The Eberhard & Co. Traversetolo Ambri Piotta (Ref. 21016) is a classic hand-wound three-hander that features a surprisingly easy-to-read dial and is powered by the legendary Unitas 6498 caliber. Initially designed for pocket watches, the huge mechanism looks perfectly at home in this mildly oversized timepiece.
While some enthusiasts are mostly familiar with Eberhard thanks to their Chrono4 series of sporty chronographs that feature linear setup of their four sub-dials, the Swiss brand also happens to produce a number of vintage-styled three-handers. Their lovely Traversetolo family, for example, sports that easily recognizable mix of an easily readable dial with traditional leaf-shaped hands and a small seconds sub-dial at six o’clock, and a slightly oversized body that houses a NOS Unitas/ETA 6498 hand-wound caliber.
Decorated only with some circular-graining, but having all of the visible screw-heads polished and blued, the mechanism doesn’t look particularly refined, but it doesn’t look crude either delivering that nice combination of deliberate simplicity and attention to details.
There are no painstakingly executed guilloche patterns and no element of the mechanism is engraved by hand, however, the movement is still pleasant to look at, although I must admit that I have seen a lot more refined versions of this old mechanism (Gustafsson & Sjogren with its limited-edition GoS Midnight Sun probably did the best job here, but the one that powers the 2012 Alpina Heritage Pilot Hand-Wound Limited Edition (Ref. AL435B4SH6), too, looks nice.)
Still, the mechanism does look convincing and it certainly does not look cheap.
As I have already noted, the dial of the Traversetolo Ambri Piotta looks traditional with all the usual stuff that you expect from a vintage-themed watch. Luckily, the brand’s designer somehow managed to balance on the edge of making the watch looking generic: while I can’t see here any trace of the brand’s DNA, it still doesn’t look like it was mass-produced by some no-name factory in a special economic zone with the logo of the brand slapped as an after-thought. Au contraire, there is a strong scent of the true Swiss approach to design, which is visible in perfectly proportioned hands, easily readable Arabic numerals that, too, nicely match other elements of the timekeeper’s face and a well-sculpted body.
As the ergonomics goes, it is, too, appealing. The green lume, which is applied not only to the hour and minute hands but also to the rectangular hour markers, is bright enough for any lighting scenario. The lugs are short enough for the 43 mm watch to feel comfortable on a wrist, and the crown (something that may often make or break user experience) is easy to grip but is short enough not to become a source of discomfort.
The price… Well, the price is not that high after all. For a limited edition watch that is produced in just 77 pieces to commemorate the 77th year in the business of the Swiss-based Ambri Piotta hockey team, the €2000 that the brand asks for this thing is not particularly steep. Well, I could even call it affordable.
See also: Muehle-Glasuette Terrasport II Automatic
Photos: Eberhard & Co.
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5
Eberhard & Co. Traversetolo Ambri Piotta (Ref. 21016) specification
Price: €2000 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, caliber Unitas/ETA 6498, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 17
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Perlage, blued screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 10.70 mm
Lug width: 21.00 mm
Dial: White, glossy
Numerals: Black, Arabic
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Leaf-shaped, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap with blue stitching on stainless steel buckle with E&C logo
Crystal: Sapphire, curved