Atlantic: when obscure means great value

April 2016

The Swiss brand has been around for about 128 years, producing solid watches at a great price. But don’t tell the Swiss about it just yet!

There’s a special place, deep in the online watch forums, where Atlantic watches are discussed by watch aficionados. The brand has a special place in the hearts of vintage watch collectors.

That’s actually how I first discovered them years ago, on an online vintage watch auction. At first glance I was intrigued by their unique brand logo (sometimes it’s the simplest things that matter). That prompted me to learn more about the brand.

Atlantic: when obscure means great value

What I learned is that Atlantic presents a curious case in some respects.

The company is Swiss through and through, founded in 1888. Going by the name of EKB back then, it adopted the Atlantic name only in 1952. Their watches offered – and continue to offer – great value for money, relying on Swiss-made ETA, Sellita and Ronda movements. In fact, you can probably still find Atlantic watches that are decades old and are still ticking without any kind of routine maintenance. Available in both quartz and automatic models today, their prices range somewhere from 200 CHF up to 1,000 CHF.

Atlantic: when obscure means great value

Despite its “Swissness” and very democratic pricing, the curious part is that very few in Switzerland actually know of the brand. But Atlantic watches are quite popular in Eastern Europe, where they are held in high regard. Part of the reason was their reliability and excellent pricing, and partly because those states weren’t exactly spoiled for choice in terms of luxury goods during the good old days.

Today, the brand remains true to its vintage models, offering reworked designs of its great Worldmaster line. But they also appeal to the more forward looking crowd. The new stainless steel Seaway line, for example, is a new addition for the brand aimed at those who like simple and plain lines.

Atlantic: when obscure means great value

I’m particularly a fan of their new Worldmaster 1888 „Lusso“, which is at the higher end of the brand’s offerings. Equipped with a refined Sellita SW 200 Automatic caliber, the watch is targeted at price-conscious customers and enthusiasts eager to enter the realm of automatic three-hand watches at a decidedly affordable price.

It comes in either a black or silvery dial, which features a vintage feeling sunburst pattern, as well as manually applied red-gold-plated baton hour markers and hands.

Atlantic: when obscure means great value

Stealing the show is the aperture at 12 o‘clock, which reveals the pulsating balance of this self-winding 44-mm open-heart watch. The mineral-glass is also open, exposing the rotor with Geneva striping, which maintains a power reserve of 40 hours.

But it’s limited to only 888 pieces, which means you’ll have to move fast to get your hands on one. That’s because true watch fans can always recognize another fellow aficionado if he or she has an Atlantic on the wrist. The watch shows an understanding of great watchmaking, and the appreciation of great value.