Sunday, March 24, 2013

A 'different' Swiss Chronograph: Ebel 1911 Cal. 137

So you know your 'chronographs', right?

Here is a quiz question:

Out of over 300 Swiss watch manufacturers which sell mechanical chronographs (wrist stop watches) how many of them are actually capable of producing their own in-house mechanism?

a/ 84
b/ 21
c/ 9

I offer 9 as a possible choice because quite frankly I am not sure if there are even nine makers who can design, engineer and manufacture complete chronograph. So if this was your guess, then you've guessed close enough: Rolex, GP, Patek, Zenith, Blancpain, Breguet and JLC. And possibly a couple more.

Yes, despite all the money available many large makers are still unable to design a better (or cheaper!) chronograph than the standard ETA or Valjoux stock.

And there is yet one more maker who almost created an in-house chrono in the 1990s: Ebel! After investing millions of Swiss Francs and 5 years of hard engineering, the calibre 137 was ready for production.

Now I am not going to spoil your enjoyment by interpreting a great article about this project published by - instead go to Watchtime and read it for yourself. The 'insiders' aspect of the article is really an eye-opener on dealings between Swiss manufacturers.

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