A Hand-Made Watch Brand From Baden-Baden
Welcome to the small village of Baden-Baden, Germany in the Black Forest, home to Jaeger & Benzinger watches.
Using the traditional German watchmaking techniques of hand guilloche, hand engraving and hand skeletonization each Jaeger & Benzinger watch is essentially a unique piece since these techniques will never produce an exact copy.
The Dial and Sub-Dial
The first thing you'll notice about this dial is that it is not machine made or printed. That would be too easy.
This dial is made completely by hand and in the workshops of Jaeger & Benzinger. The team first creates the dial in sterling silver, and the uses a process called Breguet frosting.
Abraham Louis Breguet, one of the greatest watchmakers of all times, once again is the source of inspiration for the frosted finish on this Jaeger & Benzinger dial. As in the late 18th and early 19th century, the dial surface is worked on using a combination of oxidation by means of an open flame as well as a special acid mixture. The result is a silvery-white surface which resembles frost, and thus the name Breguet frosting.
The sub-dial is also made completely by hand, and is created on a rose engine. The process of hand guilloche can take hours, and each pattern is essentially unique because of the hand workmanship. Once completed, liquid rose gold is applied for a stunning contrast to the Breguet frosted dial.
The Movement and Finishing
Jaeger & Benzinger have chosen to finish the movement using a traditional East German watchmaking technique - the three-quarter plate.
This plate is first hand guilloched using a traditional sunray pattern and finished with hand engraving. Finally the plate is finished in rose gold with blued screws and perlage on the base plate.
The balance cock is hand engraved and finished with rhodium, and the movement is protected by a sapphire crystal back.
If you've never seen a movement finished by hand using techniques that date back more than 100 years, you're in for a surprise.
This watch is fitted in a stainless steel case made in Pforzheim, Germany with onion crown.
The anti-reflective sapphire crystal is slightly domed contributing to the classic good looks of this watch. It is interesting to note that the Jaeger & Benzinger chose a style of Arabic italicized numerals found in historical German watchmaking books.
This watch is fitted with a dark gray leather strap with a tang buckle.
The Packaging - A Special Treat
Even the packaging for Jaeger & Benzinger watches is hand-made in Germany, and quite honestly unlike any other we've seen.
Kay Jaeger explains that the inner case that is used to store the watch can also be used as a travel case. He contacted a small German specialty manufacturer of leather goods, and together they designed this case exclusively for Jaeger & Benzinger.
The outside material is from ox, while the inside is made from soft deer skin to protect the watch. This case is entirely hand stitched and tanned, and is itself a work of art.
The outer box is made by a German master restorer of old books, and he uses the same techniques to build this outer box that he uses to restore book covers.