Offering a nature-inspired escape from the urban jungle, this young brand is making strides with its creative use of stones in its timepieces.
We always appreciate when something unique comes across our desks here at Europa Star. This time it came courtesy of Alex Benlo, a young brand that splits its time between the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Hong-Kong. In fact, it was in Hong Kong in July 2015 that the brand was officially launched.
The brand is inspired by our relationship with the Earth, and nature takes the center stage here. The creative family operation is the work of Eric Loth, who together with the help of his is children, is producing some very unique Swiss-made timepieces.
More precisely, various natural minerals are reinterpreted in watchmaking form, coming to life on the dials of each Alex Benlo timepiece. Thanks to the family’s vast knowledge of ornamental stones, their collections are all well executed, and as we might expect, bursting with colour.
Among their offerings, I was first drawn to the Jade Collection. The watch is meant to bring a sense of well-being to both men and women wearers, with the dial meant to evoke feelings of serenity.
The gents’ model features a 40mm steel case with a beautifully hand carved Jade dial. The 388-piece limited edition is not only stunning, and it will also perform well enough thanks to the Sellita automatic SW300 movement inside.
A smaller 32mm ladies’ version is also available, which is also a limited edition driven by a Ronda quartz movement. Both models are water-resistant to 3 ATM.
The Tiger’s Eye Collection is equally impressive, capturing a feline allure thanks to the natural tiger eye stone that has been used to craft each dial. The unique pattern on each watch ensures that no two watches are alike. The stone is also meant to protect business and travellers, as well as to keep evil spirits away.
I can’t exactly be sure of what the watches are keeping away, but I do know that the watches are bringing in: Martina Hingis. That’s right, the Swiss tennis legend signed on to be the brand ambassador last year – which is a big accomplishment for such a young company.
As for the nuts and bolts, the specs of the Tiger’s Eye Collection are the same as the Jade Collection: a 40mm men’s case with an automatic mechanical movement, and a 32mm ladies’ quartz.
With a solid mix comprising of a positive message, unique craftsmanship, and good mechanical performance underpinning it all, it’s no surprise that Alex Benlo has achieved a lot in a short period of time. Expect more from this brand in the years to come.