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Thread: benthos 500

  1. #1

    benthos 500

    i have just recieved the following "correspondence" regarding parts for the aquastar benthos 500:

    "About 2 month ago I bought on eBay a replacement and then realised that
    there seem to be to types of Benthos 500 out there. One like on the
    http://www.aquastar.ch website with a 43mm wide body and another one with a 40,5mm
    wide body http://www.watchcat.com/NewListings/benth4252dvr.htm. The 40,5mm
    version does not match in one single part the orgional one. Bezel and bezel
    insert looked like origional but they were not. That was amazing. Some guys
    out there sell the 40,5mm version in perfect condition as origional but I
    guess they have replaced the whole case and just used the movement and all
    other inner parts to make it look like origional. I cannot judge if the
    40,5mm version is a fake but having had it in my hands I would guess that
    someone did run a cheap replacement version some time ago. There are several
    obvious differences. The origional bezel has no inner metal ring so the
    bezel insert marks the end towards the glass the other one has an inner and
    outer metal ring around the bezel insert. Ther some other obvious
    differences but it is too long to tell you everything. You will realize when
    you compare pictures.

    I do not think that there will be replacement parts available for the
    Benthos 500. Either you have bought a 100% one or you have to go with what
    you have. To upgrade missing parts seems to be imossible"

    any insights about what is described above are welcome

    regards

    itai

  2. #2
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    None of your links work properly ... can you post pics of the watches you are referring to?

    john

  3. #3
    Here's the second link put right

    http://www.watchcat.com/NewListings/benth4252dvr.htm

    The first link goes to Aquastars website ok for me.

    Cheers

    Foggy

  4. #4
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy
    Here's the second link put right

    http://www.watchcat.com/NewListings/benth4252dvr.htm

    ..................

    Cheers

    Foggy
    I saw that but it said 42mm (instead of 43mm) ... and I lost interest.

    ... on the second link it should been:
    http://www.aquastar.ch/en/1960.asp

    ... and we still need to see the 40.5mm one.

    john

  5. #5
    Master Nalu's Avatar
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    I dont' understand who wrote the above-quoted letter? Was it you? Aquastar? The eBay seller? Watch Cat?

    Here's my Benthos 500:



    The case measures 42.1mm in across and could use a new bezel as you can see. This one has the inner metal ring - are you saying it's spurious? I bought off of a guy with a great reputation and this is the first I've heard of two versions of the Benthos 500.

    Of course, I'd be very surprised to find a new bezel for a rare, 60's era diver. SM300 bezels are hard to come by (real ones, that is) and their production numbered in the thousands. If you look at the most recently produced NOS SM300 bezels, they are different from the originals - could that be the case with the Aquastar?

    I'm going to cruise over to Roger's site and have a gander...

  6. #6
    if you look at the aquastar on this link:
    http://www.aquastar.ch/en/1960.asp

    you can notice the differences, it looks slightly bigger, the bezel insert is different, and the crown is different too.

    the quoted letter was wrote by a guy i contacted about getting new parts for the benthos 500.

    my watch looks like the picture you posted.

    will try to post a picture later tonight.

    thnx

    Itai

  7. #7

    nice watch

    Hi Nalu,

    Nice watch!!

    What does the second crown or pusher do?
    is the orange arrow hand a stopwatch?

    Gregor

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalu
    This one has the inner metal ring - are you saying it's spurious?
    Nope. I've wondered why it isn't done more often.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  9. #9
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Re: nice watch

    Quote Originally Posted by gregor
    Hi Nalu,

    Nice watch!!

    What does the second crown or pusher do?
    is the orange arrow hand a stopwatch?

    Gregor
    The pusher centralises the orange hand which is a second minute hand. (I think)

    john

  10. #10
    The pusher centralises the orange hand which is a second minute hand. (I think)
    Ah,
    I looked it up on there website...(should have done that in the first place)
    and you are right.

    I looked at the newer models, but they dont look so good as this old one!
    (imho)
    Gregor

  11. #11
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregor
    ....

    I looked at the newer models, but they dont look so good as this old one!
    (imho)
    Gregor
    Oh absolutely. The old Bentos used to be one of my grails ... a ploprof in a decent case.

    I don't know what they have done with that 'modern' design. IMHO they went wrong from here:
    http://www.aquastar.ch/medialibrary/sit ... er1980.jpg :P

    john

  12. #12
    I don't know what they have done with that 'modern' design. IMHO they went wrong from here:
    http://www.aquastar.ch/medialibrary/sit ... er1980.jpg
    woow,
    somebody on the drawing table got carried away...


    cheers,
    Gregorrr

  13. #13
    Master Nalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itaioron
    if you look at the aquastar on this link:
    http://www.aquastar.ch/en/1960.asp

    you can notice the differences, it looks slightly bigger, the bezel insert is different, and the crown is different too.

    the quoted letter was wrote by a guy i contacted about getting new parts for the benthos 500.

    my watch looks like the picture you posted.

    will try to post a picture later tonight.

    thnx

    Itai
    "looks bigger"? How can you tell from a photo? I can produce a case with more width using a different photographic technique and a different angle.

