In the time I have been writing for Luxurious Magazine I have had numerous conversions with owner/editor Paul Godbold. Normally these discussions are lengthy and relate to the topic of watches. As we both appreciate good design and craftsmanship we share a lot of common ground. Nevertheless classical timepieces seduce Paul whereas I gravitate towards bold contemporary models. This made things very interesting when we compiled our ten favourite watches of 2013. So far the feedback from the brands and readers has been very positive and on that basis I would love to collaborate again this year.
One of the companies we both really admire is Grieb & Benzinger, primarily because they produce exquisite watches. Our selection for the editorial was the phenomenal Grey Polaris. There are only a few watchmakers that have the dexterity and skill to produce skeleton watches of this calibre. The other brand that springs to mind is Armin Strom who also has a meticulous attention to detail.
In October 2013 I wrote an in depth article for Luxurious Magazine about Grieb & Benzinger’s Blue Sensation. This watch is an absolutely magnificent example of the company’s artistry. Recently marketing director George Bartowiak sent me a press release unveiling their new St George. This watch has been designed to commemorate the Olympic winter games in Sochi 2014. The St George is significantly smaller than the Blue Sensation measuring a diameter of 43mm. These modest dimensions suit the style of the watch and should appeal to serious collectors. I would also imagine that the timepiece would sit comfortably on the wrist. Ultimately this is down to the elegant case design and use of luxurious 18-karat white gold in production. Realistically a watch of this magnitude would only be worn for extra special occasions.
Like the Blue Sensation the visual appearance of the St George is absolutely magnificent. Overall the façade is very classical and is easily identifiable as a Grieb & Benzinger creation. The two-part dial is wonderful and gives the timepiece real depth. It also displays the hour, minute and second functions. I love the attention to detail especially the large aperture (positioned at 6 o’clock) which exposures all the brilliance of the mechanical movement. Other features include the stunning blue hand-guilloché background, stylish chapter ring delicate hour/minute hands and distinctive guilloche bezel. In my opinion the composition is highly accomplished and expertly finished.
Beneath the sophisticated exterior lies a modified Unitas ETA 6498 caliber. This hand wound movement comprises 17-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. Grieb & Benzinger have completely disassembled the mechanism to personalize to their specifications. Every component has been hand engraved and decorated to the highest standards. Functionally the St George features hours, minutes, small seconds and a power reserve of 45 hours.
The refined St George has a blue alligator strap with matching white gold folding clasp.
You can read more reviews by Steve Huyton on his website www.totalwatchreviews.com