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Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

Eberhard & Co. is one of the Swiss watch brands that we  don’t cover too often on aBlogtoWatch, but that isn’t because they don’t make nice watches – and the still new Eberhard & Co. Contograf is one of my favorites. If you’ve been aware of Eberhard & Co. previously, it is probably for their chronograph watches that have four small subdials all in a row. While I love the uniqueness that comes with a brand’s signature products, I am going to be honest that I like this much more familiar looking vintage re-issue watch that Eberhard & Co. based on a model from the 1960s.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

Despite my assertion that the Eberhard & Co. Contograf has a familiar vintage sports watch look, it does have a lot of unique elements to it that help it stand out from the crowd. So in addition to the timeless look of the legible sports watch dial, you first have an excellent quality case and bracelet. These are things you can really only understand after holding it in your hand and wearing it for yourself. For the Eberhard & Co. Contograf collection, the brand really focuses on a lot of detailing and quality construction for the steel. The case is solid and has very nice rounded edges. The same goes for the bracelet. All the pieces are milled and polished, and for the price, I think there is a wonderful weight and sense of substance from the watch.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

Meeting with Eberhard & Co. at Baselworld 2015 was an interesting experience, to say the least. Their familiarity with digital media is… well, highly limited. While the company is Swiss, it is run by Italians and has that distinct sense of Italian energy but also disorganization. I had to make it quite clear to them that I was interested in seeing the Eberhard & Co. Contograf, and that I understood it was from 2014. aBlogtoWatch originally wrote about the Eberhard & Co Contograf watch here.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

In addition to the existing black or white dialed versions of the Eberhard & Co. Contograf, for 2015, Eberhard & Co. released the “Contograf Special Edition.” What is special about it? The answer is camouflage. OK, I know what you are thinking – isn’t adding camouflage to pretty much any design just a cheap 10-years-ago trick of attempting to make it look cool? Perhaps, but it still works on a vintage-styled watch like this. The Eberhard & Co. Contograf Special Edition Camouflage actually comes in two versions, one with a green ceramic bezel and another with a black ceramic bezel. The green ceramic bezel version of the Eberhard & Co. Contograf Special Edition is perhaps one of the more unique “easy-to-love” diver-style chronograph watches around. It comes on an olive green NATO-style strap and has a great character to it.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

One pretty big downside to the Eberhard & Co. Contograf collection is the water resistance. For a diver’s style watch, the company wants you to put up with only 50 meters of water resistance. That more or less means light swimming, if that. I am not saying that I recommend against it, but Eberhard & Co. should have really given this watch 100 meters of water resistance. As far as I understand it, all that means are some better gaskets or seals around the chronograph pushers. The crown is screw-down, as it is – and so is the caseback.

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Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

The brand remained true to the original Eberhard & Co. Contograf watches from the 1960s, with an elegant yet sports dial which benefits both from symmetry and those cool dauphine-style hands. I love dauphine hands and really think the watch world could use more of them. A very odd design feature is located in the 30-minute chronograph subdial. In there, you’ll find three large markers at the 3, 6, and 9 minute markers. What are they? Well, according to Eberhard & Co., they are a vestige from the original Eberhard & Co. Contograf and were intended to help people time phone calls.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

Why time phone calls? Well, apparently, people who wore 1960s-era Eberhard & Co.Contograf watches were the type to make a lot of long distance calls, but because Eberhard & Co. is the watch maker of prudent people, they nevertheless needed to monitor the duration of those calls. Do you remember when long distance land line calls were insanely expensive? I do… and so do the people at Eberhard & Co.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

While the dial of the Eberhard & Co. Contograf isn’t particularly original, it is satisfying. Detailing is cool; I like the red date font text color, and there is a good level of contrast, which makes legibility very strong. The thick, nicely polished steel and a ceramic bezel make for a good frame for the face as well. Over the dial is a domed and AR-coated sapphire crystal. On the wrist, the Eberhard & Co. Contograf is a decent 42mm wide, and 14.7mm thick, with 21mm-wide spaced lugs. That is a very good median size that will look good on many people’s wrists.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the watch is the Eberhard & Co. caliber 8147 movement which is a base Swiss ETA 7750 automatic chronograph. Nothing special or particularly unique, but Eberhard & Co. isn’t focusing the Contograf to be the type of watch to impress people with its movement.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

Eberhard & Co. does make the Contograf available with the NATO strap and other leather strap options, but I think anyone would be utterly silly in not getting the special patented “Declic” steel metal bracelet. It is difficult to describe exactly what makes the bracelet so nice. It really goes back to the tactile and wearing experience. The heavy steel bracelet has no sharp edges and the deployant clasp – while a bit on the odd side – is unique and helps the bracelet sit quite flush to your wrist. You do, however, have to put up with the small lever which is part of the unlocking system which sits to the side of the bracelet when closed. This isn’t the first Eberhard & Co. watch to feature this deployant system, either.

Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On Eberhard & Co. Contograf Watches In Black & Camouflage Hands-On Hands-On

A unique treat that makes the Eberhard & Co. Contograf chronograph watches special is their familiar look with uncommon detailing, from a known brand that most people don’t really know. It’s like the niche luxury sports watch that doesn’t look niche. For those who have also worn or owned one, I am curious to hear your thoughts. Prices for the Eberhard & Co. Contograf watches are 5,460 Swiss Francs for the standard Contograf on a strap and 6,200 Swiss Francs on the bracelet. The Eberhard & Co. Contograf Special Edition on a strap is priced at 5,570 Swiss Francs and 6,310 Swiss Francs on a bracelet. eberhard-co-watches.ch

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Comments

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  • Funky but fun. Then I saw the price – not so fun for a 7750 based watch. I wish they would do a black PVD case and then pair the camouflage dial with a camouflage NATO (actually G10) strap for a fun retro tactical look.
    Not where I grew up but I knew people from New York who used to obsessively watch the clock as they talked because a dime in a pay phone call was only good for 3 minutes. But in Iowa you could talk all day for 10 cents on a pay phone.

  • NedSaric

    Beautiful vintage inspired looks, particularly the bracelet. Unfortunately the size (40mm would be better) and price are all wrong. At that price you’re in Speedmaster, Autavia, and Carrera territory.

  • IanE

    I’m glad you explained the 3/6/9 minute sub-dial markings – but what is that red “50” at about 2.30 on the main inner dial?  [ I dare say I’m probably missing something obvious, but my curiosity is roused!]

  • David Bredan

    IanE The 50 should be the extension of the tachymeter scale. Those scales usually end with 60 at 12 because that is how math works out, but 50 is a very frequently used speed limit, and that clever extension allows one to use the tachymeter to check whether he/she is doing the 50 mph/kph speed limit. Hope this helps:)

  • David Bredan IanE David is right. And if they did more values, 45 would be at the 4 o’clock position and 40 would be at the 6 o’clock. And of course 30 would be at 12 o’clock (under the 60).

  • SwissMatic

    The bezel is rather greasy, but I do appreciate the rounded edges on the case and bracelet. I won’t drop 6 kilodollars for a stainless steel watch with an ETA movement though.

  • iamcalledryan

    Pretty cool, not bad pricing, but a little on the steep side for what it is.

    Anyone know what the “Conto” is – I don’t really like it when they put weird words in the place of chrono, but perhaps there is a story, filled with rich heritage???

    As for the telephone call markings on the chrono minutes register – I have no issue with little references to the past – but I find myself asking – When will chronograph makes finally admit the most common use of a chrono and put little markings to represent Soft, Medium, and Hard boiled eggs!?

  • iamcalledryan

    MarkCarson David Bredan IanE 

    Police: “Sir, do you have any idea why you drove into the back of that parked truck?”

    Driver: “Well I was using this tachymeter to ensure that I was driving at the speed limit and between reading the watch and looking out for my 1km markers (which I have spent 6 months marking out with little red flags across all my regular routes) I neglected to look at the road”

    Police: “Why didn’t you look at your speedometer?”

    Driver: “Wait, my what?”

  • DanW94

    iamcalledryan
    Those telephone time markers are a cool idea….You can time your teenager so they don’t go over their minutes….lol  (What am I saying? They don’t talk anymore, just text)

  • Geez, that’s a lot of loot for a watch that looks like a bit of a toy, with that camo dial. I really wanted to like the camo dial version, but when I saw it I almost laughed: why did they use the same camouflage pattern that was on my G I Joe action figures when I was a kid? Seriously. CADPAT woodland or maybe ACU? Flecktarn, anyone? A camoflage pattern that looks as grown up as someone who would spend $6+k on a wristwatch?

  • IanE

    David Bredan IanE Thanks: one of these days I might even use the tachymetre (probably the same day as I time my phone call to an uncle in Canada!).

  • IanE

    David Bredan  p.s.  I’ve just bought a sapphire sandwich Moonwatch, so all I need now to exploit this little tachymetre extension idea is a little sticky label simulating the 50-mark on the Contigraph plus a marked-out mile in a 50mph speed limit area and I’m good to go!

  • BIGCHRONO
  • BIGCHRONO
  • iamcalledryan

    BIGCHRONO iamcalledryan  HAHAHA! I almost like this enough to figure out how to pledge; almost…

  • Jimxxx

    The bracelet doesn’t blend quite nicely with the watch. Too busy looking and modern -in a mall watch kind of way- to go well with the vintage inspired watch. Also not a fan of dauphine hands on a tool watch chrono; it’s a bit too dressy.

  • AdamYoung2

    BIGCHRONO iamcalledryan  Oh yes. THAT is my kind of dive bezel. Now I have to buy that watch. Why buy a real Rolex Sub when you can have all this extra functionality at a fraction of the price?

  • David Bredan IanE It works, albeit it looks a bit silly.

  • Always nice when less popular brands are covered. The regular version looks quite attractive at a glance. The special camo edition, however, is not my cup of tea.

  • thornwood36

    awful, There’s  nothing redeeming about this watch whatsoever.  Its as dull as a wet day at the seaside.

  • iamcalledryan MarkCarson David Bredan IanE But officer, a speedometer only shows instantaneous speed and I need to know average speed (you simpleton).

  • spiceballs

    MarkCarson  read my thoughts (again) funky, fun but expensive.  I like that they used a red date (wheel) to match the second hand and I. for one, like Ariel appreciate those (dauphine) hands – but maybe  bit more lume?

  • JubJub

    That camouflage is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.

  • egznyc

    Nice retro look with the black dial and white subs. But this price for this movement? Feels like they took a different kind of movement on the unwary watch buyer.

  • Empirecity

    Let’s forget about the camo here– this watch reinforces the idea that the ‘tasteful’ vintage styles are timeless and there’s always an interest for them, even at 6200 francs,.