I placed the Eberhard Chrono 4 Géant upin my wrist and knew immediately that hours of key tapping would subsequently ensue in order to convey its many charms.
Living in northern England, I am no stranger to bad weather. However, unlike Switzerland, our country appears unable to cope with a few snowflakes falling on the ground.
A few years ago, with a mere smattering of snow on the ground, I had to resort to walking. The three rear-wheel drive cars on our driveway were unable to move a matter of inches without sliding wildly. I seldom walk, except to frequent my local bakery to purchase a much loved vanilla slice. It was after this experience, I vowed I would always have at least one four wheel drive car in my garage.
In simple terms, four driven wheels are better than two. It would seem, Eberhard may have similar feelings when it comes to chronographs. The Chrono 4 Géant has four subdials instead of the two or three found on many chronographs available on the market.
The Chrono 4 is the first and only chronograph to display four counters aligned horizontally. Indeed, the know-how at the heart of this unique arrangement of subdials is patented.
I wanted to try on an Eberhard Chrono 4 Géant and get “hands on” with the watch. Whilst in Geneva on a business trip, I visited the authorised retailer, La Maison de l’Horlogerie on Rue du Cendrier. The very attentive female assistant brought me a steel version presented on a rubber strap. I placed the watch on my wrist and knew immediately that hours of key tapping would subsequently ensue in order to convey its many charms.
There are several dial variants of the Chrono 4 Géant but the model I tried on, in the La Maison de’Horlogerie, immediately appealed. It has a highly complex dial construction yet is quite simply gorgeous.
The central area of the dial is black and features the brand’s nomen and the “Chrono 4” logo. This is framed with a brushed stainless circlet, secured with black countersunk screws. The hours are conveyed with white luminous batons with faceted edges against a white snailed canvas.
The minute rail is detailed with red strokes, with integers marked every 1/5th of a second with a black stroke. Personally, I would have preferred this integers to have been presented every 1/4 of a second in order to match the frequency of the timepiece, which is 4 Hertz. However, this is a small criticism and should not unduly detract from the many virtues intrinsic to this watch.
A tachymeter scale is presented on the inner flange and features Arabic numerals presented in a modern font.
The silver coloured hour and minute hands are open worked and feature luminous tips. In stark contrast, the central chronograph seconds hand is red and lithe with a counterweight featuring a red open worked triangle. It reminds me of a devil’s fork, mischievous and fun and I love it.
The four snailed subdials are arranged in a horizontal line from 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock. They are striking yet incredibly legible and simple to understand. If you work from left to right, the subdials presented are: a 30-minute chronograph counter, a 12-hours chronograph counter, a 24-hour time display and a subsidiary seconds display.
Each subdial shares the same design language, employing black Arabic numerals, except at the most northerly position where red text is used. Black open-worked hands feature on each subdial, save for the 24-hour chronograph counter which employs a red hand. The subtle variation employed by Eberhard is magnificent. It bestows interest without diminishing the ease of read-off.
Below noon, a date aperture is located on the aforementioned steel circlet. The date, presented in black text on a white background, is clear and legible.
I particularly admire how the dial features different finishes, colours and depths. The end result is stunning and bestows a wonderful three dimensional quality.
Reading the specification sheet would leave you to deduce that this is a “giant” watch, measuring 46mm in diameter. However, whilst the watch is large, once I placed it on my wrist, I found it very comfortable to wear. Furthermore, the crown and push pieces did not seem to gouge or chafe my skin unlike some other generously sized watches.
The rubber strap felt exceptionally comfortable on my wrist and will particularly suit those wearers with an active lifestyle. Moreover, the watch has a water resistance of 200 metres.
The bezel features the same black PVD-treated screws as the dial and is marked with Arabic numerals, presented in a contemporary font.
I particularly enjoyed turning the unidirectional rotating bezel, evidenced by my photographs which show that I had failed to place the triangular index at noon. I always enjoy the tactility of finely executed components and the Eberhard does not disappoint in this regard. The bezel moves with a charming click and the screw-down pushers have a lovely feel to them.
The caseback is solid and features the words, “never forget who you are”. It is screwed down type caseback and retained with eight screws.
The Eberhard Chrono 4 Géant contains a self-winding chronograph movement. The watch contains the Caliber EB 251-R which is based on the ETA 2894 and has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz).
Arranging the subdials in a line appeals to my need for sense and order. It is eminently logical, simple to interpret, and at the same time aesthetically attractive.
I would suspect other watch companies would have adopted this form of presentation if it wasn’t for the patents in place. It is this aspect which provides Eberhard with a unique selling proposition.
The presentation of the subdials is not the only strength of the Eberhard Chrono 4 Géant. It plays with depth of field superbly with an ensemble of judiciously selected design elements.
Model: Eberhard Chrono 4 Géant
Case: Stainless steel; diameter 46.00 mm; height 14.10 mm; water resistant to 20 bar (200 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.