Watchuseek Blog

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chronoswiss and Jochen Benzinger Zeitzeichen Watches: Beautiful German Art

With splendid grace a new collection of timepiece from Chronoswiss and Jochen Benzinger combined, fully realizes the beauty potential of guilloche and hand engraving. These are the new Zeithzeichen watches, with three models and strictly limited numbers. The often admired art of dial movement engraving is easy to come by these days, but true masterwork is often reserved for the larger manufacture houses who can dedicate whole departments to such styles of decoration. Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and others each have models with engraved decorations, but they often choose between hand engraving or machine engraving (which in a sense is also done by hand as they are manually operated). For this reason I am so pleased to see that this line of watches actually uses both styles of decoration combined together for stunning results.

I've mentioned this in the past, but continue to be amused at the ironic name of Chronoswiss, as it has "Swiss" in the name, yet is a German watch brand. They have worked together (no doubt not for the first time) with the work shops of Jochen Benzinger - also in Germany - for the Zeitzeichen watch line. There are many models in the Zeitzeichen collection (limited to 33 pieces total) while the pictured watches are the CH 6721ZWV "V"(fully skeletonized floral design), the CH 6721ZWVI"VI" (retains some of the dial with floral designs on exposed areas), and the CH 6721ZWVII"VII" (fully skeletonized with dragon and stars decoration. Not only is each beautiful, but they showcase the roles that such styles of decoration can take in a luxury timepiece. For example, the Zeitzeichen epitomizes the results of a fully skeletonized watch using abstract decoration (typically floral or arabesque) designs cutting away as much of the movement as possible, while the Zeithzeichen VI retains a chapter ring with hour and minute markers that is itself guilloche engraved as well a ring for the subsidiary seconds dial. Here the functional elements of the watch are preserved while all unnecessary areas are reserved for engraving and movement visibility. Lastly there is the Zeitzeichen VII that presented a different execution of the theme. It uses movement engraving to illustrate a distinct scene or object. Here, it take the form of an Oriental style dragon again a backdrop of further decorated components much of which are in blued steel, some of which is coated with blued platinum. Other types of decoration include polishing and finishing such as the perlage polish which has been applied.The machines that Benzinger uses for such decoration are either highly maintained antiques, or specially made by their workshop. The base movements used for decoration are ETA 6498-1's that are modified and use material such as blue steel or platinum coated steel. The dials, if there are any are in sterling silver. The watches comes in 44mm wide cases that are in either 18k red or white gold, and diamond bezel decoration is also available. The watch case is standard Chronoswiss in design with straight lugs and the "onion" crown.

Each version of the limited edition of 33 pieces Zeithzeichen watches have the elaborate decorated movement, while some have more "complete" dials allowing for a more classic look. While a fully skeletonized dial is beautiful, it is not always easy to read. The collection is beautiful and a testament not only to German watch making, but the incredible results that can be achieved from guilloche machine and hand-done engraved decoration. Chronoswiss is a master of classically styled timepieces, while Benzinger is the clear champion of this type of decoration.

By Ariel Adams

Watchuseek supports Only Watch '09

Watchuseek is proud to support Only Watch '09.

Under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, 34 of the most prestigious high watchmaking brands have donated unique timepieces to the Association Monégasque contre le Myopathie, to be sold at auction by Patrizzi & Co. All the proceeds of the sale go to support research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Related link: Only Watch '09

New kid on the Blo(g)ck: PRAESTO

There's a new kid on the Blo(g)ck: PRAESTO.

"Praesto takes great pleasure to offer premium quality timepieces at affordable prices to the watch community. We aim to be a brandname for watch collectors seeking something different. Dedicated to fusing the values of traditional watchmaking with contemporary design, Praesto will consistently deliver high quality timepieces with unique style and personality." "If you are looking for a superior, affordable timepiece, Praesto is it. Currently, we are offering our very first model, Modern Fliegeruhr – Aviator"

- 316L stainless steel case, beadblasted, 44mm (excluding lugs)
- Japanese automatic movt, Miyota 8245, small second at "5"
- Scratch resistant sapphire crystal with AR coating underside
- SuperLuminova on the dial and hands
- Screw-down crown
- Engraved and serialized caseback
- Genuine leather strap
- 20 ATM

Limited Edition: 300 pieces

WIN a Morpheus Culinary watch

You could WIN a Morpheus Culinary watch.

Click HERE and read all about it, including a review written by Paul Hubbard and posted at Watch Report.

Related links: Morpheus, Watch Report

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unique depths by a unique watch, meet the Pita Oceana!

Pita barcelona, named after its founder, Aniceto Jiménez Pita (1947), is a Spanish watch brand and was founded in 2003. Aniceto has been a watch passionate since he was a kid, learned how to work on clocks and watches all by himself and eventually opened a repair shop in Barcelona in 1971.

Today, he is watchmaker (and member of the AHCI) and creates exceptional timepieces, using innovative solutions to problems that are already there for decades. What to think about the two patents on his latest creation, the Pita Oceana, using a water-entry free case and a time setting mechanism (Pita-TSM) that allows you to set the time without having to pull-out a crown (making it vulnerable for entry of water). There is no crown on this watch and no caseback. The modular design of the watch is absolutely water resistance, because of the absence of seals, crown, pushers and a caseback.

