The last time we looked at a model from Ernst Benz, we had a piece that wanted to help you keep track of the time as you traveled around the world (presumably by plane). Today, we’ve got a model to show you that hearkens back to airplane instrumentation that Mr. Benz designed back in the 60s and 70s.
The specific model we were sent for review is ref. Gc10171n-CF, which is indicative of the carbon fiber dial and orange hands/indices in use (and yes! even the day/date is color matched). The other options you have would be to opt for white (instead of orange), or a matte black dial instead of CF.
Regardless of the dial options you select, it will be housed in their signature size 47mm case. The case itself is a very nicely finished PVD on top of stainless steel, and features a double o-ring sealed crown (contributing to the 50m water resistance rating), chronograph pushers and a domed, AR-coated sapphire crystal.
This is all wrapped around a Valjoux 7750 automatic movement (complete with incabloc shock protection and Nivarox hairspring); you can read up more on the movement here. This allows for accurate and reliable time keeping, as well as timing. The timing aspect, in terms of dial layout, is what I really liked about this dial.
Of course, you have the expected layout with day/date at 3 o’clock, and three sub-dials for displaying the necessary information. What I really like that EB has done here is with the sub-dial at 9 o’clock. Rather than encircling it, as they did with the other two, it’s just a simple set of indices, numbers, and the hand. This allows it to blend into the dial more, and gives the whole face of the watch a balance feel.
Of course, this is all on a CF dial. While I wouldn’t want CF for every dial in my own personal collection, I do think it adds some nice visual interest. This is primarily due to the weave, of course. When you take a closer look is where it really stands out. I know I’ve said this before (and will probably say it again), but it does appear that any numbers and indices on a CF dial look to be floating. A visual trick, sure, but still a neat one.
The was one other cool trick with this sample – the included strap. EB installed their Aviator Rubber Touch strap before sending it over. The strap is made from leather that is sourced and tanned in Italy; this process gives it an almost rubber-like touch, and increases the water resistance.
In wear, this was a very nice strap. Comfortable, and a more matte finish to complement the case. I also appreciated the fact that, unlike a rubber (or silicone) strap, this didn’t pick up and show any lint – meaning it kept it’s clean appearances. And, per EB, the strap should age and patina nicely (unfortunately, I’m not able to test that out).
While their other stock straps are nice, this is the one I’d recommend you’d get, if you can – if you’re headed to pick up this watch, that is. MSRP is right at the $6,150 mark, and you’ll need to find an authorized retailer somewhere in your neck of the woods. It’s a bit (ok, quite a bit) outside of my own watch budget, but it’s definitely a well-constructed and designed piece worth your attention, if it is in your price range.
If you’d like to check out what else they have on offer, you can view their entire collection, they have a pdf online (the Chronoscope can be found on page eight.) While you’re perusing it, let us know in the comments what other EB pieces you’d like to see us review.