A watch can say a lot about a person. It can convey style, class, personality, status, all with the flick of a wrist. It’s a statement of sorts, a way to tell the world just how kick ass you are about to be in the board room. It’s also an investment, and if you had the foresight to pick up a 1950 Reference 1563 Patek Philippe a few decades ago then you’ll understand just what sort of ROI potentials are out there.
Ernst Benz as a brand is many things – with an interesting assortment of watches and celebrity relationships. With these steel beasts size matters, and in a good way. Known for their signature large faces and Swiss mechanical perfection, Ernst Benz watches are renowned for their accuracy, durability and legibility. Super boutique and heirloom quality, they are a fantastic way to make a true statement.
Designed, developed and produced in Switzerland, a land forever associated with precision, creativity and talented artisans dedicate themselves to maintaining their unrivaled watchmaking traditions. As a second-generation watchmaker, Leonid Khankin is deeply passionate about his watches and works hard to make sure that all Ernst Benz timepieces are built to exacting criteria and without compromise, yielding the highest quality of precision timepieces that the brand is renowned for.
He started working with the company ten years ago and helped develop the first more complicated Ernst Benz chronograph “The Triple Date Moon Phase.” You won’t find any tourbillons in the Ernst Benz collections. The brand stays true to its niche as a chronograph company and sticks with price point of $2,500 to $25,000.
Inspired by the spirit of travel, one of the more creative Ernst Benz collections is the 18th degree, a series built to celebrate exploration and adventure in the Caribbean. So, in the spirit of nomadism and adventure we took the stunning 18th Degree ChronoSport down to the U.S. Virgin Islands for a weekend review of sun, sand, and travels. It was as in sync with the islands as you could imagine, and the workmanship was pretty spectacular.
The special edition’s gypsy-esque dial features a Seveneteenth century map of the Americas during the Golden Age of Piracy and Sea Exploration. The unique ChronoSport model is available in either a 47mm or 44mm case, and comes in two distinct dial variants. One is a striking black dial version, which expresses the dark and cryptic nature of the pirates of the seas, and is matched with a matte black DLC case. It is also available in a brushed stainless steel case which sports a more vintage feeling dial with a parchment map design. Both versions come equipped with a reliable ETA caliber 2836-2, which ticks at a relatively high rate of 28,800 vph and has the benefit of a 38 hour power reserve.
It brings you back to a time in history when the sea was more than a place for us beachgoers to dip our toes—it was ruled by explorers sailing the waters with the use of a simple compass and map. The development of timekeeping on those ships actually led to ship chronometers and modern nautical instruments to help navigate their journey. Without the expeditions of that era, the Chrono’s that we know and love from Ernst Benz may never have come into existence.
Rather fittingly (since we brought her down to USVI for a test run), this particular timepiece sets out to tell a story. With its hearts of gears it tells a legendary tale about the discovery of the western world and the Caribbean Islands, where Ernst Benz first became the iconic brand it is today. It’s a statement piece that feels more than just gears and movements and beauty–it’s a nod to the heritage of our seas, a reminder for modern travelers of what life used to be, and a reflection of time that will one day be an heirloom passed down to the next generation of travelers to come.