    Similarly, I can make the inner bezel ring look black, as in the photo on the Aquastar web site. In thinking about it, an 'insert' with no inner ring just doesn't make sense. What holds it in place - centrifugal force?

    Crowns look the same to me. The h/m crown is signed on mine, so I doubt that it's incorrect:


    The insert looks the same to me (other than the discoloration at the 12 pip on mine). BTW, the ones on Roger Ruegger's site look as if they have the inner metal ring too. I thought the bezel might be from a Benthos 1, but that insert is different (minute track under the hour numbers and the font is more rounded).

    I'm not looking for an argument here - I want to know the truth for my own edification. But you've posted 'facts' from "a guy" that seem to vary with what is the common thoughts on the history of the Benthos in the community - and asked for feedback. I'm sincerely interested in the bona fides of your source at this point. Is he a watchmaker? An ex-Aquastar employee? A dive watch guru?

    I've emailed Roger and asked him to weigh in. He knows as much about the Benthos as anyone I know.

  14. #14
    The only thing I know is the following:

    - There were four versions of this watch; a blue and black dialled version either from Aquastar or from the producer Lemania; both with one of those two brand names written on; I have so far not heard or seen a third brand that offered a Benthos 500 and I have so far not seen a blue version from Lemania (but am pretty sure that there was one)
    - Aquastar nowadays does not know much about its past; since the last seller just sold the brand; this means, you won't get any replacement parts (nor much information) from Aquastar and I don't think that you'll get it from Lemania or Daniel Jean Richard* either
    - Everybody I know of looking for replacements didn't find replacement parts so far; which is why I'm always recommending to buy only NOS examples
    - Someone was able to get it back in running condition after Jack from IWW re-produced certain movement parts if I rember correctly
    - I have never seen or heard of a second case size and doubt it would have been produced by Aquastar/Lemania themselfs due to the water resistance issue of 500 Meters back then
    - If there was a smaller version, I would suggest it was fake; although I don't think that there were/are enough AS 1902 movements around to use them for working marriages
    - I don't think the modell is in such high demand that it would justify a faker to make fakes (although there are fakes of a Tudor Prototype as well)


    That's it. Until present I haven't seen a fake. Which doesn't mean there are no fakes. But I don't think there are fakes.

    Question: Could it be that someone mixed up Benthos 500 (small) and Benthos 1000 (big)?

    Best regards, hope that did help a bit.


    Roger

    *Aquastar was a spin-off of DJR

    Colin: I'll send you an email reply shortly

  15. #15
    i will try to clarify.

    while searching the web for a bezbel insert for a benthos 500, i found a post 3 months old (at http://www.watchnet.com ) by a guy who was looking for same.

    i e-mailed the guy to see if he had any luck, and got the "quoted" reply i posted here.

    the image in http://www.aquastar.ch/en/1960.asp , since it was take from direct top view, shows:

    1. the bezel insert is flat with markings that are the same as on the IDF Eterna diver, and is different from the ones posted by forum members.
    2. there is some space between the bezel and the place where the strap would fit into whereas on the ones posted the bezel reaches the end of the case with no spare.

    looking at you'r watch from the same angle you may notice the above diferences

    i am not suggesting that there are fake aquastar around, i was rather inclined to think there were two types of cases made by aquastar.

    i assumed the forum members may have some info to share about the issue. is it not part of what the forum is about?

    anyway i did not mean to cause any waves among the members of aquastar owners community

    regards

    Itai

  16. #16
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalu
    I dont' understand who wrote the above-quoted letter? Was it you? Aquastar? The eBay seller? Watch Cat?

    Here's my Benthos 500:



    The case measures 42.1mm in across and could use a new bezel as you can see. This one has the inner metal ring - are you saying it's spurious? I bought off of a guy with a great reputation and this is the first I've heard of two versions of the Benthos 500.

    Of course, I'd be very surprised to find a new bezel for a rare, 60's era diver. SM300 bezels are hard to come by (real ones, that is) and their production numbered in the thousands. If you look at the most recently produced NOS SM300 bezels, they are different from the originals - could that be the case with the Aquastar?

    I'm going to cruise over to Roger's site and have a gander...
    Lovely pic Colin she looks great.

    Bezel is correct and Original ......and very hard to find a genuine replacement.

    I have owned many Aquastars and none had a bezel like the one in the site marked "sixties" ......it looks like a Drawing and not an actual pic.

