Hampden watch dating
At the time all Swiss watches and parts were controlled by the Swiss watchmaking cartel who provided Benrus with the movements and parts.
Benrus also had a factory in Waterbury CT which is where they made the cases for Benrus watches.
Hamilton, in contrast, had a reputation of producing a higher quality watch and had factories manufacturing watches entirely made in the USA.
They also imported swiss movements which they marketed under the Illinois name. In 1952 a proposal by the U S Tarriff Commission had recommended an increase import duties on swiss watch movements.
Most US companies (including watch companies) were brought into the war effort to produce items for military use. Indeed, Benrus was manufacturing items toward the War effort.
They had top secret government contracts to manufacture timing devices for use in bombs and weapons.
In contrast it would prove to be beneficial to a company manufacturing watches in the US. Benrus appeared to have its sights on taking over Hamilton Watch Company.
Designs from this period, with fancy bezels and lugs.
The company produced memorable watches like the "Embraceable" - a one piece watch that was slipped on like a bracelet, and also the "Citation" which was named after a famous racehorse of the time.
Julian would go on to run the Waterbury plant and would later become President of the company. He served in the Airforce as a communications specialist during WWII - he was a Lieutenant., and would eventually would become Executive Vice President of Benrus.
Production steadily expanded throughout the 1940's. Post-War, Benrus designers went to work fashioning beautiful and dazzling watches that expressed post war civilian life.