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A Benrus Classic: The Dial-O-Rama Watches

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When I was researching my topic on Rama watches, I came across a registration on Mikrolisk for the term, Dial-O-Rama, as both a word name and also a trademark, the latter having a line running vertically through the middle “O.” This registration is dated 21 June 1956 by the Benrus Watch Co of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and New York, USA. I then came across pictures of the Dial-O-Rama watches themselves whilst searching for illustrations of Rama watches and realized that the Dial-O-Rama watches were an interesting group, and might be termed a bit of a Benrus classic. The Dial-O-Rama watches were produced in four basic different designs/versions, and although production commenced in 1956/57, I do not know for how long the various Dial-O-Rama watches were produced. Benrus did not manufacture movements for the Dial-O-Rama watches - most of them use the caliber FG25, with a few first generation examples having an EU25 movement - the watches are all manual wind. One rare Dial-O-Rama  features analogue minutes with just the hour having a digital display and it has been postulated that this might have been the first in the line, perhaps starting even a prototype;the second two models are the Chevron and the Star, and finally a model that I call the "Slice of Pie."

 

 

A Benrus Dial-O-Rama Star wristwatch with box (pic from crazywatches.pl):

benrusdialoramajumphour7a.jpg

 

 

 

I am not going to write the story of Benrus and the Dial-O-Rama watches here in text form because the watches have been explored online with useful results (for example, see crazywatches.pl/benrus-dial-o-rama-direct-read-jump-hour-1957 and also crazywatches.pl/benrus-dial-o-rama-chevron-direct-read-jump-hour-1957); instead I shall let the watches themselves do the talking, with help from captions to the pictures. Evidently the Benrus Dial-O-Rama watches are highly collectible, with first place apparently going to the “Chevron” design, especially when the sharp metal point on the top of the watch is in unscathed or little worn condition. For those who would like a historical introduction to Benrus, might I suggest they consult my own article posted on this Forum on 15 September 2014 and entitled, "Benrus."

 

 

 

A Benrus hand-wind Dial-O-Rama Star watch with 35mm chrome plated case and stainless steel back in NOS condition, C.1957+ ; the hours are at the top of the dial, above the minute reader, while the seconds are denoted by the revolving central star (pics from forums.watchuseek.com):

attachment.php?attachmentid=12973627&stc

attachment.php?attachmentid=12973629&stc

attachment.php?attachmentid=12973637&stc

attachment.php?attachmentid=12973635&stc

 

 

 

An informative set of pictures derived from two chrome-plated Benrus Dial-O-Rama Chevron watches (a starry dial example and a pin-stripe version) c.1957+ and powered by a caliber FG25 movement. Note that the Chevron model, unlike the Star model, does not register the seconds, has a normal snap-on caseback and is not waterproof (pics from crazywatches.pl):

benruschevrondialoramajumphour1.jpg

benruschevrondialoramajumphour2.jpg

benruschevrondialoramajumphour3.jpg

benruschevrondialoramajumphour4.jpg

benruschevrondialoramajumphour5.jpg

benruschevrondialoramajumphour6.jpg

 

 

 

A hand-wind Benrus Dial-O-Rama Star wristwatch with 34.5mm stainless steel [?] case and rolled gold caseback, c.1957+. Note that with the Star model, the watch is rendered dust and waterproof by encapsulating the caseback  (with the domed plexi crystal) in the outer bezel by means of a special press tool, providing a seal via the caseback and tension of the crystal (pics from watchestobuy.azureedge.net, watchestobuy.com, and bottom, crazywatches.pl):

BenrusStarOMatics.jpg

BenrusStarOMaticb.jpg

benrusdialoramajumphour2.jpg

 

 

 

Title page of a "Technical Bulletin" for the Dial-O-Rama watches. Note the (now rare) left hand watch, which only displays the hours in digital format, and also note the distinction between watches using either an EU caliber or the FG movement, both movements being covered in this manual (pics from crazywatches.pl):

benrusdialoramamanual1.jpg

 

 

A Slice of Pie version of the Benrus Dial-O-Rama wristwatch, with the slice of pie-shaped window showing the seconds (pic from i706.photobucket.com):

BenrusDigitalDisplay_zps41698595.jpg

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Absolute belters, and many thanks for the write-up.

I see that the "FG25" movement in the pin-stripe version is Benrus's re-naming of a variant of the good ol' FHF 73 as used by Avia and others.

Regards.

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