Benrus Sky Chief 'Tropical'

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Manual-winding
35 MM
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SKU AS04099
Article Number 40990114
case size 35 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1940s
dial color Black
material Stainless Steel
style Chronograph
category Vintage
bracelet Leather
lug width 18 MM
Includes Includes Analog:Shift Laika Black Alpine leather strap with steel pin buckle.
material Alpine
overall condition The case is in excellent condition overall with sharp lugs and normal signs of wear consistent with age and use. Black dial with Radium 'Arabic' indices shows heavy 'tropicalized' patination throughout with color-matched 'syringe' handset. Unsigned crown.
Manual-winding
35 MM
– Show less
SKU AS04099
Article Number 40990114
case size 35 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1940s
dial color Black
material Stainless Steel
style Chronograph
category Vintage
bracelet Leather
lug width 18 MM
Includes Includes Analog:Shift Laika Black Alpine leather strap with steel pin buckle.
material Alpine
overall condition The case is in excellent condition overall with sharp lugs and normal signs of wear consistent with age and use. Black dial with Radium 'Arabic' indices shows heavy 'tropicalized' patination throughout with color-matched 'syringe' handset. Unsigned crown.

Why We Love it

In the 1940s, watches made by Benrus were flying off the shelves…literally. 

And among them, the best-known is this watch: the Sky Chief, perhaps one of the most perfect pilot’s watches ever made. Introduced in 1940, it’s without a doubt the brand’s most famous chronograph. Though it was released in several variations (including triple-date models), it’s the pilot’s version that’s become the most iconic. At first glance, it’s clearly a tool watch, looking much like the chronographs worn by the world’s air forces. 

This particular Sky Chief has turned a deep brown color, perhaps due to the design of the watch — square pushers were less effective when preventing humidity from ingressing into the dial. It features a 35mm stainless steel case with long, drilled lugs, while its glossy black face — since turned “tropical” — has gilt Arabic numerals and syringe hands liberally coated with radium. The three chronograph registers are evenly-spaced and easy to read, which is absolutely crucial in a darkened airplane cockpit. Powered by a hand-wound Valjoux movement, this is a classic pilot’s watch through and through.

Though some may balk at the compact size of the watch, it truly wears larger, thanks to the long lugs. For something as versatile as it is practical, the Sky Chief slips easily under a cuff, and looks excellent on any strap one can think to put it on. 

Whether you’re a pilot or a frequent flier, this Sky Chief is ready to take to the air.

Brand Story

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The Benrus Watch Company, founded in New York City, quickly became one of America's iconic watch brands. With large assembly efforts in the United States and a case factory in Waterbury, CT, Benrus was an honest-to-goodness American affair.
While Benrus is probably most famous for its defense-contracted GI watches produced for American troops during the 1960s, it was during the 1940s that the firm made some of its finest timepieces. Among these, the best-known is probably the Sky Chief, a simple and beautiful pilot’s watch. Building upon the success of the Airman, which was used by pilots of the National Air Transport Company — the first airline to operate cross-country flights — the Sky Chief quickly became the brand’s most famous chronograph, and is still beloved by collectors today.

Benrus went bankrupt in 1971 during the Quartz Crisis, but for many years prior, was the second-largest American watch company after Hamilton.

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

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All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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Benrus Sky Chief 'Tropical'

Benrus Sky Chief 'Tropical'

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Benrus Sky Chief 'Tropical'

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