Based in Germany GRIEB & BENZINGER is a highly exclusive horology brand specialized in custom-crafted collector’s timepieces containing exceptional movements originally made by the greatest masters of vintage horology, turning it into your thoroughly individual timepiece. This unique watch brand is was co-founded by Hermann Grieb, Jochen Benzinger and Georg Bartkowiak.
|Founders: Hermann Grieb, Jochen Benzinger & Georg Bartkowiak|
Hermann Grieb masters the traditional techniques of watchmaking as very few others today. His expertise lies in the field of traditional restoration of vintage masterpieces, thus preserving and encouraging a precious centuries-old heritage. Enthusiastic collectors from all over the world appreciate his longstanding experience and impeccable craftsmanship. In every single one of the GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM wristwatches beats the heart of the vintage movement freshly interpreted by Hermann Grieb. The filigreed works of art are disassembled and restored; each stage is performed with the utmost care and attention to delicate detail. The combination of old techniques and new functions constitutes the creative bedrock for the exceptional compositions of GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM. The resulting exclusive unicum, the rebirth of a vintage masterpiece, is realized in cooperation with Jochen Benzinger.
Born, raised, and trained in Germany’s gold city, Pforzheim, Jochen Benzinger has brought his art to perfection. His apprenticeship with Pforzheim’s top engraver wasn’t enough; he has always endeavored to perform at the highest possible level. Motivated by his passion, he taught himself the craft of guilloché, which had ceased to be schooled as a skilled trade in 1961. Today, he justifiably ranks among the most experienced and knowledgeable protagonists of his trade. His profession is his vocation; technical precision and artistic beauty are of equal consequence. Together with Hermann Grieb, he bestows his sense of perfect refinement and detailed finishing upon the distinct GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM timepieces. Jochen Benzinger and Hermann Grieb accomplish the perfect finishing of their movements demanded by their quality and design in collaboration with Georg Bartkowiak.
Even during his college years studying economics, Georg Bartkowiak began developing remarkable wristwatch concepts and designs. Many timepiece enthusiasts all over the world have fallen for Georg Bartkowiak’s high demand on select materials, artful details and elaborate techniques. High-flying creations including exclusive designs for royal houses and international VIPs speak for themselves. An expert in technical and creative product development, Georg Bartkowiak has executed remarkable icons and put numerous companies back on the map. Georg Bartkowiak, Jochen Benzinger, Hermann Grieb: this triptych of enthusiastic timepiece connoisseurs, artists and craftsmen is grounded on a long-term friendship. Shared passion, devotion and professional expertise constitute the sound basis of the extraordinary creations labeled GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM.
GRIEB & BENZINGER WORKSHOP
In their workshop, Hermann Grieb, Jochen Benzinger and Georg Bartkowiak blend their outstanding technical skills with traditional craftsmanship and innovative ideas. Come in and experience the nostalgic atmosphere of this enchanting place where time seems to stand still. Historical machines, rather than modern high-tech equipment, underscore the authenticity of their restored and refined masterpieces of watchmaking.
Grieb, Benzinger and Bartkowiak, three connoisseurs of the high art of fine watchmaking, embrace their obligation to conserve centuries-old arts and crafts. They are among a very few in the watch industry to continue precious vintage traditions, making high quality handcrafting and elaborate refinement techniques into contemporary witnesses for their own movement history. They employ the same type of tools their creative precursors did. Thus, Grieb, Benzinger and Bartkowiak honor and encourage the heritage of their trade as well as the original composers of these timeless masterpieces. The most miniscule detail of every GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM wristwatch is lovingly restored by hand or modified and refined according to its new owner’s particular wishes. Historical tools today only found in a museum are utilized for this purpose. A time-consuming development process sees authentic and exclusive masterpieces of long-forgotten craftsmanship created in this way.
The GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM Edition timepieces are invariably based on historical classics and acknowledged masterpieces originating in the period between 1880 and 1930. Over the course of time, these masterly movements by Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, especially selected for the GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM Editions, have been widely scattered all over the world, waiting to be rediscovered. Each single piece has its own individual story. Some tell of swashbuckling adventures, others of heart-rending amours or even droll anecdotes. But they all have one thing in common: the passion with which they were created.The movements of these timeless masterpieces, their very hearts and souls, remain contemporary witnesses. Plunge into the spirit of days gone by and become part of the history of your timepiece.
