What's up with Benrus? They were one of the major manufacturers in the US, up there with Hamilton, and yet there are relatively few Benrus sites or histories out there on the web.
In our Pilot-Military forum, I contributed to a thread on a KLM-issued Benrus Sky King. Beautiful watch, take a look over there for the pictures.
I started to do some research, hoping to find a proper explanation on some mysterious markings: the issue dial for at least some Benrus chronographs has markings on the minute totalizers at 4, 8 and 12 as well as the usual 5-minute increments. This is an ongoing mystery as to the purpose of these markings, as they predate telephone billing practices that could have resulted in such markings (there are no official 3-6-9 minute markings, despite the dial markings on the KLM, as that particular watch was a fairly bad redial).
Wasn't able to find much to their significance, and indeed wasn't able to find really much on Benrus at all. When searching, I also searched on finished auctions at eBay ("Benrus chronograph") and found virtually nothing. There were the one or the other Sky Kings out there, but literally nothing else: however, in my research I was able to acquire several repair and maintenance manuals for at least 4 different chronograph calibres, and yet there is nothing besides the Sky King on eBay or elsewhere with vintage watch web sellers. Even Shugart really only shows the Sky King as chrono.
Anyone out there know more about the history of the company and perhaps links that I haven't been able to find? Or has Benrus simply been more or less assigned to the trash heap of horology, abandoned and ignored?
Seems to me a shame: they had some interesting designs, and a good vintage Sky King is a thing of beauty...