Ernst Benz watches are distinguished for their creative and unique designs. The brand has been known to partner with people from a wide variety of métiers to add their own individual spin to Ernst Benz’s large dial. Here we look at four of Ernst Benz’s most prominent celebrity collaborations and fans.
Fashion designer John Varvatos has been a close collaborator of Ernst Benz for years. The first limited-edition Ernst Benz John Varvatos Chronoscope watch debuted in 2010 when Ernst Benz was still a small watch brand. Varvatos elected to produce co-branded watches with Ernst Benz to sell in his namesake boutiques.
For their debut watch, Varvatos and Ernst Benz president and creative director Leonid Khankin designed a timepiece that taps into World War II-era watch styles, further dramatized by a large 47mm case size and long hour and minute hands. The original Chronoscope was limited to 250 pieces and marked the start of a fruitful partnership. John Varvatos stores, in addition to carrying the designer’s high-fashion, rock’n’roll wares, are now official Ernst Benz retailers.
In 2013, Ernst Benz partnered with football Hall of Famer Dan Marino on a special edition watch that benefited the former Miami Dolphins quarterback’s foundation. The 13 limited edition ChronoSport watches prominently feature Dan Marino’s autograph along the dial, re-done in the Miami Dolphins’ signature aqua green and orange colors. And, in honor of Marino, the traditional 12 o’clock hour marker was replaced with a 13 (as a playful nod to Marino’s jersey number).
The watches were auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Dan Marino Foundation, an organization that offers college-level educational programs and virtual job-seeking workshops for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
After meeting at Art Basel Miami in 2015, Ernst Benz’s Leonid Khankin and contemporary artist Anthony Liggins partnered on a series of three limited-edition ChronoSport models. The collection was to be largely inspired by Liggins’s mixed medium artwork (think paintings with Plexiglass, stones, and metal) that prominently features brilliant and layered colors.
The challenge to Ernst Benz watchmakers was how to recreate Liggins’s signature layered art as a watch dial. Ultimately, the Ernst Benz team had to develop wholly new production techniques to achieve their desired look.
The late chef Anthony Bourdain was a watch lover and his brand of choice was Ernst Benz. On his food and travel program Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and later Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Bourdain regularly wore an Ernst Benz ChronoFlite World Timer watch.
Bourdain was a towering 6’4” and, in turn, the large 47mm Ernst Benz ChronoFlite perfectly suited his frame and travel-heavy schedule. The ChronoFlite has a Swiss mechanical GMT Movement and world timer complication to make it easy to keep track of the local time.