Flash News: Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit
By Thierry Ané on May 6, 2014
For many watch connoisseurs, A. Lange & Söhne ranks among the most impressive watch brands on the market when it comes to high-end Haute Horology and the brand’s “Pour Le Mérite” timepieces certainly represent the pinnacle of this revered art.
One timepiece in particular, the Tourbillon Pour le Merite, is particularly sought-after by collectors that praise its incredible complexity and outstanding craftsmanship.
To mark the 20th anniversary of A. Lange & Söhne’s rebirth in 1994 after almost 50 years of slumber caused by Germany’s historical division, Grieb & Benziger introduces a one-of-a-kind timepiece built from one of A. Lange & Söhne’s legendary Tourbillon Pour le Merite.
Featuring the brand’s highly distinctive round case with a Guilloché bezel, the new 41 mm Blue Merit is made of platinum and showcases an onion-shaped crown. It is mounted on an alligator strap secured with a platinum pin buckle.
This elegant frame thus houses the outstanding manually-wound Lange L072.1 calibre entirely developed and produced by A. Lange & Söhne. Thanks to the skills of Grieb & Benziger’s talented artisans, it has undergone a complete skeletonization to comply with this brand’s aesthetic codes.
Disassembled, skeletonized and adjusted, and then reassembled, the movement looks nothing like its original self. Every single cock and bridge was skeletonized by hand and coated with rhodium or rose gold. Nicely hand-guilloché as well, the base plate received Grieb & Benziger’s signature blue platinum coating. The skeletonized silver dial was embellished with a rare Breguet frosted finish and paired with rose gold-coated Breguet hands. An additional bridge had to be created due to the skeleton works and the modified layout compared to the original A. Lange & Söhne model.
The watch is perfectly in line with the aesthetic codes that have made the success of Grieb & Benziger and there is no denying the amazing know-how that went into creating this stunning piece. I just absolutely don’t get the connection between A. Lange & Söhne, its 20th re-launch anniversary and Grieb & Benziger! I am aware that for their “Platinum” collection, they used prestigious movements made for instance by Patek Philippe, but it somehow seems to take advantage of another brand's image. Anyway, twelve months in the making, the Blue Merit retails for US$ 530,000 or EUR 385,000 and will guarantee one lucky collector to own a very exclusive timepiece.