Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
In my endless search for interesting timepieces to review, I recently joined Watch Gang. This company will send you a brand-new watch every month, which they guarantee is valued at considerably more than their monthly fee.
I selected the $29.99 plan, which, when shipping is included, comes to $39.98 per month.
The first watch I received was the Maurice Eberle Gambrel 20000D.
Watch Gang shipped the Gambrel 2000D on the 17th of the month, and it arrived seven days later. The timepiece was strapped around a soft, black pillow and shoved inside a watch box. This item was well packed in a small cardboard box.
The Maurice Eberle Gambrel weighs in at 68 grams (2.4 ounces). It measures 44 mm across and is 13 mm thick.
A black dial is enclosed within a gold-colored, stainless-steel case. A mineral crystal hovers above. Luminous paint has not been applied to either the hands or the dial.
A Hattori PC21 quartz movement powers this timepiece. Hattori Japan is a division of Seiko that was founded in 1881 when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo.
The watchband, composed of pigskin leather, is 22mm in width and includes a buckle that matches the color of the watch’s case.
Noted water resistance is 30 meters, which indicates this timepiece is splash resistant only.
According to several websites that sell these watches, Maurice Eberle was granted a Swiss patent for a watch movement in 1916. He went on to form the Gnomon Watch Company. Although this information is probably correct, I have been unable to verify these claims via my usual sources.
These same websites note that, 100 years later, the revolutionary ideals of Maurice Eberle and the Gnomon Watch Company have been reintroduced.
The modern Gnomon Watch Company is located in Singapore and has acquired a decent reputation. I have found references to both Maurice Eberle watches and Eberle watches; however, they appear to be separate entities.
I assume the Maurice Eberle brand is owned by a trading company. These watches are assembled in China, either from a design originated by the trading company or from one offered by the Chinese factory.
Brand: Maurice Eberle
Model: Gambrel 20000D
Place of Origin: Mainland China
Movement: Hattori PC21 quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Band material: Crocodile patterned, pigskin leather
Band color: Black with gold buckle
Band width: 22mm
Dial color: Black
Dial window material: Mineral glass
Case material: Stainless-steel
Case diameter: 44mm
Case thickness: 13mm
Weight: 68 grams (2.4 ounces)
Water resistance: 3 ATM (splash resistant only)
Gold colored studs, positioned to mark the hours, have been applied to a textured black plastic dial. Large and shiny Roman Numerals mark the four, eight, and twelve o’clock positions. In typical Chinese fashion, the Roman Numeral for four is represented by IIII. The gold hands that sweep across the face are easy to pick out, even in low light.
The black leather strap includes a Maurice Eberle engraved stainless-steel buckle, which is color-matched to the timepiece’s case. This is a handsome watch.
The overall construction of the case and crystal appears to be good. This watch is splash-proof only.
The Maurice Eberle Gambrel is equipped with a Hattori PC21 movement. It keeps good time, but adjustments can be touchy, and, when doing so, care must to taken hold the watch steady. Movement will often cause the minute hand to stray out of position. This indicates poor contact between the cannon pinion (to which the minute hand is attached) and the assembly used to adjust the time when the crown is extended. These are common traits among inexpensive quartz movements.
The crocodile patterned, pigskin strap is a far better band than I expected to find in a 35-dollar watch. It will not require replacement for a lengthy period of time.
The Maurice Eberle Gambrel is a great-looking watch that fits comfortably around my wrist. While I am leery of its movement, I do appreciate this timepiece’s premium leather strap.
You might also be interested in my review of the One Eleven Solar-Powered watch. It combines good styling with a premium strap and a quality movement.
Manufacturers will often focus on improving one characteristic of their watch in an effort to attract customers. If for example, a 20-dollar watch boasts water resistance of 300 meters, those interested in a cheap diver’s watch might take the plunge.
Unfortunately, in order to provide this feature, other aspects of the timepiece’s design are neglected. The following poll is designed to determine which improvement would be most likely to attract your interest.