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With the BENZINGER “Pure”, I am testing one of two models from the Classic collection, which seems to be slightly turned counterclockwise. At least, that’s what the “Pure” suggests with its crown at 2 o’clock and the small seconds at 5 o’clock. What it’s all about, you can read in this watch review!
The more interesting Frosted Barley?
BENZINGER “Pure” and “Joy” are the names of the two models from Jochen Benzinger’s popular Classic collection, which stand out among the relatively dignified models by an unusual detail. They seem to be turned counterclockwise. Both the crown and the small seconds, two elements that are usually found strictly at 3 and 6 o’clock, respectively, have left their traditional places. You could say the watches have turned 30 degrees. And the time? It is still read as usual, since the indices remain unchanged.
Nevertheless, Jochen Benzinger’s “Pure” is not one of the technical modifications for which the exceptional watchmaker from Pforzheim is otherwise known. At least you could assume that, because the BENZINGER “Pure” seems to be a distant relative of the BENZINGER “Frosted Barley”, at least at first glance. The intriguing grain pattern, the typical “Breguet Frost” dial hue, and other similarities suggest as much.
And what else? The BENZINGER “Pure” comes up with many details and facets that make up the special charm of Jochen Benzinger’s masterful wristwatches. Which exactly these are, I want to find out in this watch review.
The first impression
“Pure” – you couldn’t have found a name that would better describe the design of this timepiece. Large, skeletonized surfaces were dispensed with this time. The cream-colored dial is completely closed and contains the foretaste of the artistic back this time. Thus, the BENZINGER “Pure” seems almost a little introverted, at least if you apply BENZINGER-typical standards.
Because even the purist model is by no means boring and inspires with an elaborately designed dial, where you definitely need some time to grasp the wealth of detail in its entirety. And if you thought this was already very unusual, you’ll be stunned when you see the case back. But more about that later. The choice of materials and workmanship feel – and this is no surprise – very high-quality. These are the advantages of real luxury watches, to which the BENZINGER “Pure” definitely belongs.
The BENZINGER “Pure” is worn with the usual black alligator leather strap, one of the many characteristics of BENZINGER watches. Interesting is the red stitching, which at least the model sent to me has.
The BENZINGER “Pure” on the wrist
I turn my attention to the buckle of the alligator leather strap and carefully remove the blue protective foil to finally put the piece on. On the wrist, it takes a moment to get used to not finding the crown and small seconds in the usual places. At the beginning, however, you still try to turn in forearm and elbow awkwardly, which is of course not necessary.
Like some of the other models of the Classic collection I tested so far, the BENZINGER “Pure” is a watch for the second glance. If you want to immediately stand out with your wristwatch at any price, you are wrong here. With its noble, restrained design, the purist luxury timepiece inspires above all its wearer. My tip, if you appreciate extroverted design: The sporty BENZINGER Subscription Black Orange or the BENZINGER Black Lizard, conspicuous by a dial made of lizard skin.
Since the case is not a special production, but is also used in the other BENZINGER watches, proud owners of a real BENZINGER already appreciate the diameter of 42 millimeters. This fits any wrist, whether slim or with a larger circumference. And: for this unique design, the size is perfect in my opinion.
The chocolate side of the BENZINGER “Pure”
Its case is the well-known flat “cylinder”, to describe the shape in a simplified way. The material used is the esteemed stainless steel produced in Pforzheim. The sides of the case are finely satin-finished. bezel and caseback are slightly beveled and protrude a bit. In contrast to the sides, the stainless steel was polished here, which results in a coherent and varied overall appearance. Nevertheless, it remains to be said that the stainless steel case is (deliberately) not the “star” of the BENZINGER “Pure”. The highlights can be found in other places.
For example, the case back. This consists mainly of a circular viewing window, which is so large only at BENZINGER. Like the flat crystal on the front, it is made of durable and scratch-resistant sapphire. Any alternative would also have been inappropriate for a watch from the luxury segment. Through the clear sapphire crystal, you have a good view of the chocolate side of the BENZINGER “Pure”. Simply impressive to look at the individual elements. I notice this again and again in my watch photography, where it is important to capture the smallest details. And there are quite a few…
Names and specifications can be found on the polished edge of the caseback. What can be said about the rest of the workmanship also applies to the hand engravings. It is second to none. No wonder: Jochen Benzinger’s talent and experience paired with loving hours of handwork are unique in the world.
The ETA-6498 after the apparent rebuild
BENZINGER likes to use the ETA-6498 hand-wound movement as the standard caliber for its unique pieces. In the case of the “Pure”, Jochen Benzinger literally left no stone unturned and optically modified the mechanical movement to meet the requirements of the BENZINGER “Pure”. However, the movement in the case was not rebuilt, as it is known from the subscriptions, but only turned in the case, so that the large smalls second has moved to 5 o’clock and the onion crown to 2 o’clock. A built-in gooseneck fine adjustment ensures that you can set the rate of the watch in very fine increments.
Looking at the back, there are more refinements to discover. Gears and movement bridges are hand-guilloched and skeletonized, allowing you to see right down to the mainplate. This gives the back a unique plasticity and depth. The rhodium plated main plate impresses with rose gold plated movement parts. If desired, the screw balance can also be gold-plated.
Puristic: the dial
The dial is defined by the many circular elements. There is the matte polished hour index ring with Roman numerals, the minute scale on the rhombus, the index ring of the small seconds and the polished bezel. As you would expect from BENZINGER, the dial is made of sterling silver. It stands out with its organic-looking grain guilloche in the “Breguet Frost” hue, which is only replaced by a wave guilloche within the small seconds. Directly below 12 o’clock, the brand name BENZINGER is emblazoned in serif letters. Color accents are set by the flame-blued steel hands, which also bear the classic “Breguet” look.
The fact that values such as functionality and optimal readability take a back seat with the BENZINGER “Pure” should come as no surprise to anyone. In any case, we are not dealing with a practical sports watch here. Rather a real work of art!
The noble alligator leather strap is hand-sewn and feels accordingly high-quality. A stainless steel buckle guarantees a secure fit. The wearing comfort during my test days was a dream. This is mainly thanks to the inside, whose beige leather is very soft.
My conclusion about the BENZINGER “Pure“
Classic, dignified design meets creative, unusual “conversion”. This is how you could describe the BENZINGER “Pure” in one sentence, even though just one sentence certainly doesn’t do justice to the many highlights the “Pure” has to offer. These are mainly found in the hand-guilloched and skeletonized movement, but also in the offset crown and the small second. Packaged in a calm, sometimes slightly playful “Breguet-Frost” garb, the BENZINGER “Pure” is exactly the right watch for those who are looking for an exceptional, yet classic luxury watch.
The term luxury also applies precisely to the choice of materials and their processing. This is handwork in its perfection. Cost: 8,200 euros, a price range in which the other Classic models are also located. As always, special customer requests are included at extra cost. Thus, the most puristic BENZINGER becomes a very individual wristwatch.
More about BENZINGER and the “Pure”.
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Interview with Jochen Benzinger