It’s hard to argue with classic design, Germany manufacturing, artisanal hand finishing, Swiss movements or American made straps. And when they are all combined, you have a particularly strong argument.
Well, that’s exactly what comes together to produce Aether Watches, a new brand of boutique dress watches based in the US, founded by the owners of Stone Creek Straps. But before we get too into the details, if you happen to be in San Francisco on Thursday, April 18th, then you can see the watches in person at Wing Tip during the Aether Trunk Show, which will run from 12 – 7pm.
Currently Aether has two lines of Unitas powered watches with classic pocket watch styling, the AE01 and the Aether by Jochen Benzinger, yes the same amazing artisan who made the BenzingerOne we discussed the other day. The AE01 has all of the trappings of a masculine dress watch. Its 42mm steel case, which is also available in rose gold, has a classic design and is made in Pforzheim, Germany. The dials are extremely restrained, featuring applied markers for the even hours, a small seconds dial at 6, thin leaf hands and are available in black, anthracite, silver and crimson. Powering the AE01 is the venerable Unitas 6498 hand wound movement with Cotes de Geneve and blued screws. Each includes a handmade American Alligator strap and considering Stone Creek is behind this project, you know it will be of he highest quality craftsmanship. The AE01 costs in the ballpark of $1,500.
The pièce de résistance, however, is the Aether by Jochen Benzinger. This limited edition of 25 has a no fuss dial that is classic and handsome with a case to match. It’s serious, elegant and understated. But what makes this watch so special is really what’s within. Flip the watch over and you will find an example of watch finishing at its finest. The Unitas 6498 has been rebuilt to have a rhodium plated ¾-plate (very German) with extensive hand-cut Guilloché, designed to resemble rays of sunlight emanating from the large screw-balance. The balance bar is also rose-gold plated and hand-carved with a beautiful swirling pattern. Artistry like this is hard to come by in our hands-off world making this a genuine collector’s item. The Aether by Benzinger will run around $4000, which while expensive, is a steal for a work of art.
So, if you happen to be in the SF area make sure to head over to Wing Tip and check these watches out in person! We’re looking forward to seeing them ourselves someday in the future, as well as what’s next for this boutique brand.
by Zach Weiss