The German luxury watchmaker has recently presented an exclusive version of its Polaris model from their new Boutique collection that was presented early this year. Called Grieb & Benzinger Polaris Black & White, the watches were crafted by a special request from one of their many customers. Still, unlike their usual “one-offs,” this particular model may actually see some limited production if there will be more orders from wealthy persons interested in these deliberately archaic hand-skeletonized beauties.
As usual, the timekeeper is animated not by some cheap modern ETA ebauche, but by a heavily reworked “historic” mechanical movement that was made by Unitas many decades ago. The mechanism was taken apart, thoroughly inspected for potential quality issues, then all the necessary (i.e. almost all of them) parts were skeletonized and guilloched by a skilled hand of the brand’s master watchmaker. Some of the parts were also slightly modified and then the mechanism was put together again.
According to Grieb & Benzinger‘s PR representative, the hand-wound caliber that was originally made by Unitas S.A., was redesigned in order to move the hours and minutes display slightly off-center to show more of the gorgeous dial and make it look even more unique. It’s quite fascinating to see how the boring “two hands with small seconds” design of the original caliber transformed into something reminding me of those “regulator” timekeepers that Germans were famous for back in the 19th century when they were churning out extremely reliable clocks for railways around the globe.
As you may have already noticed, the face of the watch, which is made of sterling silver, too, features an elaborate guilloche pattern that was made not with some fancy CNC tool, but using a real, old-school rose-machine: one of a few remaining in perfect working order.
The body of the watch, as is the winding crown, as well as the pair of chapter rings on the dial, is crafted from solid 18-carat rose gold. Measuring whole 43 millimeters in diameter, the watch is somewhat large by today’s standards, but the size of the timekeeper is probably determined by the fitting diameter of the movement, which is itself not terribly small.
Available both with white or black alligator leather strap, the watch wears an impressive price tag of €39,865.
It is not yet clear, how many timekeepers the brand will produce. Theoretically, Grieb & Benzinger can deliver as many as 100 pieces per year, but the actual production will depend on the level of customer’s demand.
See also: Grieb & Benzinger New Blossom Skeleton
Photos: Grieb & Benzinger
Grieb & Benzinger Polaris Black & White Boutique watch specification
Movement: Manual (hand-wound,) Unitas, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: N/A
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Movement decoration: Skeletonized, guilloched and hand-engraved, blued screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: N/A
Case material: Rose gold 750/000
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Sterling silver, guilloched
Hour markers: Black
Hands: Steel, blued, Breguet-type
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: White or black alligator leather strap with gold clasp
Case back: Sapphire