An extremely rare, unusual and attractive decorative one-of-a-kind wristwatch by Jochen Benzinger, an independent German craftsman of hand-guilloché, engraver and watchmaker. Made in 2022. stainless steel case, diameter 42 mm, crown at 2 o'clock, sapphire caseback. Two-piece sterling silver dial, dark blue lower part with hand-guilloché decoration, partially openworked to reveal the caliber, black PVD-coated upper part with chapter ring and small seconds indicator. Caliber Eta/Unitas 6498, manual winding, finely skeletonized with hand-guilloché decoration, power reserve up to 46 hours. Functions – display of time in hours and minutes, small seconds at 5 o’clock. Black leather strap, stainless steel triple folding clasp. Unique piece. 

Lot essay 

Jochen Benzinger of Pforzheim, Germany, is a well-known master of handcrafted guilloché decoration. He has been decorating dials and parts of calibers with this art for over 30 years. He usually complements guilloché with other crafts and arts, especially skeletonization of movements and dials, artistic freehand engraving and colored coatings. Around the year 2000, he began making watches that bear his name. He usually makes his watches as one-offs or in very small series, with much of the work done by hand. He not only releases watches under his own Benzinger brand, but has also participated and continues to participate in collaborative projects. These include the collection of the Grieb & Benzinger brand, perhaps the most notable of his collaborations, which was very active in communications from 2008 to 2016. Benzinger’s partners in this venture were Hermann Grieb, watchmaker and restorer of antique watches, and Georg Bartkowiak, manager and PR specialist. Another joint venture, the Jaeger & Benzinger brand, has existed since 2012 and was founded by Kay Jaeger, collector and consultant. It offers watches at a lower price than the Benzinger and Grieb & Benzinger brands. Jochen Benzinger is also known as the master who made the Zeitzeichen Edition by Benzinger series of engraved skeleton watches for Chronoswiss in the 2000s. 

The spectacular appearance enriched by the unusual mirrored design of the intricate hand-guilloched dial and skeletonized movement makes the present example even more attractive and valuable.

The best thing about the Benzinger brand is the concept of a boutique brand with a small production, with a high percentage of handwork and decorative finishes, as well as the possibility for the customer to contact the brand directly and also order customized watches. In recent years, Benzinger has launched a series of subscription watches – the Subscription collection. Here we can see the influence of Abraham-Louis Breguet, who was equally gifted as a watchmaker and businessman and practiced this way of selling watches from his workshop. If we talk about the style of the Benzinger collection, then the influence of Breguet should be considered significant here as well. In particular, in the Subscription ‘Blue Joy’, in addition to the Empire-style case, the ‘Pomme de Breguet’ hands, the chapter ring and the sub-dial of small seconds,  we should also mention the asymmetrical t structure of the dial: It’s typical of the esthetics of Abraham-Louis Breguet. 

The Subscription ‘Blue Joy’, with guilloché along concentric rings and a dial rotated 30 degrees counterclockwise, is one of the rarest and most unusual timepieces in the Benzinger collection. The geometric structure of the guilloché dial is mirrored in the spatial structure of the skeletonized caliber. The basic tone of the dial is then repeated in the blued and skeletonized winding wheels. This gives the watch a unique and unusual look, which undoubtedly distinguishes the present example in the brand’s collection. 

The movement of this watch is the Swiss-made Eta/Unitas caliber 6498 in a deluxe version with a screw balance wheel and an index with swan-neck flat spring and micrometric screw. Jochen Benzinger has always preferred to work with caliber 6498, which has proven its quality and reliability. Moreover, its large 36-mm diameter (it was originally developed as a pocket watch caliber) fits well with the modern trend towards large wristwatches. In the 42mm Subscription ‘Blue Joy’ it looks simply stunning. 

Reasons to bid 

The Benzinger Subscription ‘Blue Joy’ appears to be a fine purchase for the collector who chooses an extremely rare, unusual and attractive skeletonized wristwatch from a German independent watchmaker known as a master of hand guilloché, skeletonization and engraving. The spectacular appearance enriched by the unusual mirrored design of the intricate hand-guilloched dial and skeletonized movement makes the present example even more attractive and valuable. 

*Under the aegis of Maître Marco Breitenmoser, Huissier Judiciaire