John Varvatos ChronoScope Hits Nantucket

A few days before OTC decamped to the island of Nantucket, bastion of East Coast laid back preppy, we were thrilled to receive John Varvatos’ newest collaboration with Swiss watch maker Ernst Benz.  Into the carry-on and off we went for a week on a famous, tiny island in the Atlantic ocean.

The Ernst Benz by John Varvatos Limited Edition ChronoScope is big, showy, and to us, the definition of rock gone classic.  At $6,800.00, it’s also a serious investment for a serious watch.  OTC has long been a fan of John Varvatos because his signature style takes traditional ideas and adds a bit rebel rock-n-roll while still maintaining luxury quality standards.

The large vintage-style ChronoScope is an updated and super-sized homage to retro watches. Its stainless steel case, bezel and pushers are brushed for an slightly aged look and feel. However, inside rests an expertly made Swiss movement from Ernst Benz. The issue was limited to 250 signed and numbered pieces and each is presented in a specially designed leather case designed by Mr. Varvatos himself.

The 47 mm brushed stainless steel case houses an automatic Valjoux 7750 Incabloc movement with Glucydur Balance and Nivarox Alloy Hairspring.  Primary watch functions include hours, minutes, seconds, and date. The squared pushers control hour, minute, and second chronographic functions.  Large though it is, the watch is very comfortable on the wrist.

The large knurled crown is double O-ring sealed. Its domed sapphire crystal has anti-reflective treatment.  The exhibition back is also sapphire.

The ChronoScope is water resistant to five atmospheres (50m/165ft). However, since the available straps are handmade alligator or calfskin, we do not advise getting it anywhere near water!

That said, we had a lot of fun showing off this beautiful timepiece across the island and placing it in the context of of our East Coast preppy aesthetic.



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  1. SimplyTrad

    This watch is not preppy at all. Why in the world would anyone say that it is?

    Being truly east coast preppy denotes going to a preparatory school. At these schools you will only see timex indiglo’s. On the parents you are only going to see timex indiglo’s.

    On some of the kids you might see some timex weekenders or ll bean timex’s, but you will never EVER see a Varvatos watch that cost $6,000.

    Being preppy is a birthright and not a club that can be bought into. That is why we drive 30 year old cars, live in homes our great grandparents bought, and wear leisure clothes long past their prime. We have absolutely no one to impress.

  2. Hey ST, thanks very much for the comment. I find your assertion that being preppy is a “birthright and not a club that can be bought into” (dangling modifier, by the way) rather humorous.

    First, I don’t recall actually referring to the watch as “preppy.” Second, Timex Indiglo is the only watch one would ever see worn at a preparatory school? Really now? Given the household incomes and lifestyles of some folks I know whose kids are are at Choate, for example, I find such a sweeping declaration rather silly.

    Lastly, OTC is a site about personal style and individual expression that is grounded in the classics, but not beholden to stereotype or dictate.

    You needn’t try to educate us about true “preppy,” it’s a culture and world with which we are intimately familiar. As such, we know that what sets actual preps apart from the new “trad” rule-makers, is an understanding that what is truly classic evolves. And, actual preps don’t really care what others say they can or cannot do.

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