This is the EHF Mk Zero, here for review from the new Swiss company, EHF Horlogere. Founded in 2011, EHF is five people who are trying to bring hand craftsmanship to affordable watches. I first heard about them when they posted a rather audacious tutorial on their blog of “how to assemble a ‘Swiss Made’ pilot watch on the cheap.” (well worth a read, by the way.) I contacted them and they kindly sent us a watch for review and have also agreed to give it away to a lucky reader in a contest this fall. So read on, and perhaps you’ll be the person who ends up enjoying this very piece.
As a new company with moonlighting watchmakers, EHF starts with catalog movements from ETA, in this case an ETA 6497, finished by Soprod to Elabore grade. EHF spends one to two days per movement, plating with black rhodium, hand-beveling the bridges and timing the completed movements. It’s a level of attention that, as they point out, you don’t normally see done under $5k or so.
The black rhodium plating also provides more color and contrast, yielding a movement that is quite striking. Kind of reminds me of the Glashutte PanoInverse. Not Patek-level finishing, but quite good.
The case is of unusual construction, matte-finished black titanium over stainless steel. I’ve never seen that before, and don’t know how it’ll wear, but I like the low-key appearance. The Mk Zero is 42mm wide by 10.5 thick, 78g including the strap, 22mm lugs and a 6.9mm non-screwdown crown. Sapphire crystal, lumed hands and dial. 50.2mm lug to lug.
The dials are printed in Le Locle for EHF, and in full sunlight you can see a speckle texture:
The variably-sized numerals give a retro, funky, aviator feel to the watch. I’ve worn it for a business meeting, and it works pretty well for that, not too formal, and not at all flashy. One of the options on their site is gold hands, and I’d suggest going that route as the black-bordered ones are less visible than I would like.
EHF uses a wonderful, butter-soft buffalo strap from Kuki that is comfortable out of the box. I am instantly a fan.
Box and packaging are good, reinforced leather travel case that you can re-use.
That picture shows one issue with this piece, which is the lack of an anti-reflective coating on the crystal that makes the dial less visible. I know that others disagree, but personally I am a big proponent of them. I do like the travel case though. This one is super well protected and great for tossing into your carry-on luggage.
My wrist is an average 7.25″. As is usually the case with 649x movements, I have a bit of overhang over my wrist.
Nice and slim.
Case finishing is good, even and well detailed:
Luminosity is pretty good, here I am borrowing EHF’s picture:
As you’d expect from a hand-adjusted ETA, timekeeping is easily chronometer-grade when wound once a day. Nice smooth winding, evidence of well-finished gear train. I enjoy the daily routine/ritual of winding a watch, and that’s a big part of the appeal here in my opinion.
Overall, I quite like the watch and the direction EHF is going. I recommend subscribing to their very informative blog, as it’s a fascinating and candid account of their progress, sources, projects and goals. I wish more watch companies blogged! Their candor in sourcing, finishing, and watchmaking is something I greatly appreciate and wish them tremendous success. I will be quite sad to send this one to our contest winner.
List price for the EHF Mk Zero is $1,450 USD. For a hand-finished and tuned Swiss watch? Hell yes!