Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?
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  1. #1
    Member WTSP's Avatar
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    Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    I'm very surprised to see that most of Ebel's models featuring the caliber 137 movement are offered with flat sapphire crystals.

    I have been looking to purchase a 1911 chronograph since it offers an in-house movement (based on Lemania) with an interesting design at an affordable price. However, my research has lead me to believe that the crystals are flat, not the type of thing one sees paired with higher end models and in-house movements. Am I mistaken in this assumption?

    Here's an example of the Ebel 1911 chrono with the caliber 137 from breitlingsource.com:


    Also there's a review here that states that the upscale BTR models also have flat crystals:
    Test: The New Ebel 1911 BTR Chronograph

    This to me is something of a deal breaker as I expect domed/curved crystals from high-end timepieces. Are there any Ebel fans that can tell me I'm wrong!

  2. #2
    Member novedl's Avatar
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    Ebel is a part of the very successful movado group and to my knowledge they all use flat crystals.
    Enjoying a life far better than I deserve...

  3. #3
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    I don't think a flat crystal denotes a cheap watch. Modern Rolex are using flat crystals.... No AR either.... Not a high end timepiece?

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  5. #4
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    Re: Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    Point taken. However despite Movado's success, they don't push the envelope in terms of high-end time pieces. As for Rolex, they stick to their guns producing traditionally styled pieces that buck current trends (large watches for example). Good on them, they can do this because they're Rolex.

    On the other hand, if you take a brand such as Longines that spans both the entry-level watch and "accessible luxury" watch markets, ones can see a transition where flat sapphire crystals are abandoned for slightly domed ones. At the $4000 - $5000 and up price points it's rare to see flat crystals. Since Ebel was pricing their 1911 chronographs at that level I expected them to go with the domed.

    It may boil down to preference for some collectors, and mine is for domed crystals. I may have to make an exception for the Ebel 1911 though...

  6. #5
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    Sure they use flat crystals - why not? They cost about the same as other crystals and look great on some watches. Whether the watchmaker uses flat, domed, high shouldered or some other design depends as more on how it fits with the overall design than any other criteria. I've got an early 1970's Omega Seamaster in a big funky cushion case with a lovely flat crystal. A dome or raised shoulder would not look as nice.
    Last edited by John MS; September 1st, 2012 at 17:41.

  7. #6
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    Re: Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    It's true that the crystal's shape should confirm with the overall design of the watch. Some models genuinely do look better with a flat, some diver or tool watches for instance.

    Ebel's models, especially the 1911, are all about soft shapes. My first feeling was that a dome would have suited the 1911s better. Still pondering whether to order one and find out.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    I generally prefer the aesthetics of a domed crystal. I am sure I wouldn't like my Aqua Terra as much if it had a flat crystal. I agree that the 1911 would also look good with a domed crystal. On the other hand the 1911 has superb anti-reflective properties, much more so than the AT. Perhaps the flat crystal contributes, but in any case, I enjoy wearing both watches equally. Another advantage is that as my eyesight continues to deteriorate I can choose to put a date magnifier on a flat crystal. I guess a few of you just recoiled in horror, but that is my reality .

  9. #8
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    Quote Originally Posted by WTSP View Post
    It's true that the crystal's shape should confirm with the overall design of the watch. Some models genuinely do look better with a flat, some diver or tool watches for instance.

    Ebel's models, especially the 1911, are all about soft shapes. My first feeling was that a dome would have suited the 1911s better. Still pondering whether to order one and find out.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    BTW I love the 1911 series...absolutely a classic and unique design. I wonder if the watch designer chose a flat crystal as a way of minimizing apparent height. That said I agree a moderate dome would fit in well with the case design.
    Last edited by John MS; September 2nd, 2012 at 05:23.

  10. #9
    Member Ddc1974's Avatar
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    1911 is an awesome design and does not look cheap at all! Rolex, hublot and many others use flat crystals. I don't think the 1911 would work with a domed crystal... It looks awesome with a flat one. I love mine..,

    Last edited by Ddc1974; September 2nd, 2012 at 06:55.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Ebel uses flat crystals in their cal.137 models?

    Wow, not THAT is a serious Ebel. Good on you Ddc1974 and thanks for the pictures. With a watch like that you clearly know a thing or two about the brand.

    A video for a similar watch had contributed to my original surprise concerning Ebel's use of flat crystals on high end models. I couldn't imagine that they would not switch to domed at the ~$10k price level. On this design the crystal actually covers the bezel ring, in which case flat may make sense.



    Since you have the benefit of actual ownership I'll have to take your word that flat crystals can be applied in high-end watches.

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