This amazing new Grieb & Benzinger is based on a gorgeous base movement originally made by Patek Philippe for Tiffany in about 1890. With a diameter of only 36.5 mm, this tremendous assembly of complications including a minute repeater and a split-seconds chronograph is rare in such a small movement. Keeping in mind that this movement is already about 120 years old, it is doubtlessly a sensation and tribute to historic watchmaking.
This extraordinary, complicated watch well displays the intense workmanship associated with the hand-engraving and guilloché as well as the hand-skeletonization modifications of plates and bridges which are also finished with rose gold or rhodium coating. Every single component must be treated and restored, some had to be entirely replaced and, of course, they all had to be reassembled to form one functional unit after treatment.
The detailed restoration of the more than 400 components of this movement required intense attention and took more than 6 months. Taken comparison to the production of new movements, the treatment in the Grieb & Benzinger workshops is so intensive that it comes even close to a brand new production than just a restoration. And in fact it is not just restoration – it`s art at its finest.
A signature element of every single Grieb & Benzinger Platinum is the blue platinum coated base plate. This is to honor famous Abraham-Louis Breguet student Charles Oudin who has already built movements with blue base plates about 1820. The Grieb & Benzinger workshop is proud to own one of these rare original blue Oudin movements. Since there were a striking amount of timepieces with blue base plates supplied by Swiss watch manufacturers (through Bovet and Charles Oudin among others) to imperial China of the Qing Dynasty under Emperors Jia Qing and Dao Guang, the Blue Danube also symbolizes these historical roots.
The dial is another highlight and signature element of the Blue Danube. Skeletonized by hand and with a rare Breguet frosted finish it unequivocally shows the connoisseur the technical prowess needed to turn such an historic movement into a new masterpiece.