There is little doubt that the Benrus Sky Chief has garnered considerable attention among collectors over the years. Advertised as the “Official Watch of Famous Airlines”, the Benrus Sky Chief was specially made for pilots and offered minute markers different than on any other chronograph from that era. Most minute recorder chronograph watches have longer or accentuated markers at the 3, 6, 9 and sometimes 12 minute marks which aided in keeping track of long distance calls because the phone company charged by 3 minute intervals. The Sky Chief was different. According to John Opie, the Pilot/Military forum moderator at WatchUSeek, the unique markings at 4, 8 and 12 were used by pilots to aid in navigation prior to GPS technology. Pilots would make 90 degree maneuvers at 4 minute intervals in order to better understand how wind was affecting the flight pattern.
The Sky Chief was offered in 3 basic models including the larger Valjoux 71 in steel with silver dial and rotating index bezel. The black or brown dial version came in steel with either a Valjoux 72 or Venus 178 mechanism. The triple date case in solid 14k gold or steel and was powered by the famous Valjoux 72c.
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