April 24, 2014
With brands either digging into their back catalog or creating new watches with no prior references, there is no shortage of watches being introduced as of late that hearken back to earlier eras. This means, for the modern watch enthusiast, that you can find a modern timepiece (with all its attendant quality, materials, and accuracy) that references (or even looks identical) to a watch from the era that you find yourself drawn to. In other words, you can go “vintage” without worrying about having to baby the piece. If 1960s sport watches are your thing, then Eberhard & Co has your ticket.
The original Contograf was introduced in 1960, and its 2014 counterpart certainly carries forth the look. One of the more intriguing elements that they carried forth from the original can be found on the chronograph minutes register found over at 3 o’clock. It has bolder markings at the 3, 6, and 9 minute marks. This was put in place for timing phone calls – not something you’ll use these days, I don’t think, but the three-minute timing could be handy in other scenarios.
The other subdial that balances out the dial is the running small seconds, which might lead you to wonder how, exactly, you’re supposed to time anything longer than 30 minutes. That comes into play courtesy of the unidirectional ceramic bezel (a nice material upgrade from the original) that tops the 42mm case. Simply rotate it around so the triangle aligns with the current hour position, and time away. Perhaps not as, I don’t know, common as an hours register, but I rather like it for the elegant simplicity.
Overall, that’s what the watch speaks to me as. Yes, it’s definitely a sport watch, there’s no doubting that. But when you have dauphine hands (which, by the way, do have some lume on them) over the top of that jet black dial, it’s pushing things to a more refined look; this is something that the 50m WR rating also belies. Add in the 3-link bracelet with it’s outer polished links, and this is a piece that’s definitely a “softer” sport watch.
As I mentioned in the introduction, these sort of “vintage reissues” give you some great reliability in an older-styled package. Here, reliability and accuracy comes in the form of their 8147 automatic movement, based on the beloved ETA 7750, which makes for a very well-known quantity your local watch shop should be able to maintain for you. Inside a modern case that’s sealed up with the sapphire crystal on top, this isn’t a watch that you should have much concern with it standing up to daily wear.
If you’d like to wear one of these, you can pick one up for the price of $6,350 on steel, or $5,750 on leather. Oh, and should you prefer a more classic “Panda” look, they do offer the watch with a white dial with black sub-dials, which is my favorite of the new looks. And if that’s too flashy for you, I guess you could go for the fully color-matched dial–no matter the dial you chose, the price stays the same. eberhard-co-watches.ch