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Up for grabs is a true vintage treasure: a 1940s pilot's chronograph powered by the iconic Valjoux 72. This watch is in great vintage condition, with an unpolished case that has sharp bevels and a black dial with gilt printing and beautiful radium patina. This one ticks all the boxes. A Valjoux-powered Sky Chief just like this one is housed in the permanent collection of the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia, PA. If you've been waiting for one of these, this could be the one.

Here's an excerpt on Sky Chiefs from the book "Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches for the Discerning Collector" by Alistair Gibbons:

"The early '40s saw the launch of the Sky Chief line … used by pilots of commercial airlines of the time like TWA and KLM, as well as military pilots or navigators flying B-52s and Thunderchiefs. This is a truly historic aviation piece from the middle part of the twentieth century."

Dial: Glossy black dial with Arabic numbers, gilt printing, and record-groove subdials. Great texture.
Case: All stainless steel case appears to be unpolished, with sharp bevels on the lugs and minor wear throughout. Brick pushers. Case measures 35mm x 12.5mm x 42mm.
Lug width: 18mm
Bracelet: Gently used Mr. Beads 18mm beads of rice adjustable bracelet
Movement: Manual-wind Valjoux 72 keeps accurate vintage time. Chronograph stops, starts and snaps back to zero.
Accessories: Vintage Air Cargo Transport matchbook with Benrus Sky Chief advertisement and description on inside cover; vintage ad for Benrus Sky Chief; vintage ad for Benrus aviation. Also includes receipt showing installation of domed acrylic crystal.
Box and papers: No

Note: This has the unusual feature of elongated hashmarks at the 4/8/12 minute markers on the elapsed-time subdial. I have been searching for the reason for this and believe I've finally found it. According to a commercial pilot I know, pilots used to be instructed to perform holding patterns by flying in one direction for one minute, turning 90 degrees, then flying for another minute, turning 90 degrees, etc., until they completed a square. That "loop" would therefore last for 4 minutes, and the hashmarks could help them track their holding patterns. Very cool detail.

Price: $3,200

Fine print: PayPal or wire transfer. Will ship when funds clear. I'll cover PayPal fees and fully-insured shipping. Continental United States only.

Seller: I have a string of flawless references in the Watch Deals section of Watchuseek, Omega Forums and TRF. I'll expect the buyer to have strong references as well. CONUS only. I am not a dealer or flipper. Just a curious collector who often sells watches to chase new ones. Returns accepted (minus shipping and insurance) only if watch is not authentic and is returned to me in the same condition I sent it. Watches are sold as-is.

Please email me at [email protected] with any questions. Thank you.

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