Normally on Total Watch Reviews I write in depth reviews featuring a full spectrum of watchmakers. With this editorial I am primarily focusing on a company that customises high-end watches for clientele searching for something a little bit different. The reason this topic appealed to me so much is because it draws huge parallels with the automobile industry. A great example of this is the company AMG that enhances the performance and appearance of Mercedes Benz cars.
Blaken is a German company that was established only four years ago. The general concept is the brainchild of dynamic owner and founder Hendrik Jürgens. While he lived in the US he socialised with various celebrities and noticed that all their luxury items apart from wristwatches were personalised. Subsequently he engaged in two years extensive research to develop a unique and durable coating. The result is a patented DLC (diamond like carbon) coating, which is eight times harder than steel.
Primarily Blaken have concentrated on modifying a range of Rolex models including Explorer, Deepsea, Daytona and GMT Master watches. I recently reviewed the Yacht-Master II and absolutely love their version. Effectively the customer can choose a range of different colours for the dial, hands and markers. There is also the opportunity to either buy a customized piece directly from Blacken or bring your own individual watch. Due to the meticulous nature of the process it takes over 16 days to personalize a single timepiece. Apparently experienced engineers and material experts oversee every stage.
A few weeks ago I visited a boutique in Sydney and got the opportunity to wear a Blaken Panerai Luminor Base PAM112. I am a huge admirer of Panerai and love the general aesthetics of their watches. With a case diameter of 44mm this is probably one of their mid range models. These dimensions should appeal to a variety of different buyers including the unisex market. For the limited time I wore the watch I found it very comfortable. It also felt reasonably lightweight although I would prefer either a ceramic or titanium version for this price.
Whilst doing research for this review I took the opportunity of comparing the standard Panerai Luminor Base PAM112 with Blaken’s alternative. I love the bespoke dial with select blue numerals and red hour/minute hands. The DLC matt black coating has a superior coating and you easily mistake it for ceramic. Another inclusion is the addition of a Nato style nylon strap and the Blacken logo on the dial. Overall this gives the watch a totally new dynamic, which I feel looks pretty cool.
As Blaken are only concerned with the visual aspect of this watch the mechanics haven’t been altered. Therefore the same reliable Caliber OPX used in the standard model powers the timepiece. This hand wound movement comprises 17-Jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It also has an Incabloc® anti-shock device and Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges. The Blaken Panerai Luminor Base PAM112 features hours, minutes and a power reserve of 56 hours.
All Blaken watches can be tailored to the customer’s specifications. On that basis every timepiece is unique and one of a kind. The Blaken Panerai Luminor Base PAM112 is priced at: $11,900.