Grieb & Benzinger presents two new bespoke platinum timepieces based on the inspiration from “an ambitious watch connoisseur looking for incredible, understated skeleton watches that nonetheless proffer value and handcrafts, but in an “invisible” way.” Whatever that means (!) — I’ll let G&B elaborate more in a moment. But first, let me just remind folks that everything Grieb & Benzinger produces is extremely rare (and very often one-of-a-kind, as are these pieces); they are bespoke watchmakers in every sense. However, because their amazing watches are such fan favorites here at Perpetuelle — if only from a digital point of view — I like to share them. And so you see here, the new Centurion.
Grieb & Benzinger Centurion
43mm blackened platinum case, blackened manually wound movement (fully skeletonized, guilloché and engraved by hand), black alligator-skin strap with solid platinum buckle
Now, as touched on above, the story behind this watch goes something like this (as related by G&B):
The interesting collector request inspired Grieb & Benzinger’s CEO and Georg Bartkowiak to transfer the brand’s bestseller ― the Black Tulip ― into a never-seen-before platinum execution. The classic Black Tulip has beentransformed into a glamorous, yet simultaneously understated, high-end timepiece boasting an all-black appearance. The idea of the totally understated value of solid Platinum (PT950) beneath a blackened surface in combination with pure hand-skeletonization appealed to this client’s ideal of discreet taste. A lavish, almost cheeky, way of expressing understatement that is as-yet unmatched in the world of luxury timepieces. A second model, the Centurion Imperial, is topped off with a bezel set with red Princess-cut diamonds.
My only question is, did this collector pay for these watches with his Amex Centurion card? I jest.
Anyway, nice piece. Don’t see a lot of blackened platinum!
Grieb & Benzinger’s latest piece, the “Blue Merit”, is a platinum-cased tourbillon based on the famous, rare, and sought-after Tourbillon Pour le Mérite caliber by A. Lange & Söhne. In fact the movement used in this one-of-a-kind timepiece is one of the first 200 pieces built by A. Lange & Sohne between 1994 and 1998. It took twelve months to transform the original timepiece into its final breathtaking form, one that is very characteristic of GRIEB & BENZINGER’s signature style. With its solid 41 mm platinum case (their preferred case metal), the BLUE MERIT is another breathtakingly unique collector’s item for US$ 530,000 (385,000 €).
If you are new to Grieb & Benzinger, I suggest you browse some of my prior features on their incredible watches. As you can see Grieb & Benzinger have a very special skill-set. And their approach to the market is unique in that they source very valuable and (almost always) very rare calibers that they transform into hand-decorated and openworked masterpieces. For just two recent examples, the beautiful and bespoke “Shades of Grey” pieces and the 2012 Grieb & Benzinger BLUE WHIRLWIND Minute Repeater based on Patek caliber RTO 27 is the most recent example>>>
You can read more about the talented team behind Grieb & Benzinger here>>>
As is so often the case with watches from bespoke watchmaker GRIEB & BENZINGER, these new creations are the direct result of customers’ wishes. Recently, G&B was kind enough to share with me a few looks at these spectacular bespoke creations. These are truly spectacular, hand-made watches. Read more of my past discussion and reviews of Grieb & Benzinger, here>>>
Grieb & Benzinger Grey Tulip
43mm 18-karat palladium-white gold case, fully skeletonized floral pattern, movement fully skeletonized, guilloché and engraved by hand; on grey alligator-skin strap with matching palladium-white gold buckle
Grieb & Benzinger Grey Polaris
43mm palladium-white gold case; guilloché and semi-skeletonized sterling silver dial with black rhodium and an applied skeletonized dial, movement including in-house modifications (hour and minute modifications) fully skeletonized, guilloché and engraved by hand; on grey alligator-skin strap with 750/000 18-karat palladium-white gold buckle
Diamond-accented variations of the Grey Tulip were also produced
43mm platinum case, manual-wind Patek Philippe Caliber RTO 27 PS (tourbillon + minute repeater)
German watch brand Grieb & Benzinger is known for its one-of-a-kind, intricately skeletonized and decorated watches. All they make are one-of-a-kind pieces — haute horlogerie at its finest, you might say.
Grieb & Benzinger’s latest production was announced last month– the Blue Whirlwind. Blue Whirlwind is a skeletonized tourbillon minute repeater based on a rare Patek Philippe caliber, the PP Caliber RTO 27 PS. This same caliber was used in the stainless-steel Patek Philippe Ref. 3939 donated to the 2011 Only Watch Auction — the 3939 was the top-selling lot in the entire auction, fetching a hefty 1.4 million euros (for charity). The master hands at G&B took the complicated PP movement and gave it 15 months worth of intricate skeletonization and decorative work. The result is easy to appreciate.
The movement was completely modified in the style characteristic of Grieb & Benzinger: fully skeletonized, guilloché and engraved by hand. According to G&B, the fine guilloché on the plates and bridges necessitated moving original drillings by less than one-twentieth of a millimeter, and the movement needed to be carefully reassembled, adjusted, disassembled, and reassembled in order to guarantee full harmonious functioning of the great number of levers. Even gear wheels were embellished with guilloché and the 12 finely guilloché bridges and cocks coated with rhodium and rose gold. As if that were not enough, an additional mysterious wheel, visible on the back side, replaces the original gold drive wheel for the tourbillon. The base plate is also coated with blue platinum and the silver dial embellished with the Breguet frosted finish — signature elements of all unique pieces produced by Grieb & Benzinger.
Fret not over how you might pay for this piece though — it’s already sold ($850,000) and delivered to the customer, I am told. As for me, though — I prefer their last piece, the Blue Danube (also with a finely decorated Patek Philippe Caliber).
If you are not familiar with Grieb & Benzinger, I have written fairly extensively about them in prior posts, all of which can be read HERE >>>