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Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Earlier this year, Ariel and I set off to attend the Couture Watch Show, held at the Casino Wynn in Las Vegas, and it was here that I had the chance to meet Leonid Khankin, CEO of Ernst Benz and also to go hands-on with some of the brand’s limited edition watches. From the wide variety of watches that the brand had on display, it was a bold, bright blue dialed watch – specifically, the Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport or “Chronosport” – that caught my attention. So coming up now is a selection of hands-on images and a personal take on this vibrant limited edition.

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At 47 millimeters wide, the Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport is a hefty watch, although it is also available in a 44mm wide version with a black DLC case. The combination of “normal” steel and the blue dial did make this version stand out the most, so for now, momentarily, I ended up scrutinizing the larger version. Altogether, there are four versions that exist in this collection, with the key differences being the color of the indices painted on the baby blue dials: they can either be black, or orange with a black outline; while three out of the four watches have been black DLC coated.

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As noted, the 47mm wide stainless steel case, to which the brand refers to as The Great Circle, lives up to its name – certainly more fitting for someone with larger wrists than mine, at 6.75″. The case is all brushed, including the bezel, the lugs and the side, which further enhances the already highly masculine size and overall design – baby blue dial, arguably, notwithstanding. Despite the massive size, the watch looks “light” and proportionate, thanks to the amply sized hands and indices.

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The popping light blue base color of the dial really is highly unusual – it was my first encounter with a watch that featured this color – and yet it looks cool in the metal, without appearing to be trying too hard. For fans of historical motor racing, the color scheme may be familiar: Ernst Benz notes that the inspiration is coming from that industry, certainly referring to the famous Gulf painted Porsche 917K and others. This color palette of course may not be for everyone, but it sure is a nice design element that takes a few steps away from the traditional white, silver or black colored faces. In fact, this color is the centerpiece of this release that makes it special – and also what made me pick this one up from a box of at least a dozen other pieces.

Another unusual detail is that the dial has the unique number of the watch in the limited edition, a nice detail that implies not only the case but the dial also are uniquely treated in a limited production run. More imminently apparent is the combination of bright yellow lumed indices and hands, which offer a high contrast and good legibility – with that added fun element which, again, may not work for everyone.

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I, however, can’t help but like the cheerful blue dial, and while I have never been a fan of the so-called “poire squelette” styled hands, here they work rather well with the indices and the overall style of the Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport, lending it a field watch inspired flair. There actually are two different hues of yellow on the dial, with the “Limited Edition” script and the seconds hand standing out, being more “orange” than the other elements. The wide, circular dial and its color scheme is put into contrast by the dark brown and orange leather strap, made from wide and thick pieces of alligator leather that will hold the rather heavy watch safely in place.

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement inside is the ETA 2836-2 which, beyond the three-hand layout, offers day and date indications – although it is at times like these when one wonders how the face of the watch would look with a solid dial without any apertures. Unsurprisingly, the wide case offers plenty of real estate for a full sapphire caseback that provides a comprehensive view of the movement that is the basic, workhorse ETA movement dressed up with a customized rotor. It runs at 4 Hertz and offers 40 hours power reserve, which are, again, typical ETA specs.

Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport is water resistant to 50 meters, and here, I wish it packed a bit more of a punch – the AR-coated sapphire crystal, the large brushed case and the overall field-watch atmosphere would be nicely complemented by a 100 meter water resistance rating, although the alligator strap surely is not made for diving or swimming. Despite this minor shortcoming, the Chronoracer Sport is unmistakably Ernst Benz – and such consistency is always impressive when coming from a smaller, independent brand – as it is bold, masculine, and is not without a little twist that renders it more exciting.

The Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport (Chronosport) Limited Edition is a numbered production run of 50 pieces and in this configuration, with the brushed steel case and alligator strap is priced at $3,725. ernstbenz.com

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  • Display back for pedestrian, undecorated movement? Date windows so near center axis because of the tiny movement and enormity of the case? “Limited Edition” and numbering on dial?
    This is an exercise in buffoonery.

