May 12, 2012
by Ariel Adams
For 2012 Eberhard & Co. will release these two rather clean looking sport watches called the Champion V. These are new versions of older Eberhard Champion watch collection pieces released about 20 years ago. The same sober looks are maintained while the Champion V watches are more modern in every way. I don’t know why, but in their press release each time they write “Champion V,” the Roman numeral 5 is done in a red font.
There are going to be two distinct Champion V models. One will just be called the Champion V and the other will be called the Champion V Grande Date. While they are both decent watches I must admit to not understanding why the two models exists. I think they should have just made the Champion V Grande Date. Let me explain…
Both versions offer multiple dial styles and colors. The styles range a lot actually and dial colors can come in blue, black, or white with different trims. The two watches have the same case – which is 42.80mm wide and 14.45mm thick. So what is the difference? Well they have different movements.
The standard Eberhard & Co. Champion V will have a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph. This movement is pretty straight forward and offers a 12 hour chronograph and day/date complication – though Eberhard & Co. chooses just to indicate the date. The Champion V Grande Date has a La Joux-Perret caliber LJP 8210 automatic chronograph. This movement is likely based on the Valjoux 7750 but features a big date complication (that has the date on two discs). As you can see, even though there are two movements, the layout of the dials is only slightly different and the functions are exactly the same. I have never before quite seen this done and as far as I can tell Eberhard & Co. does not offer an explanation.
Eberhard & Co. gives the standard Champion V watch a slightly more retro look with an hour indicator bezel and cleaner dial with baton markers. There is a tachymeter scale printed on the flange ring, and again the dial will come in a range of color styles. More modern and sporty is the Champion V Grande Date. While I don’t tend to think that tachymeter scales have more than a vestigial cosmetic value, the Grande Date makes better use of it on the bezel and the Arabic numbers supplementing the dial help give it a more purposeful look. Perhaps I just like it more because it is on a metal bracelet. For some reason it is hard for me to take sport watches seriously that are not on metal bracelets.
Those of you interested in straps have options as well, but go for a metal bracelet in my opinion. As a sport watch the Champion V pieces do suffer a bit from only 50 meters of water resistance. Eberhard & Co. could easily double that to get a lot more street cred. The case does have a convex sapphire crystal and likely some nice fit and finish for a few thousand bucks. The Champion V with its 7750 movement will be nice but nothing special as sport watches with that movement are a dime a dozen. The Champion V Grande Date on the other hand is a bit more unique given the big date complication and the less than typical movement. It will be priced a bit more I am sure, but will offer a more unique ownership experience.