Originally launched in 1986 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the brand, the EBEL 1911 has long been a flagship model of the brand. After re-launching its Sports Classic collection in 2017 (with its signature wave-shaped bracelet), the brand now brings back the emblematic 1911, with several quartz-powered ladies’ and gents’ watches and an aquatic take on the model featuring a mechanical movement. Here’s our first experience with the new EBEL 1911 Marine.
EBEL was founded in 1911 in La Chaux-de-Fonds – the company was named after the initials of the founder and his wife, Eugene Blum Et Alice Levy. The brand was remarkably successful in the 1970s and 1980s, in particular under the management of the charismatic Pierre Alain Blum. With its chic quartz watches, the company was thriving while the industry was hit by the quartz crisis. These could be spotted on the wrists of celebrities such as Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Claudia Schiffer or Don Johnson in Miami Vice. EBEL was also manufacturing Cartier watches under licence since the 1970s. A friend of Alain Dominique Perrin, Pierre Alain Blum even ended up creating a joint venture (majority-owned by EBEL) to produce Cartier watches, movements and parts But because of unfortunate investments in other industries, Pierre-Alain Blum was forced to sell EBEL to Investcorp in 1994, who in turn sold it to LVMH in 1999. And in 2003, the Movado group bought EBEL from LVMH.
Since 2016, the brand has been managed by Flavio Pellegrini and has returned to growth with a production of about 25,000 pieces. After relaunching its Sports Classic collection (with its signature wave-shaped bracelet) in 2017, the brand now brings back another iconic model, the 1911, with different quartz-powered ladies’ and gents’ watches and the automatic 1911 Marine. The new 1911 models retain their hexagonal case with 5 exposed bezel screws and their characteristic 5-link bracelet. While the design language did not change much, the lines have been streamlined and modernized with subtle touches.
Taking a look more specifically at the 1911 Marine, as the name suggests, the model is a marine-inspired iteration of the design. Its 42mm case stands out with its contrasting unidirectional bezel (with aluminium insert) to monitor dive times. This brings a sportier touch to the collection (reminiscent of the BTR or Discovery 1911). The crown screws down and the water resistance is rated 20 ATM / 200m. The dial comes in galvanic blue or black with alternating applied stick-like indexes and Arabic numerals. The sword-shaped hands are skeletonized and their tip is filled with white Superluminova.
The case back is secured by 4 screws and the automatic movement is on display behind a sapphire crystal. Powering the EBEL 1911 Marine is a Sellita SW300, a clone of the ETA2892. As such, it is a precise, tried-and-tested movement running at 4Hz and with 42 hours of power reserve. There are quick date correction and hacking mechanisms for precise/functional setting operations.
The watch comes on the collection’s signature 5-link bracelet with beautiful alternating brushed and polished finishes. Snuggly integrated into the case, it is secured to the wrist by a folding clasp. There is also a spare grey/black fabric strap made from upcycled ocean plastic fitted with a pin buckle. Next to that, EBEL also offers a two-tone version. The EBEL 1911 Marine will be available as of December 2022. The price is set at CHF 2,600 for the steel versions. The price for the ladies’ model starts at CHF 2,100.
For more details, please visit www.ebel.com