September 11, 2009
by Ariel Adams
When I think of Food Network Chef Mario Batali, I think “big and orange,” which is a lot like the special Ernst Benz Mario Batali watches. I also keep hearing him scream “Parmigiano Reggiano” in my head. Hence the blocks of Parmesan cheese. See, it all goes to together. Haven’t watched an episode of Molto Mario in a while to be aware of whether he brandishes the watch during the show, but I do know that Mr. Batali wears an Ernst Benz watch (with his namesake on it) about town much of the time. I’ve known about the orange themed watches for a while, but it wasn’t until June when I got to check them out (picture above of me wearing the watch) that I thought much about them. While I don’t need a butter laden Italian food themed watch in my life, you can just pretend that it is a good black and orange watch. Suddenly you have like a Halloween theme and the watch is cool again. The watches are pretty nice actually, and they make a good case for themselves being connected with a Charity. Best I can see (depeneding on where you buy the watch) a significant amount of the purchase price goes to charity. About a quarter of the retail purchase value. From what I can tell, about $600 – $1000 will be donated to the New York or San Francisco Food Bank.
There are three versions of the Mario Batali limited edition Ernst Benz Chronoscope watches. Aside from the special colors and caseback, the watches are the same Chronoscope watches that Ernst Benz typically offers. There are three sizes of the watch. Two chronograph models which are 40mm or 47mm wide and a smaller 36mm three-hand ladies watch (I assume it is for the ladies being that size). The chronograph models each have automatic ETA Valjoux 7750 movements, while the three-hand model has some ETA automatic. Not sure of which movement specifically. Each watch is limited to 250 pieces, and I believe there are some still available as the watches trickled out of Ernst Benz starting about two years ago.
Like all Chronoscope watches, the timepieces are nicely made and usually in limited numbers. Ernst Benz just doesn’t make that many watches each year. You can see the nice concentric circles making a pattern on the dial of the watch, while the hour markers are applied and filled with lume. The hands have that classic aviator feel to them and are easy to read. The case of the watches enjoy a high level of polish. While sporty in heritage, Ernst Benz watches are made to be shown off to appreciative audiences. They make a nice splash and have the appeal of any easy to use instrument. The watches come with either an orange alligator strap or a black alligator strap with orange stitching. Prices for the Mario Batali Limited Edition watches ranges from $2,500 – $4,500 (with a hefty sum of that going to charity). Learn more about these limited edition Mario Batali watches at Ernst Benz here.
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