I’ve featured a variety of watches on these pages that have made use of “recycled” vintage watch movements, breathing new life into something that would otherwise be destined for the back of a drawer or the smelting pot. Many of these are placed into competent, modern watches, hidden away under a dial. With the Grieb & Benzinger “Shades of Grey” (yes, probably riffing on that book title) lineup puts those restored movements front and center.
The most prominent display of the movement is in the the skeleton model, as there is no dial. What’s really cool about these is the fact that, whatever these old movements started life as, they’re meticulously skeletonized and decorated by hand (under microscopes, no less!). This means that not only is the movement resurrected, it’s probably looking a lot better than it did originally.
Of course, not everyone is in love with a skeleton watch. For that crowd, Grieb & Benzinger puts their rose engine machines to work, creating (once again, by hand) guilloche dials that simply are difficult to make, and artistic in their own right. (If you’d like to see how these are made, check out this video showing RGM’s process).
The cases that house these creations are made of an 18k white gold that’s mixed with palladium, giving it a greyish cast. This then complements the grey of the movements (or dial) which have steel, titanium, or white gold bits in them. It takes what could be a very boring watch (it is all grey, after all) and turns it into something that’s a monochromatic piece of hand-made art for your wrist.