Today we have a special hands-on review of the piece unique Blue Sensation timepiece from Grieb & Benzinger based on a Patek Philippe movement from 1889.
Unveiled in 2010 the Blue Sensation is part of the Grieb & Benzinger Platinum collection, a series of one-off masterpieces created using historically significant movements that have been heavily modified.
The Blue Sensation for example is based around a complicated Patek Philippe split-seconds chronograph for Tiffany movement that dates back to 1889. As you can see in the pictures it has been painstakingly restored and modified by watch making extraordinaire Hermann Grieb and the end result is nothing short of breathtaking.
Housed in an oversized 49mm case carved from approximately 165g of solid platinum the Blue Sensation is not for the faint of heart. Although it doesn’t perhaps look or feel quite as big as it sounds, it still packs some substantial weight on the wrist though not as much as you might expect due to the heavy skeletonization of the movement and dial. To be fair though this was never intended as a daily wearer and so size and weight considerations don’t quite apply in the same way.
As nice as the case is though you’re going to want to spend most of your time staring at the movement, both on the dial side and through the exhibition caseback. And for good reason too. Hours have been spent on the detailed restoration, regulator modification, hand-skeletonization, hand-engraving, and guilloché of the movement, to ensure that every last component is perfect. There is so much to discover here it’s hard to know where to start.
Sadly very few people will ever get to see this piece in the flesh, as it is now (and has been for some time) the property of a private collector. Fortunately for us though, like any watch (masterpiece or not) it still needs to come back to Grieb & Benzinger for periodic servicing, strap changes and so on, hence the reason we were lucky enough to spend a little time with it.
Don’t lose hope though that you could ever own one of these incredible creations though as Grieb & Benzinger have plans to make more Platinum unique pieces in the future. Not many mind you, as each takes several months (at least) to complete and so the possibility of more than two or three pieces being released in the next 12 to 18 months seems remote.
Of course you could always contact them directly and request your own custom piece. After all they are known as the masters of personalization too.
The Final Word
A unique timepiece from a unique company the Blue Sensation is a great example of what can be achieved when you focus unrelentingly on quality above all else. The attention to detail is astonishing and the pleasure derived from this sort of watch ownership must be almost inexplicable I’m sure. It truly is a work of art for your wrist.