The origin of every variation is an idea. Without an idea, the tourbillon would never have been invented. Abraham-Louis Breguet, spiritual father of the tourbillon, was a master of his trade. Hermann Grieb and Jochen Benzinger are also masters of their trade – only 200 years later. The GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM Editions are characterized by variation. The idea of transforming a vintage masterpiece into a unique new timepiece inimitably unites history and craftsmanship. The utilization of contemporary manufacturing and finishing techniques allows the watchmakers to conceptionally modify vintage masterpieces without any loss of authenticity, while technically, physically and artistically redefining them. Against the backdrop of history, Hermann Grieb, Jochen Benzinger and Georg Bartkowiak thus transform their ideas into extraordinary timepieces of strong character and distinctive personality.
The Color Blue as a Source of Inspiration
The movements of the GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM timepieces chiefly originate in the era spanning 1880 to 1930. This period was also known for works of art by great masters such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Wassily Kandinsky. The color blue was a source of inspiration for these artists: Picasso, for example, reduced his paintings to a minimum in respect to contour and color around 1900. The thus created works belong to the artist’s “blue period”.
Hermann Grieb and Jochen Benzinger find their source of inspiration in old masters of fine watchmaking such as Abraham-Louis Breguet and his apprentice Charles Oudin. Early on, Breguet recognized his apprentice’s talent and devotedly nurtured it. In the ensuing years, Oudin developed and constructed complicated movements for his former teacher. As early as 1820, Charles Oudin constructed blued movements — which are most rare these days. An homage to Oudin, all movements of the GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM timepieces are entirely or party blue platinum-coated. GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM are the only watchmakers worldwide to consistently blue all movements out of respect for this great tradition.
The GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM Editions are thus based on their own very distinct philosophy. Each and every filigreed detail of a GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM timepiece is crucial to the successful resurrection of the various elements of its movement. For this reason, all parts are inspected with the utmost care, and it is not until after meticulous restoration or manufacture to specification that they are reinserted into the complete work of art. Thus, even functions and indications are modified upon request. The result is mesmerizing: historical masterpieces in shining new platinum robes, modern interpretations created by masters of their trade in perfect traditional craftsmanship embellished by precious hand engraving and guilloché.A greater tribute paid to the past masters of horology than this most respectful bow to their spectacular works of art.
Finishing is the modern way to pay tribute to a historical movement, lending it a distinctive character. GRIEB & BENZINGER PLATINUM is a synonym for individuality with character. Hand-guilloché dials, hand-skeletonized and engraved movements embellished with blue platinum, tempered hands and screws in solid platinum cases show the singularity of these unicums at first glance. These rare masterpieces of horology are formed by a perfect blending of technical skills and the most precious materials known to mankind.
GRIEB & BENZINGER creates unique masterpieces of fine watchmaking with use unconventional tools and machines which requires countless hours.The distinctive characters of these timepieces are one-of-a-kind worldwide. The vintage masterpieces searches out by the brand across the globe are beyond the shadow of a doubt unique pieces.It is from this synergy of instinctive flair, craftsmanship, historical movements, and their soulful reinterpretation that unreservedly unique timepieces of true exclusivity and genuine character emerge.
Examples of Masterpieces:-
1. Minute Repeater Wristwatch, Case 46 mm in diameter, Approx. 1895 – 1900.
Modified by GRIEB & BENZINGER to accommodate a regulator display, new hand-skeletonized and hand-guilloché dial with original Breguet frostes finish, blued steel hands, handguilloché base plate coated with blued platinum, guilloche bridges and cocks, polished and tempered screws, clubtooth lever with compensation weight, compensation screw balance with blued Breguet balance spring, 26 jewels, 2 polished steel hammers with 2 gongs, spring barrel bridge skeletonized according to customer’s request, all parts of repeater mechanism, levers and springs are polished and beveled.
2. Quarter Repeater Wristwatch, Approx. 1890
Quarter repeater movement comprising old and freshly made parts, movement completely rebuilt and redesigned, bridges and cocks skeletonized, guilloché and engraved by hand, hand-guilloché blued platinum-coated base plate, polished and tempered screws, modified skeletonized gear wheel with crystal insert, crown and ratchet wheels coated with blued platinum.