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The Scafograf 300 has no measurable contribution to the history and development of the modern sports watch. It blazed no trails--it wasn't the first dive watch with a depth rating of 300m; it doesn't have a Helium Escape Valve; it wasn't strapped to a submersible and carried to the very bottom of the ocean. Few outside of the insular world of watch collecting have ever heard of it, even though a recent reissue gave it renewed exposure.
Yet it manages to be the perfect blend of styles and mechanicals that makes it perhaps the ultimate expression of mid-60s design.
For one thing, Eberhard is a brand with a rich history--and is still in business. Founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds by Georges Eberhard in 1887, by 1907 the manufacture had grown to be one of the largest in Switzerland. Literally: its headquarters on the Rue Leopold Robert spanned an entire block.
The eruption of World War II saw watches made by Eberhard, like many other manufactures, on the wrist of the world's militaries--a chronograph with a flyback complication was worn by officers in the Italian Navy.
After the war, along with much of the Swiss watch industry, the manufacture broadened its production to encompass watches meant for sports that emerged in the post-war period. Following in the footsteps of Rolex and Blancpain, the brand's first dive watch, the Scafograf, was released in 1958. The Scafograf 100 (so called due to its depth rating of 100m) lacked a rotating bezel, but it had a distinctive dial--with large luminous triangles at the poles and luminous plots at the rest of the hour markers--that would be carried through to its successors.
Only 200 of the Scafograf 100 would be made, and it was followed shortly by the Scafograf 200, which increased the depth rating to 200m. Like the Scafograf 100, only 200 of the 200m Scafografs were produced. However, the model saw the introduction of the rotating bezel which it would retain in the watch that followed--the Scafograf 300.
Released in 1965, the Scafograf 300 was given a new case with twisted, faceted lugs similar to that of the Omega Speedmaster Professional. The dial was also given a date window--its quirky, asymmetrical shape reminiscent of the Universal Genève Polerouter Date--and long markers and baton hands. Most importantly, the Scafograf now had a depth rating of 300m.
This particular Scafograf 300 combines the features of the older models with that of the new. The dial is the same as the earlier models, but with a date window. And the case (which has been professionally refinished by Orologiai in Parma) has those amazing lugs.
Few watches demand the intense and focused second look from collectors that the Eberhard Scafograf does, for the seasoned eye knows that the search for rarity, horological uniqueness and killer looks rarely combine so effortlessly.
Stainless steel HF case is approximately 42mm (excluding crown). Eberhard Calibre 266-123 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in excellent condition, having been recently professionally refinished by Orologiai in Parma, Italy. Rotating bezel is likewise in very good condition with crisp printing and minimal signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with excellent overall patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Dial does show some signs of radium burns near the hands. Eberhard crown. Eberhard case back has some signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm elasticized bracelet with brevet signed clasp dated 4/61. Bracelet is in excellent condition, very tight considering its age.