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Eberhard & Co - “1887”: the first Eberhard & Co watch with an in-house calibre

Eberhard & Co “1887”: the first Eberhard & Co watch with an in-house calibre

We’ve been waiting for six months, but now it’s here: the first Eberhard & Co watch equipped with an in-house movement, the EB 140. This collector’s piece marks the opening of a new chapter.

The announcement was made by Eberhard GM Mario Peserico. Back in May 2019, WorldTempus offered a first glimpse of Eberhard’s very first calibre. It’s a major event for the brand, and the timing is significant, coinciding as it does with the highly anticipated return to its historic headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Today, the EB140 calibre has taken its place in the heart of an inaugural timepiece, the momentously named 1887, after the year the maison was founded. 

The new arrival was officially introduced in Paris, at the Fotofever fair. In fact, not one new watch but two have been added to the collections. They both have a diameter of 41.8 mm, but their finish is different: the first is all steel, while the second has hands and markers in PVD gold. 

“It’s the first model; there will be others,” explains Mario Peserico. “We’re planning to produce just a few hundred pieces in 2020, but the 1887 is joining our collections; it’s not a limited series.” 

« 1887 » : la première Eberhard & Co équipée du calibre maison

© WorldTempus / Olivier Müller

Manual and masculine

Several of the design choices merit closer examination. First: it’s hand-wound (with a 40-hour power reserve). This tends to be the preferred option for collectors, largely for its historic (some might say vintage) value.

 Mario Peserico explains: “It forms a basis on which we will be able to build other variations.” It will come as no surprise that the CEO considers an automatic version a distinct possibility. However, because of its generous diameter of 14 lignes, a women’s case for the EB140 calibre is not an option. “It will nevertheless be possible to add other complications,” notes Mario Peserico. In addition to a date, already present on the 1887, we can expect to see a second time zone or a chronograph in the future, although probably not before 2021.

« 1887 » : la première Eberhard & Co équipée du calibre maison

© Eberhard & Co.

A strap that’s as soft as silk

For now, however, the watches have another unusual feature: a strap made from silk. “They come from Naples, the centre of Italian silk tie manufacture,” Mario Peserico confirms. The 1887 is supplied with either a Jacquard silk strap with a floral motif (blue or brown depending on the dial), or an alligator strap. It’s a rare touch of Italian elegance, and a strikingly original feature that it would be good to be able to purchase separately.

« 1887 » : la première Eberhard & Co équipée du calibre maison

© WorldTempus / Olivier Müller

Oh là “La”...

Finally, keen observers will notice the variations in the dial signature. The fact that the company has returned to its historical roots is clearly proclaimed on a plate at 12 o’clock: “Eberhard & Co – Chaux-de-Fonds”. When the absence of the “La” in “La Chaux-de-Fonds” is pointed out, Mario Peserico smiles. “It’s a question we asked ourselves. Chaux-de-Fonds or La Chaux-de-Fonds? Both names are used. To settle the matter we referred to some of the archived correspondence we have in our Museum. Most of them say ‘Eberhard & Co – Chaux-de-Fonds’. So we decided to remain faithful to the original designation.”

 It’s a decision that makes sense, on the 10th anniversary of the watchmaking town’s recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2009–2019). The second plate, on the opposite side of the dial, is exclusive to this “1887” model, which marks a milestone for Eberhard & Co: the first watch of the 21st century to be equipped with its own movement.

 

 

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