When Leonid Khankin, president and master watchmaker of the Swiss watch brand Ernst Benz, met Anthony Liggins at Art Basel Miami two years ago, he admired a painting the contemporary artist was preparing to ship.
"Specifically, the mixed mediums he uses and the integration of books within his art was what captured my eye," said Khankin. "The spirit of his work speaks to me with the use of bright, layered colors and elements like metal and aged materials that he integrates."
Soon after, the pair decided to collaborate on a collection of watches that bring Liggins' art to your wrist. The new Ernst Benz by Anthony Liggins collection is a series of three, limited-edition, brushed stainless-steel ChronoSport models with vibrant, numbered dials that depict Liggins' paintings in layered shades of blue, yellow, and red with brown.
Getting the details and layering of colors on the dials just right proved to be a time-consuming challenge that required the brand's dial specialist to develop new production techniques. Limited to 25 pieces each, the three-hand watches are powered by the workhorse ETA 2836-2 automatic movement with Incabloc shock protection, which is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. The brawny, 47 mm, aviator-inspired watches are water-resistant to 50 meters and are fitted with handmade straps in either leather ($3,800) or alligator ($4,100).
The special series is available at the Anthony Liggins Gallery 88 in Miami and at select Ernst Benz dealers.