Ernst Benz Keeps Time: Movement Detroit
Swiss watchmaker Ernst Benz is responsible for designing the 2010 Movement Festival schedule set for Memorial Day Weekend in Detroit. “Our inspiration was a modern interpretation of an arrival board,” said Leonid Khankin, the Managing and Creative Director of Ernst Benz. “We took the global influence of music and applied it to the concept of a flight schedule.”
The collaboration isn’t happenstance — like most cool bits of ephemera it’s traceable back to a more personal connection. Khankin grew up in Southfield, Michigan, and liked to hang out at reggae parties in downtown Detroit in the mid ’90s. The parties were organized by the Movement producer Jason Huevare of Paxahau. Huevaere was a kid who grew up in the scene who later organized electronic music events at his downtown loft.
A friendship was born that’s still intact nearly twenty years later. The two friends went their separate ways, finding success in their respective businesses — festival organizing and the international watch business. Khankin was raised by a Russian immigrant who worked with watches. He learned the business from the ground up, incorporating his interests in art and design. He plays a central roll in the development of the timepieces like the ChronoLunar. “The world timer is based on the pattern of the globe,” he explains. He also orchestrates collaborative efforts, such as the limited edition John Varvatos and Mario Batali Limited Editions.
It was only a matter of time before the friends would find the right way to work together. They found it with the creation of the Movement schedule, where time and music cross paths.