: Original crown

  • Band: New two-piece canvas band

  • Boxes: None

Function - This watch is wound manually by hand. It is recommended to wind the crown 10-15 times to typically give an initial power reserve to last throughout the day.

[All vintage watches are expected to function as described. However, due to age and generally unknown service history (unless otherwise stated), these watches may not keep time as accurately as new or quartz (battery) watches. This is completely normal and does not indicate that there is a major problem. Like your automobile, all mechanical watches will likely need to be serviced at some point in time. Please keep this in mind, as there is no guarantee regarding when these vintage watches may need standard maintenance. Every watch sold by Buying On Time is done so with the expectation that it is not currently in need of service or repair, unless noted. We guarantee that all watches sold are accurately described and in the stated condition when they leave our hands.]