Ebel has caught my attention with the Ebel Classic Hexagon. This watch has a hexagonal case made of brushed stainless steel with a complementary stainless steel bezel in a highly polished finish. The design is fresh, and despite its similarity in shape to Ebel’s of the 1980s, it has modernity and a contemporary look.
I remember the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Ebel Classic Wave was incredibly popular with ladies. My wife selected a bi-metallic version for her first “proper” watch.
I must confess, I did not share her enthusiasm for her choice due to the presence of a quartz movement within.
I accept that quartz offers accuracy, but somehow I associate it with the near destruction of the Swiss watch industry I love so much. The commercial success of the Japanese quartz watch could have resulted in the demise of the wonderful ateliers synonymous with picturesque Swiss villages. Imagine a world without enamelling, guilloché or haute horology.
I like the simple, clean lines of Ebel but could only ever consider a mechanical watch. A mechanical watch has passion, soul, emotion. It is not cold or bland but a congregation of parts singing in harmony my favourite tune of “tick-tock”.
The meaning of value
Ebel does make some very interesting mechanical watches, offering Swiss quality at an attractive price point.
I often feature the finest horological creations from Switzerland and Germany which are the pinnacle of the watchmaker’s craft. Prices can be reach levels were the air is thin, but the pursuit of perfection is wonderful. However, not everyone can afford to spend a six figure sum on a wristwatch.
My mission with ESCAPEMENT is to educate readers to be discerning about watch collecting. Think “outside of the box”, don’t succumb to a default choice based on mere branding. A product with premium pricing can delude you into the perception it must be the best, purely because it costs more.
Some watches may cost a six figure sum. They may be expensive but represent value due to the incredible craftsmanship required to make them. Months of work, by an elite handful can justify the high cost.
Conversely, products with a relatively low price, may represent poor value as they have very little intrinsic worth and are expediently manufactured with little human intervention.
Ebel has caught my attention
Ebel has caught my attention with the Ebel Classic Hexagon. It has a hexagonal case made of brushed stainless steel with a complementary stainless steel bezel in a highly polished finish. The design is fresh, and despite its similarity in shape to Ebel’s of the 1980’s, it has modernity and a contemporary look.
Five screws are located adjacent to the bezel, with the crown assuming the position where the sixth screw would be expected. This slight deviation from symmetry is appealing and subtle in the way it is delivered.
The word subtle aptly describes the architecture of the watch. A day indicator is located at 9 o’clock and is presented in a circular form with a textured pattern to its centre, reminiscent of the Clou de Paris engraving I adore on the finest timepieces, but without the expense that this involves. The same pattern features in the arc of the power reserve above 6 o’clock.
A highlight of the design is the retrograde date indicator on the dial. It is located adjacent to 3 o’clock and delivers the date using a graceful arc shaped scale in conjunction with a gold coloured hand.
The silver dial in conjunction with the gold coloured hands has a wonderful clarity imparting hours, minutes, day, date and power reserve without interference from the superfluous.
The watch has an automatic Swiss movement visible from the back courtesy of the sapphire crystal.
I seldom mention straps on watches, however, this strap really adds to the ownership experience. The strap is alligator leather, hand stitched featuring brown thread. In conjunction with the gold coloured hands and indices it affords the watch a real warmth.
The design of this watch is clean, no extraneous detail. The sum of each exquisite part has a synergistic effect on the whole. It is a watch greater than the sum of its parts.
I admire this watch and want to see more of the same. Simple design, with an increasing numbers of complications whilst offering value for money.
Ebel has shown us a progression of its classical hexagonal design, featuring a retrograde date but with a clear step forward from its former models. No retrograde step, but an informed choice for todays market.
Model: Ebel Classic Hexagon
Case: Stainless Steel; 45.40 mm diameter; height 11.20 mm; sapphire crystal to both front and rear.
Functions: Hours; minutes; seconds; day; retrograde date; power reserve.
Calibre: Frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); power reserve 42 hours; water resistance 5bar (50 metres).
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.