Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Customized A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Merite Watch

Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Customized A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Merite Watch

Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Customized A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Merite Watch Watch Releases

There are certain things one simply doesn't do with valuable watches. Some of those things include underwater diving with a minute repeater and taking apart and modifying a limited edition early A. Lange & Sohne Tourbillon. However, if you must do the latter, it might as well be done tastefully, and by a fellow German company - which is precisely the situation with the one-of-a-kind Blue Merit watch by Grieb & Benzinger.

Typically the boys at Grieb & Benzinger make their luxury project watches out of historical movements such as a 100 year old Patek Philippe minute repeater or split second chronograph. For the Blue Merit they have endeavored to use a much more modern movement taken out of an A. Lange & Sohne Tourbillon Pour le Merite. So yes, a limited edition Tourbillon Pour le Merite watch from the mid 1990s was essentially sacrificed for this Benzinger-esque transformation. Was it worth it?

Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Customized A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Merite Watch Watch Releases
Before & After: A. Lange & Sohne Tourbillon Pour le Merite and Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit

Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Customized A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Merite Watch Watch Releases

A little history first. The modern A. Lange & Sohne brand as we know it returned to the world in 1994 after a several decade hiatus thanks to communism coming to the eastern part of Germany. The highest-end highlight of their debut collection was the limited edition Tourbillon Pour le Merite reference 701.005. Only 50 pieces were produced in platinum from about 1994 to 1998 and it had a price of about $110,000 when new. Lange is one of those few modern brands whose products can actually appreciate in value during the lifetime of the owner. So if you wanted to get a Tourbillon Pour le Merite today it would certainly cost you a lot more than $110,000.

Grieb & Benzinger got their hands on one or it was probably a client who gave them the Tourbillon Pour le Merite and ask them to have fun with it. The first thing they did was remove the Lange caliber L902.0 movement from the case and then proceeded to completely take it apart. While the original watch has a 38.5mm wide case in platinum, the Blue Merit uses a new case (also in platinum) that is 41mm wide - which is actually on the smaller side for Grieb & Benzinger timepieces.

Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Customized A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Merite Watch Watch Releases

What do you think?
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  • With those looks and price, it clearly is art and not a watch in the normal sense of the word. I like it but it about as obtainable as a Rembrandt for me. I like the original watch too, so both have appeal to me. While much nicer, the engraving looks like Chinese movement decoration –  but hand engraved rather than crudely machine stamped, ha ha.

  • Very nice, and tasteful, but just too much decoration for me. I’ve always like this lange, and looking at the before and after pictures it make the original watch look plain, which is certainly is not. Don’t do that to me anymore.

  • Dezianjo

    Lots of imperfections in the engravings. Charming to some maybe, but not for me. For that price I would expect flawless perfection.

  • Ulysses31

    It’s a stunning piece, perhaps a little too ornate for my tastes.  It’s all academic, not having half a million dollars worth of change stuck in my sofa.

  • DangerussArt

    Jesus jet skiing Christ! Yo, MTV pimp my watch. I adore the original, so this just looks tacky and overdone to me.

  • Fraser Petrick

    $530,000?
    Piffle.
     That’s lunch money for the likes of me.
     In the meantime I’ll have my people talk to their people to see if they have anything decent back at the shop. It’s so hard finding a good watch, nowadays.

  • Frauss

    Gilding a lilly comes to mind. Funny how now it looks more like a Breguet than a Lange. Quite jaw dropping.

  • joblow

    Dezianjo So, in the second photograph, the side by side comparison of the watches, I suppose there is a nick in the strap of the Grieb & Benzinger?

  • hautejalapeno

    Intricate and utterly pointless! Perhaps they could concentrate on making their own watches instead of destroying others.

  • kunokephalos

    Dezianjo  Amazingly, you are correct. Especially on the back, numerous small glitches in the engraving. How did that get past Quality Control…?

  • maggidan

    Please don’t judge while I go and cry.

  • hautejalapeno No to disagree, but when you get down to it, all watch decoration – Geneva stripes, beveling, blued screws (for the most part), gold rotors, etc. – is not necessary or functional. But hey, we like to admire purdy machinery. I will concede that this G&B piece is over the top and not to everyone’s taste. Cheers.

  • DG Cayse

    Stunning creation. This is truly masterwork before our eyes.
    It is a rare treat to see that something of this magnitude can be made with human hands.

  • DG Cayse

    A video of the creation and operation of this masterpiece:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1KjirKprNk

  • DG Cayse Not the same watch. But close enough! Thanks for the link.

  • Oelholm

    kunokephalos To me it looks like they are evoking a sort of crescent-shape. Looks perfectly fine.

  • MarkCarson A Faberge watch?

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  • IanE

    Sacrilege.

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