The new Ernest Borel Jules Borel Collection is a series of limited edition watches that are available both in rose gold and in more affordable stainless steel (ref. GS9238-4922 with silvery white dial, pictured and briefly reviewed here.)
While the rose gold version of the Jules Borel Retrograde is limited to only 288 pieces, the model in stainless steel is issued in 688 numbered pieces either with black or white guilloche dials. In total, the Swiss watchmaker plans to sell 1664 individually numbered wristwatches if you count in all available combinations.
Although the version with a black dial offers undoubtedly better level of legibility, the one with white dial looks more elegant thanks to a set of blued hands.
My only complaint here are the diamond-shaped hour and minute hands. Although the combination of deep blue-colored hands with layers of bright white Superluminova provides superb contrast against the white dial, there seems to be a “clash” of two design languages belonging to two different eras of visual art. I mean, this style may look good on a pilot’s watch, but on a dressy model like this it makes kind of strange impression.
Oh, and, while we are at it, persons with poor eyesight may find numerals on the retrograde calendar indicator too tiny for their eyes, especially the ones in the beginning of the scale, but that’s a common problem with this design: there is just not enough space to make the numerals easier to read even if you limit the scale to only odd numbers. Well, you may find consolation in the fact that the indicator will become more readable as the blue pointer moves down the scale closer to the end of the month.
If you were paying attention to product announcements during the last couple of years, you may have already noticed that the timekeeper’s dial layout is very similar to those of the Ebel Classic Hexagon Retrograde Power Reserve automatic and the Cimier Retrograde Automatic watch, both presented in 2009.
Well, the reason behind the similarities is the ETA caliber 2892-2 automatic movement that comes fitted with the Soprod 9094 complication module. The latter not only expands the mechanism’s list of features with a power reserve indicator, but also allows the watch to display the date and power reserve using retrograde pointers that are placed at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively. As an icing on the cake, there is also a day of week sub-dial at 9 o’clock, but this one is of a more common “radial” variety.
The movement is placed inside a compact stainless steel case 40 mm in diameter that can be considered relatively small by current standards. However, sporting a set of rather long and deliberately thick horns, the case will probably look good even on a bigger wrist, especially if you order a version equipped with their massive stainless steel bracelet.
Photos: Ernest Borel
Ernest Borel Jules Borel Retrograde Automatic in Stainless Steel (ref. ref. GS9238-4922) limited edition watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2892-2, Soprod 9094 complication module, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Rhodium-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, retrograde date, day of week
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 11.40 mm
Dial: Black or White
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent