If you are not familiar with Ebel and have never heard of the brand’s ladies’ watches, you are not alone. I hadn’t either. Little did I know the Sport Classic has been the Swiss watchmaker’s flagship collection since its inception in 1977. Thanks to the vintage revival, the Sport Classic has appeared on our radar and looks as in style as it once did in the 1980s. Touting timeless sophistication and elegance, the heritage brand is introducing three new Sport Classic Lady models to keep the light of its past glories burning.

Ebel Sport Classic Lady

Over a century old

Here at Fratello, we haven’t put much ink on this brand other than RJ’s persistent boast of the Ebel 1911 Chronograph back in the day. And it turns out this historic brand has quite a legacy. Founded in 1911 in La Chaux-de-Fonds by husband-and-wife duo Eugène Blum and Alice Levy, Ebel is the acronym of their initials, “EB et L.” Unlike most Swiss manufacturers who suffered during the quartz crisis, Ebel thrived in the ‘80s with a breakthrough in design engineering that marked the beginning of its sport-chic category.

The boyfriend watch

The brand started marketing the “beauty marries function” philosophy with the birth of its hero product, the Sport Classic. Introduced exclusively in a quartz offering, the trendy collection was much recognized for its signature “wave bracelet” and case with five screws on the bezel. It also successfully embraced the power of celebrity endorsements with Hollywood and tennis stars. Originally a men’s model, the Sport Classic quickly became popular with the ladies as “the boyfriend watch.”

Ebel Sport Classic Lady

The tennis association

In the ensuing years, the brand fell in and out of favor with the market due to changes in ownership and distribution until Movado Group acquired it in 2003. The mothership eventually launched the “new” Sport Classic collection in 2010, primarily selling to women. Fast-forward to 2023, and the Sport Classic is reconnecting with its tennis association. Ebel has engaged itself to become the official time partner of the Ladies Open Lausanne, Bad Homburg Open, ELLE Spirit Open Montreux, and Hamburg European Open this year.

Ebel Sport Classic Lady

Modern iterations of an old classic

To mark the return to the games, Ebel will be launching a 50-piece limited run of the Sport Classic Grande Lady Tennis in June. And for now, a regular Sport Classic Lady version with a plain dial in the same color and specifications has just been released to the wider public for a taste of what is to come. Crafted in stainless steel with a 33mm diameter, the Sport Classic Grande case has a distinctive hexagonal shape donning alternating brushed and polished finishes. The galvanized scarlet dial features rhodium-plated Roman numerals and eight diamond indexes (0.052cts). Sitting above are two faceted, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands. Topping it off is a sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on the underside.

The Sport Classic Lady runs on the ETA quartz caliber E61.031, which has been the trusted go-to for many years. That helps to achieve the slim 5.99mm profile and makes the watch feel like a second skin on the wrist. The tapered bracelet with its trademark curved wave links and classic folding clasp also adds to the fluidity in wearing comfort. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters to ensure it is fit for purpose and true to its name.

Ebel Sport Classic Lady

The options

For an even more feminine style, the Sport Classic Lady also sees two other new versions in a 29mm size. This case is made of stainless steel and 18K 3N yellow gold, featuring alternating brushed and polished finishing. Its gold bezel is fastened with five 18K gold screws and studded with 47 VS-grade diamonds 1.2mm in diameter (0.3055cts). Additionally, the hexagonal yellow gold crown features an embossed “E” logo. The dials come in either sky blue or amber mother-of-pearl with 3N yellow gold-plated Roman numerals and eight diamond indexes (0.052cts). The amber version also comes in a smaller 24mm option.

Final thoughts

These new Sport Classic Lady models continue Ebel’s effort to salute its original sport-chic design. The throwback aesthetics are easily likable. However, the prices start at €2,500 for the 33mm scarlet-dial steel version and go up to €4,900 for the 29mm two-tone versions. That’s serious money indeed for a watch with a quartz movement that hasn’t changed since the relaunch of the collection. Here, you’re paying for the design and the bling, and that’s a subjective and personal choice. If you know me, you know these couldn’t be further from what I like, but I don’t judge. We all have our preferences. These watches have a delicate sense of beauty that would appeal to the most elegant of wrists.

For more information, visit Ebel’s official website.