Want a good watch that will satisfy you like chicken soup for the watch lover’s soul and also give your fashion lover friend a hard-on like a pair of high-end designer jeans does? Look no further than a limited edition Ernst Benz John Varvatos Chronoscope limited edition timepiece. I previously wrote about these timepieces here. Available in a few style and released maybe a year or two ago – the collection is a joint effort between the famous clothes brands and Swiss watch maker Ernst Benz. And when I say joint effort, I really mean it. John personally spent a lot of time designing the watch. Edicting everything from the hands, to the colors, to the square chronograph pushers, to the colors. The notoriously design sensitive man who studied under Mr. Ralph Lauren likes Ernst Benz so much, John Varvatos boutiques are actually authorized dealers of Ernst Benz timepieces.
Go into one of the stores and you’ll see a couple of Ernst Benz pieces in each. The star of the show are his limited edition pieces. Designed by him, with his name on the dials sharing space with Ernst Benz. The first thing you will notice is the post WWII vintage looks and the Gothic looking hour and minute hands. Carefully look at the details compared to other Chronoscope pieces and the differences become apparent. I love the gentle gradient on the dial, use of alternative colors of lume, and those kick ass hands. Ernst Benz hates short hands as much as I do. So the large 47mm wide case has hands that perfectly fit the dial – just one of many little details attended to given that Ernst Benz is owned and operated by a second generation watch maker.
There are a few versions of this fashion beast. Seen here are two dials types. In a grayish dial with dark gray lume coated hands and hour markers, as well as a tan and silver dial version. Each is limited to 250 pieces, and John Varvatos is designing/adding new models all the time. Each watch is fitted with a special strap – usually alligator or crocodile. The strap buckles are even signed “John Varvatos” for these special models. The case is brushed, though the bezel is sharply slanted in a mirror polish. Retro notes are throughout, from the chronograph pushers to the colors on the dials. Aside from a few elements like the movement, much of this limited edition watch is different than the standard Chronoscope model. Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement with a custom Ernst Benz logo in black. While the case is large at 47mm wide, it does fit comfortably.
While not aimed at the ultra elite watch lover who drinks morning coffee while reading the technical specs of their newest mechanical watch movement, Ernst Benz makes a very competent timepieces that is unfortunately sometimes elusive in appeal until you get your hands on one. With about 4000-5000 watches a year, the brand isn’t unattainable, but certainly not pedestrian – much like John Varvatos. These special limited edition models for the fashion designer are available exclusively at his boutique stores (where you can get other Ernst Benz pieces as well). Price is about $6,800.