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The man from TNT (FedEx) turned up today with my first new watch for almost a year.

I like small manufacturers, what could be called high quality and genuinely in-house capable micro-brands  --  hence my entries in this section about Moser (ca. 1500 pieces per year), Grossmann (ca. 400) and Dornblüth (about 200).

This time I was looking for something different, and in conversation on this forum with the usual suspects. @WRENCH suggested a Benzinger. I knew nothing of the brand, but had always wanted a "guilloché main" watch, so I pursued the idea.

After a long telephone conversation with the delightful Mr. Benzinger, and several emails with Mrs. Benzinger, I plumped for the "Subscription 3a".

The watch is 42mm in diameter, 11mm deep, has a stainless steel case with sapphire front and back, and features an alligator strap with a steel deployant buckle. The movement is a humble Unitas 6498 (non hacking) which has been rendered , shall we say, a little less humble at the hands of Mr. Benzinger.

In case anyone is wondering, the legend around the case back reads: "skeltonized by hand", "guilloché bu hand", "engraved by hand", and "unique piece".

And, so to the pics:

 

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(How can you not like a man who drinks decent Gigondas? IMHO at least as good as neighbour Châteauneuf du Pape and half the price :tongue: )

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37 minutes ago, yokel said:

The movement is a humble Unitas 6498 (non hacking) which has been rendered , shall we say, a little less humble at the hands of Mr. Benzinger.

What I particularly appreciate is the fact that Mr Benzinger is carrying on traditional skills with traditional tools and equipment, some of which will no longer be available, especially the "guilloché" machine. When you watch the parts of the movement being "skelitionised" with what looks like basic tools, but with such skill, and confidence, is interesting if not mesmerising .

 

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A quality addition to the ever growing collection, David.

Can fully appreciate the high degree of expertise in this timepiece, particularly that stunning dial!!

 

Enjoy in good health, Sir.

:thumbsup:

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Wow both tasty and elegant :thumbs_up:

1 hour ago, WRENCH said:

What I particularly appreciate is the fact that Mr Benzinger is carrying on traditional skills with traditional tools and equipment, some of which will no longer be available, especially the "guilloché" machine. When you watch the parts of the movement being "skelitionised" with what looks like basic tools, but with such skill, and confidence, is interesting if not mesmerising .

 

Does every watch get this treatment?

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30 minutes ago, Biker said:

Wow both tasty and elegant :thumbs_up:

Does every watch get this treatment?

With apologies for the spellos in the original post  --  trying to get it done in a hurry . . . . . . . :(

Yes, every watch gets the Jochen Benzinger treatment  --  he is first and foremost a master engraver. In fact, he engraves for some of the premier German brands. This treatment is his trademark.

I have asked him if he'll give me a clue as to how many watches he builds to sell in his own name in a year. No reply as yet, but I shall be quite surprised if it even approaches one hundred.

In one of the email exchanges with his wife, Stephanie, she said that they would be delighted if I would visit their workshop, and that they have some very old "guilloché" machines (over 100 years old) which are still in daily use. She thought the visit would be well worth it.  --  I shall, of course, when the microbiological climate has improved, do exactly that; but I'm sure that "I" could equally well be a small group of forum members if there were interest.

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6 minutes ago, yokel said:

I shall, of course, when the microbiological climate has improved, do exactly that; but I'm sure that "I" could equally well be a small group of forum members if there were interest.


:yes:

 

Do they accept injured waifes & strays ?
 

:biggrin:

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I would be interested but it would depend on dates etc,  :thumbsup:

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Just now, Biker said:

I would be interested but it would depend on dates etc,  :thumbsup:

 

That's three....

Last Of The Summer Wine - BBC1 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide

...so far.

:thumbs_up:

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8 minutes ago, Karrusel said:

 

That's three....

Last Of The Summer Wine - BBC1 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide

...so far.

:thumbs_up:

I'd better get my best beanie and wellies out them.

Won't be until autumn (if at all this year)  --  but I'll definitely be undertaking this (especially as I have an invitation to Lang & Heyne too).

For Pforzheim, fly to Stuttgart and take the train (or hire a car)  --  or train all the way. I'll take the car, but it is a good day's drive (seven hours from Calais).

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That's a stunning looking watch . What Mr Benzinger as done with the Unitas 6498 is incredible , and the dial is truly amazing . A true craftsman and a highly talented watchmaker . Thanks for posting , David , enjoy your new acquisition .

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1 hour ago, yokel said:

I'd better get my best beanie and wellies out them.

I'll dig out my best wrinkled stockings..

.Nora-Batty.jpg

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Personal service! I also received a full page hand written letter, but I suppose you can do that if you make only thirty unique watches each year :yes:

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15 hours ago, yokel said:

"I" could equally well be a small group of forum members if there were interest.

I would certainly be interested, though I know that the watches are outside my price range!

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That's a total of four potential musketeers then (or Foggy, Cleggy, Compo and Nora)  --  which is definitely enough.

I will see what I can fix up, target next spring, and let people know by PM.

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3 minutes ago, Karrusel said:

:hmmm9uh:

 

Beginning to look like...

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Kevin Whately recalls the old days ...

 

:whistle:

Still got my beanie!

But seriously, four is the absolute maximum.

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1 hour ago, r-macus said:

@yokel How you getting on with the watch?

On the negative side, the case that JB has chosen has quite long lugs  --  wearing it is a question of habituation (but i'm very comfortable with it now).

On the positive side, it is a thing of rare beauty. I'm a firm believer that watches "dress down" much better than they "dress up"  --  i.e. I think that a Sub looks daft with black tie, but a Calatrava is absolutely fine with jeans. The Subskription is very OK with formal attire (if possibly a little large at 42mm dia.), but goes extremely well also with casual dress. "In the metal" it doesn't look as "bling" as it does in some photos.

HTH

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