The Pita Oceana is considered to be the ultimate diving watch, with a WR up to 5000 meters! The special case and winding construction are the most important factors to be able to guarantee a trouble free watch at huge depths. The heavily modified ETA 2678 movement (also referred to as the Pita-003 movement), which is patented by Aniceto Jiménez Pita, allows time setting under water, as described above.

The Pita Oceana has a 9.8mm thick rounded polycarbonate crystal. There is no seal joint between crystal and steel case, which means that what's not there, can't be subject to wear and tear. Furthermore, the star-shaped second hand features a chromatic depth meter for under water use and there is this inverted bezel inside for timing functionality.

Modular case construction. Star-shaped second hand featuring a chromatic depth meter. This depth meter has a few different colors, depending on what color you'll see under water, you will be enabled to make an estimate of the depth. The bezel with 120 positions for timer function. This is perhaps the most important functionality for a diver, to be able to check if you have enough time to (gently) get to the surface. :-)

The Pita Oceana 2009 edition will be available in stainless steel, titanium, 18 ct. Gold, or Platinum 950. The watch is limited to 80 pieces only.

The buyer can choose out of a wide variety of of bezels, dials, hands, straps and buckles to have a timepiece taylored to his or her taste and wishes.

Case dimensions: Ø43mm, height 18mm. Strap 20mm.

Prices start at 3275 Euro for a stainless steel Pita Oceana with a brushed finish.

Bleriot Plane at Selfridges. Restoration sponsored by Bremont.

Shoppers in Selfridges have the chance for a week to marvel at a feat of aviation 100 years after it first amazed visitors to the London store. An original Bleriot monoplane owned by Swede Mikael Carlson which on Sunday 26th July flew over the English Channel to mark the centenary of the first cross-Channel flight went on display on the shop's ground floor.The store, which is also celebrating its 100th year, will recreate the exhibition with Mr Carlson's craft until August 2.

The restoration of the plane and yesterday's trip was sponsored by watch company Bremont.

Under the Bleriot Plane

The Bleriot Exhibition at Selfridges

BOTTA-DESIGN redesigned the 1986 UNO Automatic watch

Things become clearer when you reduce them to their bare essentials.

This simple philosophy also applies to the top-of-the-range Uno model: the UNO Automatic. Klaus Botta developed the first UNO one-hand watch back in 1986. The new redesigned UNO Automatic continues to remain faithful to the Botta-Design philosophy.

It makes do with just the hour hand, which just like in any conventional watch completes one full rotation every twelve hours. This principle of display is both logical and ingenious at once.
The UNO Automatic is assembled and set by an experienced watch-maker in a Black Forest workshop. Its high design standards and the fact that it is a quality product made in Germany make this watch stand out among mechanical wristwatches.
Until 31 July 2009, you have the opportunity to purchase the new UNO Automatic at the special advance-order price of 690 euro (the watch normally costs 790 euros) in the Botta-Design online shop.
Feel free to comment on the design and special offer in our German Watches Forum.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Watchuseek joins Lance Armstrong in the fight against cancer

I want to help Lance Armstrong and his foundation. I signed up July the 15th and dedicated my subscription to two of my friends, Wilbert and Ella. Now our neighbour has been diagnosed with breast cancer and needs surgery and treatment. She is only 37 years old and gave birth to a beautiful boy only 6 months ago. We need to find some cure for them and millions others out there. Please click this LINK, enter your name and start helping. Thanks in advance.

Let the horological blogging begin!

Let me start by saying that it is an honour for me to be on the team of bloggers for WatchUseek. Before I started my own blog ( in 2004, I was quite a regular visitor / contributor here at WatchUseek. Actually, I think I was one of the first moderators of the Omega Forum here. Later on, the moderator of the Rolex Forum, but that didn't turn out to be a great success, since I was way too busy with my regular job (unfortunately not in the watch business) and my blog and several other watch related projects.

Anyhows, although I am not a regular poster anymore in the WatchUseek forums, I do keep track of some of the forums and the way WatchUseek is heading. The organization of the
Watch events (2008 and 2009) is something that I really love and already covered a few times on my own website.

Location of the first Watch (2008) event in Maastricht, The Netherlands

So, what to expect from my blogging contributions here?

I will definately keep an eye on the
Watch 2009 project that will be held later this year, and give you updates about it here in the blog section. Another subject that I cover a lot on my other blog are the independent watchmakers, and not only those who are able to manufacture everything by themselves, but also the private labels who are using existing movements (e.g. Rainer Nienaber, Linde Werdelin etc.).

So far for this small and first introduction, expect horological blog posts soon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Welcome to Watchuseek's Blog

Dear all,

Welcome to Watchuseek's new Blog.

I'm proud to announce that two of the most active bloggers have signed up to provide exclusive content for this blog. I trust many of you already know Robert-Jan Broer and Ariel Adams. If not then please visit their blogs at and

This new "News" section replaces the old one which still can be found
here. All comments on any of the articles you read in this blog can be posted in one of our forums.

If you have a tip or news Robert-Jan or Ariel should write about then please do not hesitate to let us know at

Thanks for reading, it is a pleasure to have you here.

Ernie Romers
Owner, director

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