The new limited edition Ebel Classic 100 Automatic (ref. 9120R41/6430136) combines refined styling with a (relatively) affordable price. Featuring a combination of “historic” logo on its silvered, easy to read dial and mildly oversized stainless steel case, the timekeeper tries to capitalize on general public’s growing interest in “classic” timekeepers powered by modern movements.
The last couple of years we were practically overwhelmed with an army of mechanical monsters that, each weighing like a 250cc sport bike and looking like an anti-tank land mine, were touted as “sporty.”
However, it seems that starting this year the tide finally turned and now we see a much more pleasant to look at onslaught of more respectable dress watches. Even the brands that were recently more readily associated with “active lifestyle” timekeepers, started to make their own gadgets designed to be worn with formal attire.
The Swiss watchmaker Ebel, which was, too, mostly known for its sporty timekeepers, has finally offered a nice model for those searching for an affordable dress watch.
Introduced in order to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the brand (yes, the house was established in 1911,) the watch looks like an ideal dressy timekeeper: compact, discreet and elegant.
Powered by the self-winding caliber Ebel 120 (it is based on the well-known ETA 2892-A2 ebauche,) the watch is offered in a nicely crafted stainless steel case with integrated lugs.
With its thin bezel and alternately mirror-polished and brushed surfaces, the case looks very light and unobtrusive.
Although the employed movement is not terribly thin, the Swiss watchmaker almost managed to keep its body only 9 millimeters thick. With a diameter of healthy 40 millimeters, the watch indeed looks very flat and will probably be very comfortable to wear, even if you prefer shirts with tight sleeve cuffs.
The layout of the dial with four applied baton-shaped hour markers is certainly inspired by the vintage Ref. 1237 model that was produced in 1960s.
Of course, given the timekeeper’s estimated price (I have found one offered online at €1800, so the recommended street price will probably be around €2300* or so,) it would be a bit naive to expect the Ebel Classic 100 to sport a dial made of solid silver.
However, even the “silver-toned” part does its job perfectly providing a good background for the pair of leaf-shaped, diamond-polished hour and minute hands as well as the blue-colored centrally positioned seconds hand.
The “antique” Ebel logo painted at 12 o’clock is also a very nice touch. In fact, I like the old logo even better than the current one!
Well, if you really need a classic dress watch, but can’t afford (yet) a Patek Philippe Calatrava model, then you should seriously consider getting this one. Really.
See also: Milus Heritage Snow Star in Rose Gold
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The MSRP seems to be set at $3200, which makes the watch slightly more expensive than I have initially guesstimated, but, as it is customary for the brand, online retailers offer very healthy discounts that sometimes reach up to two thirds of the minimum recommended price suggested by the manufacturer. The only problem is that, being a limited edition model, it will be sold out fairly quick, so you’d probably have to test your luck on eBay if you don’t act quick right now.
Ebel Classic 100 (ref. 9120R41/6430136) specification
Price: $3200 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Ebel caliber 120, based on ETA 2892-A2 ebauche, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Size: 40.00 mm
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Case height: 9.10 mm
Dial: Silver-toned, sand-blasted
Hour markers: Baton-shaped
Hands: Leaf-shaped, diamond-polished
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Back: Solid, engraved with “Classic 100” lettering