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Friday, July 19, 2019

*Ebel 1911 BTR Chrono

Jam Ebel model 1911 BTR ini pada awalnya menggunakan movement El Primero dari Zenith sampai tahun 1995, ketika Rolex Daytona diawalnya menggunakan movement El Primero dan harga movement ini jadi melambung tinggi serta kemungkinan kesulitan pasokan movement El Primero maka Petinggi Ebel saat itu merencanakan dan membuat movement baru yaitu Cal 137 dan movement itu lalu digunakan di Ebel 1911 BTR [Back To Root] …
Pada tahun 2012, karena situasi dan kondisi perusahaan lalu Ebel Cal 137 inhouse ini kemudian dijual ke Ulysse Nardin yang awalnya menggunakan Lemania 1350 yang relatif sama dengan Cal 137 dan sejak itulah Ebel kemudian menggunakan ETA 2894, model mereka pun tidak ada lagi yang rumit makanya pemasaran Ebel kemudian mulai menurun.
Saya tertarik dengan Jam Ebel 1911 BTR Chrono ini walau dalam kondisi second tapi masih sempurna, tidak pikir panjang lagi jam ini masuk dalam koleksi saya … Ebel biasanya membuat jam kebanyakan untuk wanita, hanya sedikit type yang dibuat untuk pria, untuk type satu ini saya lihat agak spesial karena kombinasi warna hitam dan stainless steel warna putih perak sungguh serasi.
Ada lapisan karet hitam mengelilingi jam dibagian atas nya berfunsi seperti bumper untuk menghindari benturan langsung ke badan jam, juga kaca kristal nya yang jernih membuat jarum jam terlihat jelas .. jam yang sangat layak menjadi koleksi para kolektor jam.Ebel

Ebel started out in 1911 as a mom-and-pop Swiss etablisseur–maybe even more of an atelier. Mom was Alice Levy, and Pop was Eugen Blum. (EBEL = Eugen Blum et Levy.) They took part in the development of a few movements, including a ladies caliber back in the 30’s. But they made their name on their exquisite designs.
And thus they were really popular as behind-the-scenes suppliers to more well-known brands. Most of the watches they made were under some pretty high-end names, but they also made some watches for American stencil brands, such as the “Paul Breguet” brand used by Kay Jewelers in the middle part of the last century.

