Grieb & Benzinger are known for the mind-blowing masterpiece they create, based on the most lovely old pocket watch movements from Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Minerva chronographs and others.
The newest masterpiece from the “masters of skeletonized watches” is the Blue Whirlwind, an amazing skeletonized tourbillon minute repeater based a rare Patek Philippe caliber in a platinum case. A similar masterpiece (however in a steel case) was donated to Only Watch 2011 and auctioned for 1.4 million Euro!
Grieb & Benzinger found a rare Patek Philippe tourbillon minute repeater movement, caliber RTO 27 PS, and did their thing with it; fully skeletonized, guilloché and engraved by hand. Even gear wheels were embellished with guilloché and the 12 finely guilloché bridges and cocks coated with rhodium and rose gold. As if that were not enough, an additional mysterious wheel, visible on the back side, replaces the original gold drive wheel for the tourbillon.
After the skeletonization and guilloché, the base plate was coated with blue platinum, a signature element of every single unique Grieb & Benzinger piece that was created. The skeletonized sterling silver dial was embellished with a Breguet frosted finish, using the classic method, which is only presently practiced in this manner at Grieb & Benzinger. Furthermore they made the secretly hidden tourbillon visible through the dial. The entire work took 15 months, which was necessary to get all 336 individual components treated in the typical Grieb & Benzinger characteristics.
The solid platinum case measures 43 mm in diameter and is not only an incredibly handsome and beautifully complicated timepiece, but also an objet d’art for the wrist. This unique piece is available for US$ 850,000 or € 650.000 (before tax). Compared to what was paid for the Only Watch version in steel, this is a bargain. But everything is relative of course.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.