Grieb & Benzinger themselves personally shared with me that they never thought they would make a watch quite like this. Called the Area 51, this absolute unique timepiece borne of hand-decoration and fantastic German artistic skills is about space aliens. Oh, and we’d like to have a little “caption contest” with readers, just read more below… Don’t forget that the client personally needed to OK the brand sharing details about the watch. Any brand that produces custom watches for special customers don’t share the designs by default. In fact some of biggest Swiss watchmakers have impressive bespoke services producing amazing watches that you will never see. We’ve seen some… and I have to say some of the world’s most high-end unique timepieces are either awe-inspiring, or just plain hilarious.
The people who brought you marvels such as the Black Tulip (our webmaster’s favorite watch of all time) and Blue Danube also bring you shocked-looking metallic 1950’s era movie space aliens with precious stone ruby eyeballs. This either shows a huge degree of design flexibility on behalf of Grieb & Benzinger or a project best left “top secret.” Recently leaked CIA files finally ended all inquiry as to where the real Area 51 is. Rather than being anywhere near Roswell, New Mexico, Area 51 is in fact in Nevada, and a place where the US Government tested experimental planes. At least everyone got the desert part right. Why the declassification? Probably because it wasn’t at all a secret anymore given that most all major countries have full planetary eyes thanks to surveillance satellites. Anyhow, back to the watch.
The luxury nature of the Area 51 makes it a high-end watch all around being offered an 18k palladium white gold case with a vintage-style guilloche engraved bezel. The movement is probably the most impressive element. Grieb & Benzinger like to restore and thoroughly decorate and skeletonize vintage manually wound mechanical movements. The spacey theme of the Area 51 has the aliens set against a cratered planet-like surface on the dial, with planets from the solar system on the rear of the movement including Earth, Jupiter, Mars and more. All produced in 18k gold, the decorative skills are thanks to Grieb & Benzinger’s master goldsmith Albrecht Bolz.
Who ordered this watch you may ask? Well pretty much all Grieb & Benzinger clients are individual customers who work with the brand directly. One existing customer is said to have wanted to make a watch for his son. A kid that is really into space aliens. We still don’t get why the aliens look so surprised. Perhaps the idea is that they are stuck in the watch and are just as surprised to see you as you are to see them as you check the time.
CAPTIONS for the above four images: Above we mentioned a caption contest. We felt that the above four images from the watch deserved some humorous captions below them as each alien’s face is amusingly expressive. It would be funnier if they weren’t intended that way… So if you feel inspired, come up with captions for the creatures in the comments below, and the best ones we will insert in the pictures themselves with a credit to you.
Grieb & Benzinger wanted make the aliens look as though they were crafted from some type of liquid metal. Not sure why but the effect is no doubt cool. It is rather amazing (in an ironic sort of way) how the brand’s beautiful traditional guilloche engraved machining goes with what is essentially pop art. Though pop art with diamonds and rubies in gold. It is quite an impressive watch despite the fact that it won’t win any beauty awards.
Having said that, the Grieb & Benzinger watch was produced as a one-of-a-kind creation for a 12 year old boy. How’s that for a gift? I wonder what dad will get him when he turns 16? Can you guilloche machine engrave the hood of a Lamborghini and inlay golden video game characters on it? Let’s just hope the youth will grow to appreciate that. grieb-benzinger.com
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