Eberhard Monopusher Chronograph
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Eberhard Monopusher Chronograph

As vintage watch collectors, we find beauty in discovering the undiscovered, or bringing light to the unknown or forgotten. For every Omega, Breitling, or Heuer, there’s a Buren, a Yema, or a Mulco, long-dead and forgotten manufactures whose products survive to tell the tale. The tales they tell speak of glory and then obscurity as the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s forced them to shutter their factories and go out of business.

But a handful of brands were able to endure that lean period and survive—even thrive—to this day, and Eberhard is one of them.

When Georges Eberhard went into business in 1887, he was only 22 years old. But he exhibited a mastery of his craft that belied his young age, and early on produced thoughtfully-executed stop watch and chronograph pocket watches that were among some of the finest of the period. This legacy was carried on after his death by his sons, Georges and Maurice.

Like Universal Genève and Omega, Eberhard was an early producer of wrist-worn chronographs, releasing their first one in 1919. Though the company did not make chronograph movements of its own, this did not prevent them from modifying the èbauches they received (usually from Landeron or Valjoux, acclaimed makers of chronograph movements that were used throughout the Swiss watch industry). Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Eberhard released artful chronographs with additional complications, such as one with a split-second complication in 1940.

The Extra-Fort is perhaps their best-known chronograph produced during this period. It was first released in 1947 as an automatic, time-only watch, but was also released in chronograph variants. With large, sturdy cases, the Extra-Fort foreshadows the sports models of the 1950s and 1960s, such as the Omega Speedmaster or the Heuer Carrera.

However, prior to releasing the Extra-Fort, Eberhard created some handsome and desirable chronographs that have much to offer, both aesthetically and technically—like this one.

Like the Extra-Fort, this watch features a case that at 40mm is large for the period. It’s unique in that it’s a “hunter” case. The name of the case derives from its origins as a pocket watch used in fox hunting, so-called because a fox-hunter could take out his pocket watch and open it with one hand while holding onto the reins of his horse with the other.

Combined with the curved lugs and warm 18k gold case, the hinged case back truly makes this watch feel as though it’s from a bygone era, even earlier than the one in which it was produced.

The dial is nothing short of spectacular, with outer telemeter scales and often a tachymeter track in a circular “snail-trail” configuration in the center.

But internally is where this watch truly shines. The movement, visible when the case back is unhinged, is a Calibre 16000. Essentially a modified Valjoux 65 column wheel chronograph unit, the Calibre 16000 is unique in that the chronograph function (start, stop, and reset) is entirely operated from the top pusher. What appears to be a second pusher is in fact a slider that locks the chronograph pusher when not in use.

Beautiful and rare, the watch is a charming relic of Eberhard’s golden age of chronograph production, combining handsome aesthetics and technical ingenuity in a way that is sure to delight.

Details

SKU: AS02089

18k yellow gold case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Eberhard Calibre 16000 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1940s.

Overall Condition: 18k yellow gold case is in very good condition overall with minor signs of use consistent with age. Dial is in very good condition overall with some signs of age. Unsigned crown. Case back has some signs of age but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 20mm black leather strap with gold hardware.

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