  • MEH

  • SarthakSharma

    Why would I get this over a Nomos that has an in house movement and much better finishing? If this cost maybe 1k less, it would be a better value proposition. As it stands….pass.

  • thornwood36

    What a fantastic , well put together fun piece, Now just give me 4K so i can wrap it round my wrist. .

  • Chaz_Hen I agree that the 47m case is too large for this movement’s day/date display. Plus it makes the watch wear huge – cantilever lugs out into space! I wish they have included photos of the 44mm version. While I like the clean dial and hands typical of EB watches, this color scheme is a bit too 60s for me. And pricey for what it is.

  • captaina16

    Maybe I am a simple old fool but the blue color sells me. I have not been impressed by this companies watches in the past, but this color combo appeals to me. I can forgive all the minor foilbles except the price. About $1700 and I would be tempted by a 44mm plain steel with the blue, orange and yellow trio of colors.

  • Time2Go

    Not a fan of this particular color scheme (though I really appreciate the fact that they did something different), but I find the overall design fun and attractive. A 44mm with some different colors would be well worth a closer look.

  • AK74

    If this was under $2K, I’d seriously consider it. I like the color scheme

  • egznyc

    MarkCarson Chaz_Hen No question about it, 47mm is too large for my wrist — I’d feel as though I was wearing a beverage coaster — but a 40-42mm version would be quite nice.  Particularly without the day window (sure, keep the date; that might actually be useful to me), which dominates the dial more than it has any right to do.  I really do like the color scheme, 60s and all, as it just seems so joyful!  I’m not one to look for really wild, crazy color schemes, but I could see myself wearing something like this … if it weren’t for the nearly $4K price tag.

  • 5803822

    Engine looks a bit underpowered considering the hefty bodywork, but overall for those that can take the size it’s an attractive proposition. – a slight hint of the Graham look?

  • DG Cayse

    MarkCarson Chaz_Hen Pictures?
    Something along this line perhaps?
    http://ernstbenz.com/index.php/collection/detail/sport/40mm/

  • DG Cayse

    I like this offering –  the blue (and other colored dial) set off with the high contrast hands is nice.
    BUT, this 47mm size is ridiculous.
    The wrist pics look silly. Reminds me of the foolish look of skinny people trying to wear a large Panerai.
    Also, the 50m WR is simply passe’ in this day and age.
    And the price? Nice try – some ‘buffoon’ might well pay that; and people will snicker at him if not laugh out loud.

    “A fool and his money…” kind of thing.

  • DG Cayse MarkCarson Chaz_Hen Thanks. Still would be nice to see a wrist shot of one of these baby blue pieces in the smaller size.

  • Sorry, but the ’69 GT40 is the only car to ever properly wear the Gulf livery. Russ, I love your work on that car, but I won;t link your pictures to avoid you slapping my peepee over it. 

    Anyway, the watch looks very nice, i would have no issue with wearing a watch in that colourway. I would have an issue with paying this much for this watch, but I don’t assume that gives me the right to call anyone that would a buffoon or a fool. I’m not that high and mighty.

  • Fraser Petrick

    The Ernst Benz has always caught my eye. Think I prefer the green over the sky blue. And if I were picky, I’m not sure about the Arabian Nights hour hand; though the minute hand is perfect with its pointy end touching the minute markers.
    EB, definitely on my wish list, Santa (who is Canadian, not Danish).

  • Time2Go

    DG Cayse MarkCarson Chaz_Hen Lots of interesting color combos in the 40mm size. Really appreciate that! Great readability and contrast on all of them. I think I’m officially a fan of this line now…

  • Brian Genoble

    Nice watch but $3700… That’s half of a good used rice rocket

  • Randi Ruppersberger

    I want one for Christmas

  • Ron Growe

    NIIIICE