Unveiled during the Baselworld 2012 show, Eberhard & Co Champion V Grande Date (ref. 31063) automatic chronograph sports a clean, easy-on-the-eyes design, comes in a flawlessly proportioned case almost 43 mm in diameter and is equipped with a self-winding movement developed and assembled by La Joux-Perret, a Swiss-based maker of blank calibers that was recently bought by the Japanese brand Citizen.
Although some persons may say that the new watch is a rip-off of the current Chopard Classic Racing family (namely, the ref. 158982-3006 chronograph in stainless steel,) I would say that the new Champion V Grande Date is also a logical evolution of Eberhard‘s own collection of chronographs.
Putting it straight, it is inspired by their Tazio Nuvolari model range.
At least, the new watch, too, features a tachymeter scale on its anodized bezel (although this one is graded in kilometers, not in miles) and offers similarly shaped hands that feature long patches of white Superluminova on them.
However, while the Tazio Nuvolari was more vintage in its exterior styling, this new model is decisively modern.
The effect was achieved thanks to a new font face, bolder numerals and more contemporary combinations of colors with bright red accents strategically placed over the black-and-white background (there are also versions with black and blue dials, but they are not as appealing to my taste.)
Also, thanks to a slightly larger case, slightly thinner bezel and slightly smaller chronograph sub-dials, the dial looks less cluttered. All elements of the dial have more air to breathe and the small seconds display with its thick black rim, while dominating the view, doesn’t look too heavy at all.
According to the brand’s press release, the Champion V Grande Date is powered by a new LJP 8210 self-winding caliber. Developed and manufactured by the well-known ebauche maker La Joux-Perret (although truth be told, some people refer to the mechanism as an “ETA 7750 clone”), the movement features a pretty standard combination of functions, those including a chronograph with a 60-minute and 12-hour counters, a small seconds display, as well as a big date indicator at 3 o’clock.
Although not as visually appealing as Glashutte Original’s famous Panorama Date complication module, the big date indicator still looks both elegant and highly usable, since the Arabic numerals that are painted on its pair of disks are indeed easy to read and, um, big.
It is reported that the watch will be offered either on a stainless steel Chablis bracelet with a folding clasp or on a leather strap. Offering personalized “E&C” steel buckle and contrasting stitching, the leather strap isn’t as practical as the bracelet, but it surely does look better with this version.
Photos: Eberhard & Co
Eberhard & Co Champion V Grande Date Chronograph (ref. 31063) specification
Price: $3900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber LJP 8210 by La Joux-Perret, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, big date, chronograph, tachymeter
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: Steel bezel with anodized aluminum ring
Size: 42.80 mm
Dial: White, black or blue
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather strap with contrast stitching, personalized “E&C” buckle or steel Chablis bracelet with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, convex, antireflective on the inside
Back: Satin-brushed, screw-down