German manufacturing standards are revered all across the world. German products like high-end automobiles, kitchen appliances, power tools are a must have for most consumers. A few years ago I used to watch a very popular UK television programme called Grand Designs. Each episode normally focuses on the construction of a complex self-build home. Generally the owners would massively exceed their budget and the projects would go on months (years in some instances) over the anticipated schedule. However my favourite episode featured a German pre-fabricated building called the Huf Haus. Astonishingly this architectural masterpiece can be erected in less than two weeks. Therefore it is not surprising that this level of engineering has also made an impact on the world of horology. The craftsmanship of Jochen Benzinger perfectly illustrates this point.
Although I have written about Jochen Benzinger in the past, it has been for other Magazines. Mostly I have featured work he has done in collaboration with Grieb & Benzinger rather than his own label. However I am a huge admirer of his craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. What makes his timepiece so distinctive is his technically brilliant engraved skeleton dials. These extraordinary skills are rare and require an enormous amount of patience. As an artist I greatly appreciate the dedication involved to produce these wonderful creations.
Since I have established Total Watch Reviews I have forged some very close working relationships with Australian and international retailers. Define Watches is a Brisbane based boutique that focuses purely on selling German made timepieces. One of the watches they currently have in their possession is a unique 1/1 piece by Jochen Benzinger appropriately called the Benzinger One. Like most of his creations it exudes classical proportions and has a 42mm diameter. Certainly these dimensions appeal to traditionalists both male and female. I also suspect that the watch would feel very comfortable to wear on a regular basis.
Visually the Benzinger One has the same high standard of all other Jochen Benzinger creations. The intricate engraved skeleton dial delicately exposes the marvellous mechanics of the watch. This sublime characteristic also works in harmony with the highly polished 316L stainless steel case. Other features include a stylish chapter ring, “Breguet” type hour/minute hands and sapphire crystal lens. Overall the composition is very well considered and the finishing is superlative.
At the heart of the watch is a Vintage Patek Philippe manual winding movement dating back to 1917. The Caliber 187722 comprises 18-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. This mechanism was originally supplied to a New York base jeweler called H.J. Howe Incorporated Syracuse. Each individual component (including open screw balance, cogwheels etc.) has been flawlessly hand engraved (using the finest traditional guilloché techniques) and assembled in Pforzheim, Germany by Jochen Benzinger. Functionally the Benzinger One features hours, minutes and small seconds.
The Benzinger One is currently for sale at Define Watches (http://www.definewatches.com.au) for an asking price of: $42,500