1940's Benrus Sky Chief
1940's Benrus Sky Chief
- Brand and Country of Manufacture - Benrus, Switzerland
- Year - 1940's
- Serial - 340
- Model - 2021
- Movement & caliber - Manual Valjoux 71
- Case diameter - 37.5mm
A stainless steel, mechanical, Benrus 'Sky Chief' pilots chronograph. The 'Sky Chief' was introduced by the American watch maker, Benrus, in the 1940's as more and more daring young men and women were taking to the skies.
These watches were powered by three different movements; early examples were powered by the highly utilized work horse; Venus caliber 178 movement. These movements were also found in most all early Breitling chronographs from this time. Later versions, such as this, were powered by both the Valjoux calibre 71 and 72 movements. This model is fitted with the Benrus GH-4, a branded 71 caliber. This caliber was also used on other early pilot watches such as Heuer and Wittnauer watches. It is a classic ‘start and stop’ at the top, and ‘reset’ at the bottom configuration.
The fabulous looking vintaged silver dial features a triple register. It has a very eye catching patina that can only be achieved from eighty years of being exposed to the elements. The dial and hands have no radium luminous material applied to it. The stylish and clean Arabic numerals at the hours are surrounded by the minute track printing. Along with the sub dials, all the printing is executed in black so that they pop off the dial, and are easy to read whilst flying. The ‘Swiss’ COO stamp is also still present on the base of the dial. The hands are very fine pencil hands in blued steel, paired with a very distinctive red central seconds chronograph hand. This is not a constant seconds, but for timing the seconds in the chronograph.
The watch is presented in all original, untouched condition with an unpolished case still very sharp and crisp, and free from any personalization. This is the larger of the two ‘Sky Chief’ models. This example also incorporates the rotating outer bezel with a small red painted triangle marker that is read from inside the crystal. This is why the edge of the bezel has coin edging, for easier purchase. Especially in thick, heavy leather flying gloves. This would help easily map out 60 minute timing outside of the use of the chronograph timing.
These large, oversized vintage pilots watches are really fantastic pieces of both watch and aviation history. Easy to use, great on the wrist and easy to love!