Ebel Swiss Luxury Watches Complete Review-Guide
Ebel: Fashion and Technology
Ebel stands out as a high-end Swiss watchmaker that puts refined design on equal terms with movement development. All Ebel products bear a singular look – a compilation of recurring visual characteristics that sharply distinguish the watches from the competition.
While such traditionalist, heirloom oriented collections as Blancpain Villeret, Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, and Patek Philippe Calatrava display predictable common traits, Ebel veer away from safe choices, taking steps towards fashion avant-guard and artistry.
Eventually, the brand positioned itself halfway between the above mentioned competitors, and such companies as Cartier and Gucci – successfully marrying fashion with mechanics.
Tellingly, it was a married couple that founded the company, injecting elements pertaining to both genders into their watches. This unisex approach results in products that consummately combine outward flair with engineering knowhow.
Quartz and Mechanical
Ebel started out with quartz movements, only recently shifting focus to mechanical automatic watches (usually it's the other way around). Similar to their Swiss counterparts, the brand boasts several accomplishments that influenced the entire industry, notably in the field of advanced precision technology and micro engineering.
At some point the company supplied other watchmakers, and such organizations as the British Army, with their movements and timepieces. Today the company makes both quartz and automatic watches.
Ebel claim to be inspired by architecture and sculpture. These three-dimensional arts appear to lend the company extra sensitivity in designing watches, which, after all, are three-dimensional objects too.
Main design characteristics include: smooth and streamlined appearance; curving lines, reminiscent of the female form; focus on two-tone aesthetic(steel and gold); integrated cases; and trademark "wave" bracelets.
The official website is easy to navigate and explore; it presents a calm white and light-brown color scheme and a fast responding menu. Three dimensionality continues to play a role, as the entire content is given via a series of postcards that can be shuffled and clicked on. Plenty of photographs, some movies, a rich history section, a calibers section, and, my favorite, a Gisele Bundchen monograph.
Ebel manufacture four collections: Beluga, Brasilia, Classic, and 1911. The middle two are produced for men and women, gender essentially doubling the selection. 1911 is the complications line where some ultra modern and futuristic elements substitute classic sensual design.
Beluga, divided into Beluga and Beluga Tonneau, is a feminine collection that features the classic round or tonneau shape, and incorporates gemstones, usually diamonds, but not only. Sub collections include Mini, Lady, and Haute Joaillerie. The pieces come in either gold or stainless steel, usually equipped with a bracelet, though sometimes a strap does the job. Very few decoration on the dials except additional diamonds and mother-of-pearl.
Brasilia Ladies and Brasilia Gents are two rectangular collections that display, besides the geometric shape, many similarities to the Beluga. The watches look like they have been hailed with small diamonds that somehow landed in an orderly fashion on the borders of the cases and bracelets – a truly delicious spectacle in my opinion. The Ladies collection includes the Mini, Fashion, Lady, Chronograph and Haute Joaillerie variations, the Gents line consists of the stricter Gents and Chronograph versions. Read the dedicated reviews for discussions on materials and movements.
Ebel Classic Ladies and Ebel Classic Gents epitomize the brand's philosophy. Mini, Lady, Hexagon, Gent XL, and Gent – the subcollections currently in production– display all the traits that make the brand unique: trademark wave bracelet, integrated bezel, two-tone designs, visible screws, and more. The classic collection incorporates both quartz and automatic movements, and employs gold (red or yellow), stainless steel, and diamonds.
Ebel 1991 offers three main lines – 1911 Discovery, 1911 BTR, and 1911 Tekton – that take a break from the stylish principles of the other collections, and focus almost exclusively on high-tech automatic movements and complications. All three lines contain in-house made calibers. The dial designs present climactic tension – a total opposite of the calm sensuality of Beluga, Brasilia, and Ladies – and clearly reveal intentions to broaden its aesthetic scope, and eventually appeal. Black and gray become the dominating colors, projecting unexpected seriousness and depth. Click on the links to read dedicated reviews with a detailed analysis.