The new Eberhard Contograf is the re-issue of an icon
At the last Baselworld, Eberhard & Co. unveiled the Eberhard Contograf Special Edition but, in my particular case and for two different reasons, the real novelty of the event was the discovery of the Contograf itself. First of all I didn't know the Contograf at all, because, in my head and until then, the name Eberhard had always been linked to either the Vanderbilt Cup or the Tazio Nuvolari collection only. Secondly I found out that, if you're looking to buy a good two-register-chrono with a “Panda” dial, traditional push-piece buttons and a vintage look, an item that you won't get tired of not even in the next 20 years, you need to keep in mind that, within the Eberhard collection, there is a special chrono with an authentic pedigree certificate.
Leaving aside the Vanderbilt Cup, which is on my personal pre-summer buying list, the Eberhard Contograf is, in my opinion, the Holy Grail of the Eberhard brand. Unlike its competitors (except for the modern re-releases of the Heuer chronos), the Swiss manufacturer has faithfully revisited one of its original 1960 Contograf models: a timepiece that would look trendy as it is even if it had been launched on the market in 2015.
The original model boasts a round case with extended lugs, dauphine hands, water resistant push-piece buttons, an integrated bracelet and a quick-set-date-feature (from a technical point of view a far more advanced feature than that of the current edition.) The new Eberhard Contograf, on the other hand, is a beautiful perfectly-proportioned-timepiece: the ratio between the dimension of the counters, the width of the case (42mm) and the length of the lug nuts is basically perfect. The final vintage touch and look, which is usually missing on all the similar chronos available on the market, is given by an extremely polished bezel made of ceramic that looks like as if it had been lacquered. Moreover, the Eberhard Contograf's bracelet features the “Declic” locking system, an original Eberhard-patented-idea.
Here is the Eberhard Contograf Special Edition (the 2015 edition of the Contograf) featuring a “cammo” dial and a matte-green-bezel made of ceramic. In both cases the bezel is unidirectional, while the tachy scale is placed within the dial.
All in all a nice looking watch and a successful collection, but I strongly suggest trying this timpiece on to fully appreciate it because, when worn on your wrist, it really is eye-catching. I would also recommend Eberhard to equip this worthy watch with an in-house-caliber as soon as possible (the current caliber is a modified ETA 7750.) Last but not least please keep in mind that some of the older Contografs were originally equipped with manual wind-column-wheel-movements.
The standard Eberhard Contograf featuring the “Panda” dial comes on the market at a retail price of around €3,000, while the Eberhard Contograf Special Edition is sold at a retail price of €4,300 when it features the military strap (non-NATO) and it is sold at a retail price of €4,830 when it features the stainless steel bracelet. In both cases the price is a bit expensive if you consider the competition's high offering within this particular niche market.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Eberhard & Co.; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®