Ebel BTR
Engine: Ebel Automatic BTR Caliber 137 (322 parts, 26 rubies, 28,800vph)
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds (at 9), Chronograph, Date, Tachymeter
Crystal: Sapphire – Anti Reflective
Caseback: Sapphire Crystal Display Back secured by 4 screws
Water Resistance: 100m / 330ft (suitable for swimming and shallow snorkeling; unsuitable for diving)
Bracelet: Leather – Black Alligator with Yellow stitching
Bracelet Width: 20.0 – 23.0 mm
Max Wrist Size: 8.25
Clasp: Stainless Steel Deployant
Calendar: Automatic Date at 4:30 with fast adjustment in crown second position
Crown Material: Screw-down crown with Ebel Logo on rubber insert
Bezel Function: Fixed
Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
Also Called: 1215664, 9137L72/5335145YS, 9137L72/5335145
They continued making watches for others, and a few with their own name, right through the 60’s, now under the direction of Son No. 1, Charles Blum. I own an Ebel automatic from about 1962 that contains an AS1688 ebauche that is more finely finished than any other brand that used that ebauche, and those other brands included Zodiac, Doxa, Eberhard, Favre-Leuba, and Girard-Perregaux. It is a lovely 36mm steel dress watch. But watches in the late 60’s started to get more hip, and Charles just wasn’t into being a hipster.
So, he calls up No. 1 Grandson, Pierre-Alain Blum, who has been learning about marketing in the U.S. And Pierre-Alain, reluctantly it is told, returned to Switzerland to take over the family biz. Over the next few years, he moved the etablisseur into quartz movements while maintaining high jewelry standards and thus survived. In 1978, he designed the Ebel Sportwave, which became a true classic, so much so that it is still sold. By 1980, Ebel was a survivor that didn’t need the help of Swatch, and Pierre-Alain had the idea that mechanical watches were going to make a comeback. So, he looked around for a movement to use (Ebel always was an etablisseur) and recalled that Zenith had created an automatic chronograph movement about ten years before. He contacted Zenith, which by this time was out from under the Zenith Radio Corp. yoke, but they reported their mechanical movements and tools had been destroyed. Of course, Charles Vermot at Zenith had squirreled them away, so out they came–the tooling and a large stock of finished movements and ebauches. And, so, Ebel came out with the Sport Classic Chronograph (aka Chronosport), in 1982, followed by the 1911 Chronograph in 1985, to celebrate Ebel’s 75th year. Both famously included an El Primero movement. This was the watch adorning Sonny Crockett’s wrist in Miami Vice.
By the end of the 80’s, though, Rolex was also using the movement (and also others) and Ebel was unable to get the supply they needed. Zenith had supplied movements as ebauches and parts until 1986, but that year the El Primero 3019 became the 40.0, and the following year the 400. The first 1911’s used 40.0-designated movements, so they were using the first of the new production. Rolex started using its custom version of the EP in 1988l, and that may well have consumed Zenith’s production capacity. Also, Zenith was by this time producing their own watches again. So, in 1990 or so, Ebel started the development of its own chronograph design, working with Nouvelle Lemania. Thus was born the calibre 137, a variation on the Lemania 1350 that was exclusive to Ebel (though the base was also used by Breguet). Ebel came out with the Le Modulor watch in 1996 using the new movement. Lemania made about 50 of the critical parts, and Ebel made or bought the rest in open trade. They finished and assembled the movements in-house, the way it used to be done.
But in 1994, Ebel had over-invested in non-watch activities and was bought out by Bahrain-based Investcorp, which kept Blum on for a little while but then bottled them up. Investcorp also owned Lemania and Breguet, but did nothing to support good marketing or brand expansion. In 1999, they sold Lemania and Breguet to Swatch (Lemania is now Manufacture Breguet) and Ebel to LVMH. LVMH also owned Zenith and Tag-Heuer, which they positioned as “guy” brands, and forced Ebel to limit its marketing activities to ladies watches. (They never stopped making cal. 137 watches, they just couldn’t market them.) It’s ironic to me that Ebel had Zenith as a sister company during this period, given Ebel’s role in reviving the El Primero. Given that Ebel was losing access to Lemania in 1999, they bought a five-year supply of the critical parts. When those ran out, they had them made by Dubois-Depraz. In 2004, LVMH sold Ebel to Movado, and Movado finally gave them the green light to market to men. They hired Thomas van der Kallen to take the helm, and he pulled the caliber 137 series out of the doldrums and created a new line around them, called “Back to Roots”, or BTR.
Thus, the subject of this post. The 1911 BTR Chonograph includes the Ebel cal. 137, and first came out in 2007…
…Just in time for the economy to tank. Thus, the BTR move was never really successful, especially in the U.S. which was so important to the Movado Group and its shareholders. Just bad timing all the way around. They gave up on the BTR line in 2011 and sold the cal. 137 and its specialist staff to Ulysse Nardin in April of 2012. Now, their man’s watch is the Ebel 100, which, near as I can tell, uses a Soprod movement. (EDIT: The Ebel 100 uses their cal. 120, which is an ETA 2892, as they used in prior three-hand watches. I was confused by seeing an Ebel Classic Hexagon, which predates the 100 by a couple of years, which use the Ebel cal. 301 and 303, which I thought were Soprod A10’s, but they are actually 2892’s with Technotime modules–the retrograde date and up-down indicator for the 301 and the dual time plus big date for the 303.)

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