Master Craftsmanship Delivers Soul to Watch Making
For many businessmen, collectors, watch lovers, travelers and explorers timepieces have become the lodestone of their existence, some prefer TAG, Rolex, and many more. Now unique and individual tastes combined with fine and high-end expectations have propelled real luxury customization to new heights creating the ultimate man watch. Grieb and Benzinger watches based out of Germany, have proven that individuality and creativity are of much higher value than brand. No longer is there a need to use status symbols to show one’s success. Mass production of brand name, trendy and, oftentimes, spectacular watches can be seen on practically every wrist. Grieb and Benzinger’s watches are one-of-a-kind pieces each handmade by some of the only masters left in the world.
Master watch maker, Hermann Greib has become famous for his antique and historic watch making. By using classic tools and machinery, he’s restored tower clocks dated from 1650 and reconstructed missing components of minute repeaters from the 1800’s. By using highly specialized techniques that have almost died out, Jochen Benzinger worked in engraving apprenticeships and has highly specialized himself in the craft of modifying mechanical movements. He’s also investigated the art of “guilloche”, a craft that is no longer being taught. Benzinger is considered one of the top traditional engravers around. The remaining team of masters includes an extremely talented goldsmith that developed the typical blue platinum coating seen on the watches’ base plates and an experienced toolmaker and former head of one of the biggest watch dial factories in Europe, responsible for the production of the sterling silver dials. The team’s knowledge of classic watch making techniques is unavailable anywhere else in the watch industry.
These watches are truly rare goods of exceptionally high value amongst all the other luxury watches online. Some of the techniques and skills that have propelled these crafts into the echelons of luxury include restoration, actual watch making, technical modification, hand engraving, guilloche, skeletonization, goldsmith work and dial production. Most of the large watch brands don’t have anywhere near a tremendous assembly of classic arts backing their production. This is why most of these pieces are so rare, in addition to being produced in such small quantities. The watchmakers offer two lines of watches, the platinum one-of-a-kind creations as well as a boutique line. While the precious and rare timepieces can take up to 1,000 hours to make (restoration, technical modification, decoration, dial layout and production and assembly), the boutique line is based on the classic pocket watch movements from products of the 1960’s. While the line is produced using the same techniques as the platinum masterpieces, their manufacturing does not have the tremendous restoration work that the rare, high-grade pieces do. The restoration of vintage clocks and watches contain movements that are of enormous value these days. The best possible vintage pieces, sourced from all over the world and typically pocked watches, are hand selected and originate from the 1880’s up to the 1920’s. The “movements” of these pieces require highly specialized mechanisms for their creation as they have passed centuries of generations-minute repeaters, chronographs, split-seconds-chronographs and a combination of several complications are contained in just one base movement.
Each customer can customize a rare, high-grade watch, which will be rebuilt according to the specifications and technical modifications that are unique to its creation. The conception of each piece starts with a classic paper copy of the ebauche, then the technical basics are modified and function is decided, for example regulator display or day & day indications, the application of new wheels is decided, skeletonizing a plate over a bridge, layout and measurements are all basics presented to the customer so that their imagination and personal taste can shine through. In addition to exclusive craftsman ship, Grieb and Benzinger also offer exclusive service, the watchmakers travel all over the world to meet with clients, conceptualize, entertain and provide exceptional value and personalized attention. The passion for watch making matched with the historic background, master knowledge and incredible imagination have positioned these time pieces as the ultimate reflection of financial freedom, soul and status.
by Kate Jarosinska