Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    On any given day, you can find on Ebay a number of "Eterna-Matic 5-Star" watches (and case/bracelet/dial kits), allegedly NOS, allegedly from the 1970s. These are usually being sold from Asia and have the following features:
    • Dial is usually a degrade (brown, black, grey, brown) with "Eterna-Matic 1000" at the top and "Five-Star" at the bottom.
    • "T" marks around Swiss - and have no lume on the dials!
    • Oyster-style case with 19mm bracelet attachments and ridged bezel
    • Straight ETA 2824 movements (usually gold-plated rotors with "adjusted 6 positions" printed on them, sometimes not).
    According to information I received from Eterna this year (from Mr. Laurent - to whom I sent links to some listings), these are counterfeits (or, I guess, frankens), starting with the wrong movement. "This model" (and it's not clear from his email whether it is the case or the 1000 line) was supposed to come with an ETA 2878 - a day/date movement that was never COSC certified.

    Bear in mind that Eterna (like a lot of Swiss mfrs) made its dials, cases, and bracelets in Thailand, which makes it pretty easy for people to assemble parts into what look like genuine watches.

    A couple of other notes
    • I believe the cases being used for these are actually those from the Octo Missilemaster, which does take a 2824 - but the case may be correct..
    • Eterna's 2824 variants (12824 if it's old, 2824-2 if it's newer) are generally decorated on the bridges. The version in these watches is generic.
    Bear in mind also that Eterna did not have the kind of visibility to motivate counterfeiting until it remade itself as an upscale brand.

    Verb. sat. sap. - but all of that said, if you like the completed watch, it's not bad looking. It is a little bit chintzy in its feel, though.

    D
    Last edited by dstella; December 6th, 2011 at 05:24.

  2. #2
    Member Tick Talk's Avatar
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Great detective work! Can you also post pictures?
    Tick Talk says, "A watch in the hand is worth two on the wrist"

  3. #3
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Hi there... very interesting read...


    I was drawn to this as I bought a Eterna-Matic 5 star... from Hong Kong... aslo described as New Old Stock!

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/bro...-a-559647.html

    There are a few variations to listed above.... but some similarities! Was I lucky? or do you also think franken?

    I also contacted Eterna (Mr L), like I do with all my Eterna's....

    Mr L's response (as can be seen in the thread):

    Dear Sir,

    Your ETERNA 1000 5 STAR reference 606.0105.41 is wearing a movement caliber 2836-1 and has been manufactured in 1980.


    This model was previously produced for the Chinese market.

    We hope this information will help and stay at your disposal for any further request.


    Cheers,


    Marc
    jimdon5822 likes this.
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  5. #4
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Indeed a lot of useful information - thanks for posting. Its quite a minefield out there!
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  6. #5
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    I have my doubts to the statement that lots of Swiss manufacturers use Thai resources for dials and cases
    Pink Floyd. Dark side of the moon. Side one, track four.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    DragonDan, sadly, the Swiss pretty much all were in on Cosmo Dial, which exploited a weakening of the "Swiss Made" designation. If you collect 1970s watches, it couldn't have escaped your attention that the case styles, marker designs and appliques are very similar. Take a look at Rado, Eterna, Certina, Tressa Lux and Oriental and ask yourself why there are so many similarities. Well, it all boils down to:

    Rolf W. Schnyder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some of the 5-star dials are stamped "Made in Thailand" on the back of the dial. Seeing that in a listing picture for a case kit made me curious, and I came across a Malaysian obituary for Schnyder that told the story. The Wikipedia article has some other details, such as the fact that Cosmo's Swiss office was collocated with ASUAG (which owned Eterna, Longines, Rado, and... Eterna - as well as owning ETA). And this fueled other suspicions driven by the fact that these watches have "roulette" date wheels with 4s of a shape atypical of ETA.

    D

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    I have my doubts to the statement that lots of Swiss manufacturers use Thai resources for dials and cases

  8. #7
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparcster View Post
    There are a few variations to listed above.... but some similarities! Was I lucky? or do you also think franken?
    Marc,

    My guess that yours is mildly Franken (the rotor). I went to Eterna with this reference number and a watch that looked like this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ETERNA-MATIC-1000-5-STAR-DATE-AUTO-AUTOMATIC-MEN-WATCH-/120822756968?_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI %26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D3%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clki d%3D4711258972526448336#ht_1608wt_129

    (note that this has exactly the same reference # as yours, which has a different bezel, dial and movement)

    I bought mine from a seller in England who bought it as new old stock. Mine (exactly the same ref # as yours) contained a generic 2824 movement with a worn(!) plain chrome rotor. I was set off because I thought that someone had done a poor repair, saw some that had gold "Adjusted 6 Positions" rotors on Ebay, and wondered what was up. My curiosity was also piqued by the roulette date wheel, whose 4s looked nothing like flat-topped ETA 4s.