    I currently have an NOS Benthos 1000 and have owned all of the variations of the 500 and 1000 in Lemania & Aquastar .........here are a few pics:

    As you can see,there are slightly different bezels ,but all have a very similar style.

    I cannot find a lot of my pics,but these give a good idea.

    All the best,
    Vic

    Lemania 1000



    A Blue benthos 500 that I had a couple of years ago :



    Aquastar Benthos 1000 :





    Aquastar Benthos 1100m Quartz :



    Aquastar Benthos 500 :

    :) :?:

  17. #17
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Thanks Victor. It's a pleasure to see them.

    john

  18. #18
    these watches look huge.
    Wat are the dimensions?

    For me I think the black monster is on the edge of what I can wear without looking ridiculous.

    Gregor

  19. #19
    m..
    ignore my question above!

    just read the dimensions.

    (me=fool )
    Gregor

  20. #20
    Maze
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    I have just joined this forum to support Itais point of view by facts:

    I have seen the two different cases next to each other. As I have not noted down the differences as I though it would not be of any help I can only tell you out of my mind:

    (1) As seen on the http://www.Aquastar.ch website reasonably wider than the bezel.


    (2) Only inches wider than the bezel.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I have noticed more major differences:

    - The whole watch (1) is not as deep as (2) I would guess (2) it is at least 0,2cm deeper.

    - On the (2) body was the aquastar logo on the back cover but the logo was on a flat polished background. I think the Aquastar logo is on a grit background! That is how it was on (1).

    - The number of convexities on the bezel is on (1) are 30 as on the Aquastar.ch website. On (2) bezel there are only 24.

    - The bezel on (1) has no closing ring but it has on (2). I can tell from eBay that there was once a Benthos 500 where the glas was damaged heavily due to heavy wear and the missing inner closing ring.

    - The bezel on (2) is about 0,1 cm wider and cannot be used for (1). The bezel insert is as a consequence from above not exchangable.

    There are two different bodies out there for Aquastar Benthos 500. That is fact. But I am not able to tell you why and where from. The only thing which worried me was the different Aquastar logo on (2) on a polished background because I think no trademark would change their logo in the same production run.

    Anyway I am writing this reply not to upset anyone but try help to find out whatis going on with this great watch.


  21. #21
    Maze
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    Uppps, I forgot: There is currently a Aquastar Benthos 500 shop display for sale on eBay named "Aquastar Benthos 500 French shop display" which seems to have also the bezel with no inner metal ring and 30 convexities.

  22. #22
    Maze
    Guest
    and last but not least the two different logos:

    (1)


    (2)

  23. #23
    Master Nalu's Avatar
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    Thanks for pitching in with some more accurate data Maze. It seems from looking at what you observed on the two Benthos 500s that there are two different bezels and two different backs. But unless you can provide measurements I'm unconvinced that there are two different cases.

    In fact, if the bezel on (2) is not only wider, but thicker top to bottom, the entire set of observed differences could be down to just the different bezel. Occam's Razor applies :wink:

    Do you see what I mean? The larger bezel on (2) will leave the case looking slightly smaller (as you and Itais describe), when in fact they are the same size.

    Can anyone else post case measurements of a Benthos 500?

    For the record, my benthos 500 specs:
    SN 9050140 (1002 is also engraved on the back)
    Dia 42.15mm (avg of 3 measurements)
    Height 16.16 (avg)
    Lug to lug 47.05mm (avg)
    20mm lug width
    Back is polished around the periphery. But the area where the logo is appears bead-blasted in the background, as if the back was caste and then the logo polished.
    I have not removed the back to inspect the movement and do not plan to as long as the watch is working.

    Pictures to follow in the next few days on the Photography forum.

  24. #24
    Master S.L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    Lemania 1000

    They are all beautiful but that one takes the cake I think (close call w. the 500 though).
    Looks like it's from the "vaults" of Shinichi?

    I've yet to try out a Benthos, but it's on the to-do list :) .

    /Stefan

  25. #25
    Maze
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    I see Nalu what you mean, damn I did not write anything down...

    But let me give the dimensions of my Aquastar Benthos 500:

    SN 0020506 (1002 is also engraved on the back)
    Dia 44mm (broad)
    Height 15mm (broad)
    Lug to lug 45,5mm (broad)
    20mm lug width

    and

    bezel insert outer size 38mm

  26. #26
    Master Nalu's Avatar
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    OK, now we're getting somewhere! Maze, any photos of the front of your (1) Benthos?

