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The BENZINGER time machine “Coat of Arms” is an exclusively manufactured unique piece. In this review, you can find out what Jochen Benzinger has created in cooperation with the Stuttgart-based research company Pro Heraldica. But with a masterpiece like this, is there anything left to test? Let’s take a closer look at this piece of jewelry…
A unique piece with an individual coat of arms
The BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” is the prime example to illustrate the cooperation of the Pforzheim watchmaker Jochen Benzinger with Pro Heraldica. The Stuttgart-based research company does genealogical research on behalf of clients. For this purpose, Pro Heraldica compiles family chronicles and family trees. Based on the research, the company then designs a family coat of arms. The customers are the interface between BENZINGER and Pro Heraldica. Those who are willing to invest in their own genealogical research and then have a coat of arms created may also be interested in having this crest implemented in a luxurious wristwatch.
In the past, Jochen Benzinger has already put into effect several wishes of Pro Heraldica customers in his artistic timepieces. Whether on the dial, in a skeleton watch or on the rotor – there are practically no limits to creativity here. If you already have your own family crest and are interested in such a project, you can also contact Jochen Benzinger directly. For this reason, I cannot give you a sales price for the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms”. Because the development of the coat of arms and the construction of a unique watch that bears the coat of arms are two different things. So anyone who does not yet have their own family coat of arms but is interested in a wristwatch with it should contact Pro Heraldica.
In general, the unique “Coat of Arms” is based on the BENZINGER Time Machine. The basic model in stainless steel costs 9,900 euros and is part of the “Classic” models. This collection also includes the BENZINGER Frosted Barley, which I have already tested for you. I am curious to see what Jochen Benzinger has created this time…
The first impression
The BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” is the epitome of classic luxury. With a platinum case(!), a sterling silver dial with a grain pattern and three separate totalizers, as well as a black, hand-stitched alligator leather strap, you can see the watch’s exclusivity at first glance. The timepiece, made with forgotten craftsmanship, bears the unmistakable signature of Jochen Benzinger.
The fact that the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” is unique only becomes apparent when you turn the watch and look at the back. Here, the green family coat of arms is emblazoned on the rotor. It is visible through the typical BENZINGER sapphire glass window, which allows a view tothe hand-skeletonized and guillochéed movement in every watch from the Pforzheim company. First of all, however, I would like to find out how the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” looks on the wrist.
The BENZINGER Time machine “Coat of Arms” on the wrist
With its diameter of 42 millimeters, the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” keeps the golden mean in a size comparison among men’s watches and thus fits on every wrist. The rather high construction of the case is striking.
Whoever wears the Time Machine “Coat of Arms” (or other watches from Jochen Benzinger’s workshop) underlines a special awareness of old craftsmanship, exclusivity and taste. Despite the increased popularity of the watchmaker in the meantime, a BENZINGER watch is still quite rare to be seen on the wrist compared to a luxury watch “off the rack” and is a real eye-catcher for that reason alone. The coat of arms on the rotor, on the other hand, is more of an intimate detail that you yourself will enjoy above all when wearing the watch.
Precious case materials
After having tested six BENZINGER watches so far, I was rather surprised when I took a closer look at the case. It differs fundamentally in several points from what I have seen so far. Firstly, there is the more complex shape. It is still circular and cylindrical, although the bezel and case back are now heavily beveled. In addition, Pt 950 platinum was used in the Pforzheim production. This is once again significantly more valuable than the usual stainless steel. The partly satin-finished and partly polished surfaces give the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” a noble and at the same time dynamic appearance.
To protect the inner workings and the dial, the time machine “Coat of Arms” naturally has sapphire glass on both sides, which is considered the hardest and best watch glass. It has no curvature and thus does not make the watch look even more voluminous.
Another new feature for me personally are the two pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock. In my opinion, the haptic feeling when pressing them is first-class and cannot be surpassed. The onion crown in between is rather flat and fluted. This makes it easier to operate in everyday life, even if you rarely have to use the crown.
The movement of the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms”
The crown is used to separately wind the hour and minute displays at 4 o’clock and the minute counter at 12 o’clock. This rather unconventional arrangement of the dials with a high recognition value is only made possible by a complex, in-house modification of the movement. A 7750 Valjoux chronograph movement serves as the basic calibre here.
The individual, artistically designed details of the hand-guillochéed and hand-skeletonized automatic movement with flame-blued screws are particularly visible in my watch photography. The main plate is also hand-skeletonized and hand-guilloched and coated with rhodium.
For me, however, the highlight of the back is the family crest, whose presence takes up most of the viewing window. The rotor on which it is located was newly built by BENZINGER. 18-ct white gold was used for this. It underlines the claim of the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” to be a luxury watch. The coloring in the coat of arms itself is done with hand-applied Japanese lacquer (here in green and grey).
A dial with an unusual arrangement
The dial stands in contrast to the lively back. It comes across as calm and unagitated, with a slightly playful grain pattern. According to BENZINGER, the production in the case of the Time Machine “Coat of Arms” was much more elaborate, as the dial is not made in two parts as usual, but in one piece. This means that every cut has to be interrupted and restarted at every sector. The dial is made of sterling silver with the original “Breguet Frost” design.
A little unusual at first, but very interesting, is the three-part arrangement of the dial. Hour and minute are shifted towards 4 o’clock. A 30-minute counter is located at 12 o’clock, the seconds have moved to 9 o’clock. Flame-blued steel hands indicate the time. The ubiquitous grain pattern between the dials is replaced by a wave guilloche within them.
I am enthusiastic about the idea and the realization at this point, too. Not much more can be added.
Luxurious comfort with the wristband
Let’s finally talk about the bracelet, which once again does not disappoint me. The hand-sewn alligator leather strap is black on the top, beige on the bottom and very soft. The promising impression was confirmed during my test days. On the wrist, the strap of the BENZINGER time machine “Coat of Arms” is pleasant. That is pure wearing comfort! The leather engravings on the inside form the lettering of the partner Pro Heraldica.
The strap is rounded off by a handmade pin buckle made of the same Pt 950 platinum that was used for the case.
My conclusion on the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms”
Anyone can buy a luxury watch from a well-known brand. But only a few wear a masterpiece made with old craftsmanship on their wrist. And if it is a wristwatch with your own family coat of arms, you are the proud owner of a unique piece. In my opinion, this is what makes it most attractive to have a unique piece like the Time Machine “Coat of Arms” made by Jochen Benzinger. A watch made with attention to detail usually becomes a special family heirloom. It is timeless, survives generations and has a priceless sentimental value for the family members. In any case, I could not name a company that produces similarly good luxury watches according to individual wishes.
Actually, the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” can hardly be ‘rated’ in this way. The watch is a true masterpiece through and through. Its uniqueness makes comparison with other watches impossible. My conclusion would therefore have to be: out of competition. Because the BENZINGER Time Machine “Coat of Arms” is way ahead of it.