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With the Ebener The First White Limited Edition, the German newcomer brand Ebener Watches enters the stage. Models that have the unmistakable recognition value of luxury watches and are still affordable – that’s an announcement! Whether the debut of Ebener succeeds, you will find out in this review…
Necessity is the mother of invention
Often it is problems that give rise to great ideas. This also applies to the story of Sebastian Ebener from Neunkirchen, Germany, who is probably one of the youngest company founders in the watch industry. The 24-year-old was infected with watch fever as a child – by his father, as he tells me. The desire to found his own watch brand finally followed at the end of his school years. “At that time, the name of the brand was already born,” Ebener says. For the high school graduate it is the beginning of a journey. In 2016, the ambitious project starts at the same time as his studies. “There are numerous construction sites coming up. What should the watch look like in concrete terms? Where do I get the money (…)? Who will produce my watches in the first place? How should I market them?”
As is well known, many people develop a love for watches. But what can drive a person to start his own brand right away? In Sebastian Ebener’s case, it was a concrete problem that developed into a need. I always thought luxury watches were great (…) because I was fascinated by the fact that I could immediately recognize certain models.” A phenomenon that Ebener misses when buying his own watch for high school graduation in the lower price ranges. He quickly analyzed the reasons. “For one thing, many have an overwhelming range of watches. That makes it difficult to incorporate a unique selling proposition. In addition, many brands have generic case designs or look heavily to well-known luxury brands.”
What sets Ebener Watches apart
The philosophy for Ebener Watches is thus clear. “To create a brand that is affordable for everyone in terms of price, but at the same time has a truly unique design,” Sebastian Ebener elaborates. To do this, he seems to approach the watch brand project differently and in his own way. Namely, the design idea of an Ebener Watch starts with the case. “To me, it has always made the impression that many watches were only designed from the front”. The case should look unconventional, but at the same time simple and modern.
Sebastian Ebener has already come a long way on his journey, which began in 2016. Two models mark the beginning of a range that is currently priced at 199 euros and is expected to reach 500 euros in the medium term. The First – White Limited Edition is the name of today’s test watch. Like its black sister model, the timepiece is limited to 100 pieces. I am excited!
Ebener The First White Limited Edition on the wrist
The fact that Sebastian Ebener had a clear vision in mind is immediately apparent as soon as you pick up the Ebener The First White Limited Edition. The debut piece is pretty much exactly what the company founder told us about the creation process. And it’s not the dial I’m looking at first this time, but the unconventionally designed case of the timepiece that stands out far above it. It doesn’t describe the old familiar round shape, but seems much more bulky. As such, it reminds me distantly of the case of a Seiko Turtle.
I turn the Ebener The First White Limited Edition a bit and examine the case from the side. I like the dynamic, slightly curved design and the look of the polished stainless steel.
Otherwise, “The First” appears quite classic at first glance. This is also how I would describe the effect of the watch on the wrist. Unpretentious and stylish, the Ebener The First White Limited Edition cuts a fine figure here. This is also thanks to the case diameter of just 39 millimeters, which is small by today’s standards. Especially on slim to medium-sized wrists, the timepiece makes a very complete impression. It’s a watch that doesn’t lay itself on too thick, stays pleasantly in the background, and sets accents to complete any outfit.
This is also a plus point. With its versatility, the Ebener The First White Limited Edition goes with every conceivable outfit combination without any restrictions. It therefore doesn’t matter whether you wear the watch with a suit or a T-shirt.
Good quality at a low price – the case
“Our goal was to create a case that catches the eye from every angle”. I already let it slip in the previous paragraph that the Ebener The First White Limited Edition is a complete success in this regard. To achieve a case with impact, Ebener has opted for high-quality 316L stainless steel. This impresses with its durability and resistance to scratches.