    Here's my bezel size
    OD: 40.95mm
    ID 30.2mm
    Bezel height at outer rim 3.5mm (approx)
    Insert OD 38mm
    Insert ID 31.5mm

    Insert inner and outer diameters are approximate since there isn't a rim to catch the calipers on and I'm trying not to scratch it

    Stefan, I agree with you. That Lemania Benthos I 1000m is the penultimate Benthos. :cheers: I've been looking for one for a fair while now.

  27. #27
    Master S.L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalu
    Stefan, I agree with you. That Lemania Benthos I 1000m is the penultimate Benthos. :cheers: I've been looking for one for a fair while now.
    Whoah, slow down there Colin!
    You already have the SM 1000m, leave some goodies for the rest of us will ya? :twisted:

    :D

    /Stefan

  28. #28
    Master Nalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.L
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalu
    Stefan, I agree with you. That Lemania Benthos I 1000m is the penultimate Benthos. :cheers: I've been looking for one for a fair while now.
    Whoah, slow down there Colin!
    You already have the SM 1000m, leave some goodies for the rest of us will ya? :twisted:

    :D

    /Stefan
    Hey, I just snaffle up whatever measly crumbs Vic decides to leave for me :wink:

  29. #29
    Master S.L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalu
    Hey, I just snaffle up whatever measly crumbs Vic decides to leave for me :wink:
    Fair enough, that's a very valid argument :lol: .

    /Stefan

  30. #30
    i am also inclined to think that at some point the 500 had a smaller bezel without inner ring which may acount for some of the difference in diameter. also the smaller bezel insert is identical to the etermamatic kontiki (IDF) i measured it on my KONTIKI and it is indeed smaller about 35mm OD

  31. #31
    Journeyman
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    Here's my Benthos 500.

    There are at least 2 out in the world that have Seiko replacemet Bezel inserts....

    I looked at 1 short time ago and the Owner had removed the Original resin one w/ Paint remover and installed a steel Seiko replcement one..
    Looked good but was Not original it had a small luminous dot at 12..
    another one was on Ebay a month or 2 ago..

    Take care and enjoy the day!

    Dale Arnold
    Spokane, Wa.

  32. #32
    Maze
    Guest
    Hi Collin,

    here is the front picture of what I had in my hands some time ago, as mine is the wide body version I was not able to use a single part for replacement except the crown but that was also unsigned...



    Can we please get some more Benthos 500 lovers in to share their specs to come one step furter? For the moment I have the feeling we are ready to except that there are to bodies out there but I guess the why will never be answered...

    Has anyone on his Benthos 500 also the Aquastar star and writing on a flat polished backgroud?

    P.S. I realize that the numbers on the bezel are writen in "normal" width whereas on the Aquastar.ch site the numbers are in bold. But I guess I start seeing angles :D

  33. #33
    mine has the logo on a polished background.
    where is this case now?

  34. #34
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.L
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    Lemania 1000

    They are all beautiful but that one takes the cake I think (close call w. the 500 though).
    Looks like it's from the "vaults" of Shinichi?

    I've yet to try out a Benthos, but it's on the to-do list :) .

    /Stefan
    Stefan,

    I bought it from Shinichi and eventually sold it to help fund my SM1000m,

    cheers,
    Vic :)

  35. #35
    Master
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    [/quote]

    Hey, I just snaffle up whatever measly crumbs Vic decides to leave for me :wink:[/quote]

    Colin,

    I wish I had a fraction of the Dive Watch collection that you have.
    I am however,delighted to have 8 very cool watches ,including an Omega SM1000m, PloProf , 120 Chrono and Aquastar Benthos 1000m.

    Cheers,
    Vic :)

    PS: I believe that whilst there were different bezels and casebacks, that the case size of the Benthos 500`s were the same .......I do not believe,IMHO, that any Benthos 500 in a smaller case is Original.

    I have seen maybe 30 over the years, and owned 6 at different times ........case size was exactly the same as the one you now own Colin.

  36. #36
    Master Nalu's Avatar
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    Vic, I'm not at all concerned about the Benthos. I love it and it looks just as good as I thought it would - better in certain respects. I'm getting photos together for a thread in the photography forum and I'm hoping other benthos owners will pitch in, you included.

    I'm very interested in documenting this watch. If we can get some data from other owners out there, including pictures, we can do something Aquastar themselves can't do :roll: And if Roger can put this collected data on his website, which has been a reference for me for years, then everybody gets smarter.

    The other option is for me to email everybody I know and ask for pictures and measurements ASAP :roll: :lol:

  37. #37
    Journeyman
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    Some Benthos Info

    here's a Pic of Early sales Info on the benthos 500..

    here's front half..

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v211/ ... _cover.jpg

    Have a great day,,

    Dale Arnold
    Spokane, Wa.

  38. #38
    this web site has an image of an aquastar with the other type of bezel,
    i.e. metal insert rather than laminated plastic.
    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=4969

    regards

    itai

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