    I emailed Eterna (and included some links to pictures of the gold "6-position" rotors too), and the response I got was:

    "Thank you for your information. I forward it to our CEO. This model should wear a movement 2878 and has never been certified COSC."

    Having seen yours (and combining it with what Mr. Laurent said), I now understand that the Eterna-Matic 1000 with the reference # I gave (also 606.0105.41) corresponded to a day-date watch (hence, why you were told 2836 and why I was told 2878). So mine had the wrong case back, dial/movement, or both (as is the case with many circulating on Ebay, including the one in the link above). And nothing with this reference number should ever have a gold "Adjused 6 Positions" rotor. Mine had a base, completely plain rotor - apparently it didn't get the "special" treatment you see in a lot of the listings! You'll also see that among these listings, there are different hands. The link above has the plainest batons imaginable (probably wrong for the 1970s); mine had the ones with black and luminous insets (currently being sold as service parts on Ebay!).

    Yours at least has the right basic configuration (the movement model can be seen on the edge of the main plate). The things that might be wrong are (1) an apparent lack of dial lume (this is a feature on every Eterna I have seen that has luminous hands - there should be 2 dots at 12, no dot at 3, and one dot everywhere else; older ones like KonTikis would have had two at 12, no dot at 6, and one dot everywhere else) and (2) what is probably a replacement rotor. It does seem to have the right kind of grooved deco for an Eterna-ized ETA movement. The hands may or may not be the right length.

    And as to missing dial lume, you can see numerous Eterna service dials on Ebay that are not lumed yet. My suspicion is that you could not lume a tritium dial ahead of its use because there was nothing to stop the radioactive particles if you didn't have a crystal over it. So they would have done this on-demand at assembly in Switzerland.

    The wrong rotors could have innocent explanations but still add up to frankens. Chief is the humid environment often found in Asia, and if you've seen the rotors of 1970s watches sold from India, you know that it does bad things. I can see someone replacing a leprous rotor. But when an Eterna-Matic rotor is used to dress up a base movement or to upgrade a non-COSC unit, that's more troubling. And in terms of rotors and movements, there there may also be some manufacturing in Asia. I was always extremely suspicious that ETA could make the 2840 at Swiss labor rates and put it in a $70 watch.

    None of this is intended to cast aspersions on particular Ebay sellers; they may all ultimately be buying from the same "manufacturer" on the supposition that these are new. But buyer be very, very beware. But if you like the way they look...

    D

  9. #8
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Hi D,

    Again.... a very interesting read!


    If you have read my thread from earlier this year.... you will also see my skepticism at such a watch.... My thoughts when buying it... and with a lot of NOS watches, is that it was made up from a bunch of NOS parts or 'aftermarket' parts... which I have always thought.... I was surprised at the response from Eterna and was expecting them to say 'there was no such serial number'.... which I say in my thread!!

    As for the lume... I suspect you are right... I dont normally look for Eternas from this period, so dont know how they were lumed!

    I would imagine that the sellers (in Asia) know full well what they are selling.... when I purchased mine, I did look at other sellers to see 'aftermarket' dials/cases etc for sale.... That said, I did not see a matching case back number to mine.... But from your findings, I would guess these are being manufactured... possible copied from an original - as the serial number does get a result from Eterna!

    Luckily, I did not pay that much for mine and view it as a 'nice thing'..... would I buy it again? probably not..... will I keep it for ever..... probably not! Thinking about it.... have I worn it since buying it.... No.



    Marc
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  10. #9
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Good info dstella.

  11. #10
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    Re: Counterfeit Eterna-Matic 1000 5-Star watches on Ebay

    Hi D,

    I guess almost all your statments are at least likey. Especially this doesn't only apply for Eterna, but almost every brand:
    Quote Originally Posted by dstella View Post
    And as to missing dial lume, you can see numerous Eterna service dials on Ebay that are not lumed yet. My suspicion is that you could not lume a tritium dial ahead of its use because there was nothing to stop the radioactive particles if you didn't have a crystal over it. So they would have done this on-demand at assembly in Switzerland.
    New dials I get actually ready with lume, but older never. Even such reputable brands as Omega supply old dials without lume, regardless via wholesaler or directly. Here one of my last exaples:



    The luminous dots were actually applied by my watchmaker - not perfectly, but still better than on originals.
    (Don't mind the second crown; the photo is from an anectote: Ranfft Watches, Master Desaster)

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

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