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 >>>