John Varvatos and Ernst Benz Create the Ultimate Guitar-Inspired Timepiece: the ChronoSport Resonator

August 6th, 2014

This is an excerpt from the all-new SEPT/OCT 2014 issue of Guitar Aficionado magazine. For the rest of this story, plus features on the Gretsch Custom Shop, a Fab Four collection of guitars, Ron Wood, Elliot Easton, Alton Brown and much more, check out the SEPT/OCT 2014 issue of Guitar Aficionado, which is available now at our online store.

By Scott Hickey | Illustration by Ellis Deda

Rock Around the Clock: Menswear designer John Varvatos and Ernst Benz take a cue from Guitar Aficionado and create the ultimate guitar-inspired timepiece: the ChronoSport Resonator.

Despite their obvious differences, watches and guitars share a surprising amount of common ground. In the most basic sense, they’re instruments created for specific, utilitarian purposes: measuring time and making music, respectively.

But function isn’t the reason why we form such deep attachments to these unlikely allies. For some it’s the aesthetics. The watch you wear, just like the guitar you play, reveals a lot about how you see yourself and how you want others to see you. There are also those who are drawn to the fine workmanship and innovative technical details that elevate these creations from the everyday to the exceptional.

But for most, our relationship to watches and guitars is built on the stories that we tell about them. “This GMT has gone with me around the world.” “My wife gave me this Gibson when we got engaged.” It’s those kinds of personal connections that help explain why these old-school machines still captivate us in this digital age.

Guitar Aficionado taps into that passion with the Ernst Benz by John Varvatos ChronoSport Resonator, which takes pride of place on the cover of this special watch issue. To create a timepiece that exemplifies this extraordinary link, we enlisted John Varvatos, the fashion designer with a rock and roll heart, and Ernst Benz, a watch company that got its start in the Sixties by making turntable cartridges that are still coveted by audiophiles today.

The result is a true bespoke creation that embodies the artistic and emotional overlap between fine timepieces and vintage guitars. The ChronoSport Resonator’s steel dial is pierced with a fan-pattern design inspired by the distinctive top of a vintage resonator guitar, while its handmade custom aviator leather evokes the lovingly worn look of a favorite guitar strap. Just 25 numbered pieces will be created, sold exclusively at John Varvatos boutiques this fall. And in keeping with John Varvatos’ ongoing philanthropic efforts, a portion of the $5,800 price of each watch will be donated to Road Recovery, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young adults battle addiction by providing hands-on mentorship training and educational workshops.

This is an excerpt from the all-new SEPT/OCT 2014 issue of Guitar Aficionado magazine. For the rest of this story, plus features on the Gretsch Custom Shop, a Fab Four collection of guitars, Ron Wood, Elliot Easton, Alton Brown and much more, check out the SEPT/OCT 2014 issue of Guitar Aficionado, which is available now at our online store.

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Comments

  1. Posted by Matt Ashmore on August 7th, 2014, 20:06 [Reply]

    What’s the make & model of that gorgeous reso?

    • Posted by Mr. Big on August 11th, 2014, 11:06 [Reply]

      It’s a Mosrite Dobro D-100 Californian

  2. Posted by Rhodia on August 7th, 2014, 22:08 [Reply]

    It is beautiful.., & it’s waay cool that he will be donating “a portion”, (??), of the price of each watch to a truly worthy cause..(!!) I wonder though, if anyone other than guitar “aficianado’s” will actually recognize the unique design for what it is..? Cool.

  3. Posted by Tom Ernst on August 7th, 2014, 23:22 [Reply]

    Great writing. Hickey certainly knows high end watches!

  4. Posted by Tony on August 15th, 2014, 03:45 [Reply]

    $5,800, what a joke…

  5. Posted by Bob Cohn on September 9th, 2014, 16:37 [Reply]

    It’s not a joke if ot’s and AUTOMATIC WATCH, Swiss made or German Made. These are usually pieces of art both inside and out.The mechanic inside are amazing……

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