EBEL – When beauty marries function
Architecture & Design

Ebel Draws Inspiration From Le Corbusier To Bring Beauty And Function Together

Ebel is known as a maker of well-made affordable timepieces, yet for decades, the attraction for the Vevey, Switzerland brand has never waned. Let's explore why. 

By Benjamin Teisseire

It is in the unique and relevant setting of Le Corbusier’s Villa 'Le Lac' in Vevey that Ebel unveiled, on a beautiful Spring morning, its 2019 novelties and limited editions in its legendary Ebel Sport Classic collection. Relevant indeed, as Ebel is the main sponsor of Florence Cosnefroy’s exhibition – “Couleurs et Correspondances” – making its debut that week in this idyllical setting.

The artist associates letters from Le Corbusier to his loved ones to colors from the color chart he developed. Not only is it beautiful, but it holds a deeply moving emotional intensity. Florence Cosnefroy makes walls and colors speak. She resuscitates the dead, so they can help us understand Le Corbusier all while comprehending time.

Emotions of Time

Indeed, the exposition is about time. It miniaturizes within the 64 sq. meters of the villa aspirations of both the man and the artist Le Corbusier was. Between function and emotions. The parallel with Ebel’s conception of watchmaking becomes blatant. Le Corbusier incarnated a certain philosophy of a quest of perfection through colors, shapes and materials. Sure, architecture must be functional, but it must also convey emotions. What would watchmaking be if it was not the exact same case!

Flavio Pelligrini, Ebel’s CEO, is proud of this partnership between Le Corbusier and the brand. It is part of Ebel’s history. Eugène Blum and Alice Levy, the brand’s founders, were both born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, just as Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, a.k.a Le Corbusier. They share with him the idea that function does not exclude beauty, quite the contrary. Both concepts can embrace each other to create a coherent unity, charged with emotions. Just like the two “E”, back to back, a perfect symbol of the fusion of beauty and functionality and logo of the brand since 1950. The iconic Sport Classic collection, introduced in 1977, and its emblematic wave bracelet is yet more proof. It perfectly fits on the wrist – function – and possesses the fluidic beauty of a wave on the water.

Ebel’s new collections

The exposition enables the brand to elegantly introduce Ebel’s 2019 novelties. Women are at the forefront of course, as they represent 75% of Ebel’s revenue. The Ebel Sport Classic collection introduces two refined olive-green sunray dials adorned with 4 applied golden Roman numerals at XII, III, VI, and IX as well as eight diamonds. The 29mm version adds an 18k 3N yellow gold bezel, set with 47 VS quality diamonds. The Mini 24mm version plays on sobriety with the same bezel without the diamonds. It is very efficient, refined and elegant, complementing perfectly the brushed stainless-steel bracelet where the “waves” have been polished in 3N gold PVD treatment. The contrast heightens the natural fluidity and will surely delight the many lovers of refined and functional timepieces.

The other great novelty is the new Sport Classic Lady and 3 models with a fully mirror-polished bracelet. Bezels are either stainless steel, 18k 3N yellow gold or 18k 5N rose gold. Dials are uncluttered with sleek applied baton indexes. A very modern collection with a nice glamorous touch in the pure Ebel style.

The brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds proves once more its capacity to create sleek, elegant and functional watches mixing the beauty of their lines and the simplistic use of quartz. New mechanical models for men will be introduced during the year. We are eagerly waiting to discover them.

(Photography by Pierre Augier for EBEL)

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