However, good material does not make a good watch. What about the workmanship? What can you expect for the price of just under 200 Euros? An astonishing amount, as the test for this watch review reveals. Ebener relies on predominantly polished, but also brushed surfaces, whose finish is really impressive. This quality is otherwise more familiar from the higher price segment – a foretaste of the upcoming watch models? Worth mentioning is the fact that Ebener’s “The First”, as well as the next generations, may bear the Made in Germany quality seal. This sets Ebener Watches apart from the competition, which mainly manufactures in Asia.
A watch crystal made of sapphire is actually used to protect the dial. No, I didn’t necessarily expect that, which is why I’m even more pleased. When resistance, shock resistance and readability are required, nothing beats sapphire crystal. In the entry-level segment, this material is otherwise sought in vain.
Finally, a few words about the six-fold screwed case back. The engraving of the name should become one of the trademarks. Here you can also find the production number of your Ebener The First White Limited Edition copy. The water resistance is stated by Ebener Watches to be 5 bar – solid!
What’s behind the striking falcon logo
Via the crown, I wind up the Miyota GM12 quartz movement. On the top, the letter ‘E’ is engraved, but this is not the logo. It consists of a stylized falcon. Sebastian Ebener told me an interesting anecdote about its origin. The idea for the bird of prey logo came from a pair of falcons that nested on the roof of his parents’ house. The founder observed one of their young ones during their first (not unproblematic) attempts to fly.
“One of the young once fell out of the opening onto a windowsill. At that time, it couldn’t fly properly either. We also thought about how we could help.
Somehow, though, the bird made it through the day. I discovered parallels in the situation,” the 24-year-old sums up. “Since the situation reminded me so much of how many obstacles were on my way to becoming a watch brand, I knew that the falcon would become the logo.”
Back to the movement – with the Miyota GM12, the Ebener The First White Limited Edition is perfectly equipped and ready for any situation. Personally, I am excited when we will see the first mechanical caliber in an Ebener watch. For the brand, the movement would fit like a glove.
Dial and bracelet of the Ebener The First White Limited Edition
The white dial presents itself in a discreet and classic way, which just looks good especially in combination with the polished in stainless steel case and the black leather strap, in my opinion. Since the Ebener The First White Limited Edition is more in the realm of dress watches, overloaded scales and chronograph functions would be out of place. Hour, minute, second and a date. You don’t need more than this relaxed combination in everyday life. What counts most is the elegant look, with which the Ebener The First White Limited Edition scores points. The polished line indices match the polished case particularly well.
Finally, let’s take a look at the strap. Here, Italian genuine leather with a pattern is used, whose good wearing comfort is immediately felt on the wrist. And even though Sebastian Ebener is following a clear design line, there should be more choices for the strap, at least in the future. “I myself have days when I prefer to wear a leather strap and others when I prefer to put on a watch with a steel strap,” Ebener states as a foretaste.
My conclusion on Ebener The First White Limited Edition – an insider tip
Well, at this point I would like to draw two conclusions. First, about the Ebener The First White Limited Edition itself. The model performed very well in the test and set the bar high for the coming generations of watches from Ebener. A successful design, good quality and an interesting background story mean that the first movement is a watch whose standard is far above that of its price class. For little money, you get a very good timepiece here. Other watches have to compete with this insider tip.
But I am almost more enthusiastic about the story of Sebastian Ebener than about the watch. Someone who has made it this far at such a young age deserves respect. “The fact that I kept at it has shown me time and again how important the subject of watches and my brand are to me, and what enormous fun and joie de vivre I associate with the subject,” he says himself. And if there is a recipe for a successful company, then it certainly consists of these two ingredients: fun and joie de vivre.
The course for the future seems to be set. “I’m not setting any limits for myself, that would just be the next milestones after the current model series is sold out,” says the 24-year-old confidently. This is the next hurdle to overcome. But selling all the copies of Ebener The First White Limited Edition shouldn’t really be a problem. At least not for Sebastian Ebener.