The Watch & tHe War

Documentary, 6 min.

The story of Lt. Benedict Brucia, an American naval intelligence officer in WWII, and the mysterious origin of his rare 1938 Panerai Radiomir wristwatch.

In the 1950's, Jim Brucia, a six-year-old boy, used to play with a watch his Uncle Ben brought home from the War. Jim remembered that the oversized watch, large on the wrist of an adult, seemed gigantic to him. When Ben died in 1972, Ben's daughters gave Jim the watch.

Jim never got a straight answer when he asked family members exactly what Uncle Ben did during the War. No one seemed to know, and Ben never talked about it. All Jim could learn from family members was that Ben, a first-generation American and fluent in Sicilian, had worked undercover on the docks of New York and had then spent time in Sicily.

In 2007, Jim Brucia took his uncle's watch out of the drawer, where it had lain for decades, and discovered that it was a rare example of secret military engineering—and the key to understanding the role his Uncle Ben had played in the War.