The Swiss watchmaker Ebel will soon add a whole new family of quartz-powered sporty chronograph watches flying different colors for their rubber bands. The first among them will be the new Ebel Classic Sport Chrono Khaki (ref. 1216048) wristwatch. Sporting bold exterior styling, but being powered by an average quartz caliber, the watch seems to be seriously overpriced, but that’s not going to be a problem if you will manage to find one online with a good rebate.
The Ebel Classic Sport Chrono Khaki watch features Ebel’s signature case with the round bezel bolted to the case with six polished screws. While this deliberately non-functional design may make some potential customers wince, I actually find it quite interesting: at least the watch looks different from myriads of other timepieces offered in this niche.
Also, thanks to the watch being equipped with a Swiss made Ebel 503 quartz movement (regretfully, Ebel like many other watchmaking brands prefers not to disclose the base caliber behind this engine, but it’s probably a mechanism sourced from ETA as in some other their watches,) the case looks rather slender. Being 41 mm in diameter, it is only 10.80 millimeters in height, which makes wearing it with a formal suit a lot more pleasant experience compared to thicker timekeepers.
Of course, there are people who prefer their chronographs in massive, even bulky cases (a chronograph is a sporty watch, after all, and a sporty watch must radiate, um, presence,) but to my taste, a thinner watch is always the winner. Just because it is more comfortable to wear with a long-sleeve shirt.
There are still no real-life images of the chronograph, but on the promo photos the watch looks great with the interplay of brushed and polished surfaces, energetically shaped chronograph push-pieces and a branded setting crown with the Ebel logo.
There are only two things that disturb me a little. First, it is the timekeeper’s official water resistance rating of only 50 meters. Yes, I understand that the styling of the watch demands it to be primarily worn with something more formal than an M65 jacket and trekking shoes, but -let’s be honest here- there will be a lot of people who will buy this wristwatch to use in situations where, say, dropping in a swimming pool or a pond while being reasonably intoxicated doesn’t seem a terribly farfetched idea and it would be terrible to ruin the watch just because someone decided not to give it a WR rating of some 100 meters or more.
Which brings me nicely to my second complaint about this Ebel Classic Sport Chrono Khaki: the price. From my perspective, a quartz-powered watch in a normal stainless steel case that is offered at an MSRP of $2300 is grossly, inexcusably overpriced unless the brand plans to sell it with huge discounts in order to attract more customers by offering them “great deals”.
The watch will be officially presented later this month at Baselworld 2011 show.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Ebel 1911 Tekton Real Madrid chronograph
Ebel Classic Sport Chrono Khaki (ref. 1216048) quartz watch specification
Price: $2300 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Caliber Ebel 503, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: N/A
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: A couple of years
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 10.80 mm
Dial: Silver-toned, striped
Hands: Steel, faceted, Superluminova
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Khaki rubber with Ebel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid, “Classic Sport” engraving