The Eberhard watch company was set up by Georges E. in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1887. Georges was no stranger to watches, his Father was a watchmaker and so it was logical that Georges would follow in his footsteps. Georges first completed an apprenticeship in watch making and then aged 22, set up his own business.
From the onset Georges' watches proved popular with the local clientele, so well in fact that he needed to find other avenues for his watches as growth in his home town reached capacity. So he set off to travel Europe looking for a wider audience for his fine timepieces.
The people of Europe also liked Georges' watches and soon he was able to set up a larger workshop to increase production. In the early 1900s, he made the decision to concentrate his efforts on producing watches that were of a higher quality than were available, and so production of several chronograph pocket watches was established. These watches continued to be the mainstay of the business until 1919, when Eberhard’s two sons, Georges and Maurice took over from their ageing Father.
The two brothers brought fresh ideas to the business, including the fact that wrist watches were gaining in popularity. They knew that if the company wanted to survive they would have to start work on a new style of watch altogether. The brothers created a range of stunning wrist watches that incorporated all the finesse of the original pocket watches. Their specialty was a wrist watch chronograph which proved very popular throughout the following years.
More innovations came through, and in 1930 the first automatic wrist watch was produced. The popularity of the company did not go unnoticed in government circles, and soon the Company was supplying the Italian Navy with their wrist watches. This association brought further innovations, and in 1938 they introduced a split-seconds chronograph to the expanding range. For the next decade the company concentrated on their superlative chronographs and gained a wide reputation for the quality of their watches.
For the collector, Eberhard watches are special. They have to be some of the most attractive of all the watches I have seen, given their age. The chronographs with stop watch functions are worthy of any collection, you can also get them with power reserve, day/date and even moon-phase functions too. You can buy a brand new Eberhard watch and pay $5000 for it, or pay $1000 or less for a genuine vintage watch - I know which one I'd go for!
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