Print-friendly version

Ebel Watches

The Ebel brand was created in 1911 by Eugene and Alice Blum, and one short year later after some painstaking research Ebel were able to launch their first wrist-watch. Two years after this they had the honour of picking up the Gold Medal at the Swiss national Exhibition in Bern. Ebel continued to produce fine watches until 1918 when they signed a distribution deal with Lipp Watches. This forged a new era for the company and they began producing many exciting and revolutionary designs of a kind that the world had never seen. In 1925 the company won the "Grand Prix" at the Decorative Arts Exhibition in Paris, and just a few years later Ebel was awarded the Diploma of honour at the Barcelona Exhibition. It was in this year that Charles Blum joined Ebel and helped the company launch the baguette movement for jewellery watches.

Ebel continued to have great success, in 1935 they were awarded a Diploma of Honour at teh Brussels Universal Exhibition and Ebel used the event to showcase their pioneering Western Electric Precision Testing System, developed in association with Western Electric. From 1939 to 1945 Ebel were the suppliers of a wide variety of watches to the British Army, this cemented the companies reputation and also allowed for the building of a new factory one year later. In 1955 Ebel launched the Piguet calibre 96 which at the time had the worlds thinnest ever movement, a mere 1.7mm thick. This was a huge success, especially in the United States and assured the companies success outside of Europe. In 1964 the company took the first prize award at the Lausanne National Expo in the jewellery and watch section.

The 1970's saw the fortunes of Ebel continue to grow, they launched the Sport Classic that was a unique design statement; never before had such elegant geometry featured things such as screws and rivets that punctuated the cases rounded and gentle lines. This was the first major worldwide success for Ebel and became the signature for the classic collection. Throughout the 1980's the company pioneered the use of sports sponsorship as a marketing tool when they signed major sponsorship deals across various sports. In 1982 the company launched the Chronography Ebel, a self winding model that was made up of over 300 individual parts, it was hailed as a perfect balance between design, excellence and technical performance. The year after saw the company sponsor the Davis Cup in a move that would increase the brands visibility worldwide. The early 90's saw Sandro Arabian join the company as a major part shareholder. He undertook an international tour with Barbara Hendricks to raise the companies profile somewhat. In 1994 the majority shareholding of Ebel was purchased by Investcorp.