WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 1345 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys. Here on WUS, aside from discussing the well known brands most of the time the forum sometimes also talks about names like Invicta, Orient, Movado, and other less loved brands. But one brand that is very rarely or almost never discussed is Ebel.

Is there any reason for that. Do we have any users who wear Ebel at all?

And just generally what is the forum's view of Ebel? Not looking to buy one just asking curiously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,568 Posts
I used to have an Ebel. A 1911 BTR GMT. Lost a TON on resale but then again that's to be expected.

The brand was kind of pigeonholed into ladies jewelry watches under the parent company in the past and it's only now they're trying the "manly" style.

That said, I thought the watch was very comfortable to wear. The finish was great. In house movement. And I bought it from an AD at UNDER online prices. Thought I got a steal until I tried selling mine.

Great watches but not worth it buying new. Imo

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,075 Posts
Reach out to Rdenny. He'll talk Ebel for as long as you can stand him to talk about it. LOL

All the best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bacari and Zzyzx

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,013 Posts
Ebel makes a good watch that I find dull looking. Not ugly, just not something that grabs me. And I suspect does not grab many others.

And then there is this......
I believe that when hearing the word "Ebel" most of us picture the hideous 'Wave' bracelet. Maybe it was cool when disco was king but a lot has changed in the last 30 years and Ebel has clung to that like Rolex to the jubilee or Omega to the Speedy Pro. Problem is, those things deserve to be iconic - the wave does not. TAG dumped the horrid link bracelet, Ebel should take note.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,075 Posts
Do they make any "iconic pieces" that suit the zeitgeist? No? That's probably why no one's bothered.

Hmmm...













One thing about Ebel is that throughout most of its history it has been a maker of watches for other watchmakers (among them VC and Cartier) and a watchmaking operations innovator as well as a maker that targeted consumers. That strategy is successful as a business model, but it doesn't often generate a whole lot of consumer-based brand awareness.

All the best.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,075 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,409 Posts
One of the great, old companies. In the 80's, they were probably in the top five most important Swiss companies. They were family owned until 1994, much later than most companies. They were the company that revived the Zenith El Primero, and the current existence of that storied caliber would be in question but for Ebel.

In 1982, they had five factories and 500 employees, and they manufactured their own high-quality quartz movements that were also used by Cartier.

They were highly respected by the industry. Jean-Marc Jacot, the CEO of Parmigiani, earned his reputation at Ebel at their peak. Aldo Magada, the CEO of Zenith, was their international sales director in the 90's. There are other examples, too.

I own a couple dozen of them, but I am also not a fan of the wave bracelet on my arm. But the are beautifully made. The 1911 link bracelet is superb, and was superb when Rolex and Omega bracelets were...not. The current Sport bracelet is excellent, and a completely different style than the wave bracelet.

They have made some bold watches, and some that are conventional but executed more elegantly that usual.

Over the years, they have used movements by A. Schild, Juvenia (which they owned from the 70's to the 90's), Valjoux, Lemania, Zenith, their own, Girard-Perregaux, and, yes, ETA and probably Sellita. Their ETA movements were all top or chronometer-grade, and usually their premium models. Their exclusive caliber 137 family was all chronometer-certified--every one of them from 1995 to 2012. That movement is now owned by Ulysse Nardin.

They made all the Cartier quartz movements from 1978 to 1998, and they made all the quartz Must de Cartier watches.

In the 90's, their owner had to bring in an investor because of non-watch investments that had gone sour partly because of the credit crisis following the savings and loan debacle, and that investor pushed their visionary owner out in 1995. They (Investcorp, who also owned Breguet and Lemania at the time) sold Ebel to LVMH in 1999. LVMH ran it into the ground with no effective marketing of their men's lines. LVMH sold it at a great loss to the Movado Group in 2004. MGI made a big effort, but their designs, while very unique and functionally effective, lost the traditional elegance, and never caught on. Now, it is just a brand, though with designs true to their own DNA, and with prices more moderate than they were five years ago--just the things experts seem to think the industry must do. But they no longer have the comprehensive breadth they did a decade ago.

Even at their priciest (and the Chronosport was significantly more expensive than a Rolex Daytona from 1982 through 1995), their production values have been consistent with their retail price, and they are often available for far less.

Some pics:

Ca. 1962:


Chronosport, Zenith El Primero movement, ca. 1986:


Type E (cal. 137), ca. 2002:


1911 Senior (Lemania 8810), ca. 2004:


1911 Chronometer, ca. 2005:


Brasilia, ca. 2006:


Classic Hexagon Dual Time (with Technotime module), ca. 2006:


Sportwave Aquatica 500:


1911 BTR, cal. 139, ca. 2008 (no rubber parts on this case, by the way):


1911 Tekton, cal. 137, ca. 2009:


Classic 100, 100th anniversary limited edition, 2011:


Sport, current model:


Not many watch companies have had a run like that over the past half century.

Rick "who needs a watch from before 1939 and from 1995-1998 to own an example from every CEO in the company's 105-year history, of which there have only been 8" Denney
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,075 Posts
One of the great, old companies. In the 80's, .....

Rick "who needs a watch from before 1939 and 1998 to own an example from every CEO in the company's 105-year history, of which there have only been 8" Denney
Off Topic:
I was wondering how long it'd take you to discover this thread. I knew you'd share your insights upon finding it. Glad you did.

All the best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zzyzx and rfortson
1 - 20 of 1345 Posts
Top