Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands
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  1. #1
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    Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Hi folks

    Just won this at auction, hasn't arrived, so here are the sellers pictures. It's an Eterna in a stainless steel case (back shown – screw down crown?). I don't know what calibre - yet – but I'm guessing cal 1078/1079. I will post pictures once I have in hand. By the serial number on the back, I'm guessing at a date of something like 1951-52.

    I think the hands look wrong. The minute hand looks too long and the style (too wide?) and the colour looks incorrect to me. But are the consistent to what other Eterna fans have seen? They just seem a little too gold to me. But I'll feel more certain when I have in hand.

    Thoughts? Thanks all, and Merry Christmas, too.

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  2. #2
    Member joeabroad's Avatar
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Very cool watch, but I agree that the hands don't look right--color and shape are unfamiliar.

    I can't wait to see the movement. Based on the serial number on the case I'd put this watch around 1940, not 1951.

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    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Yes, sadly, they are replacement hands. I say "sadly" because it is a cool and uncommon, small, clamshell style case. I also suspect that the dial, while genuine, may have been transplanted from another watch.

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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Yep, I thought as much. Here's a little cal 905H that I have, and I'm thinking that the hands should be more in that feel than the gold ones on it now.
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Serial 246... is for circa 1933-1934, which is quite early for this design. I agree with Tony, that the hands have been replaced. The style looks odd, and they appear to be of an incorrect length.

    As to your cal. 905H, if "little" means 28mm, and it has a screw-in back, then its black-dialed sibling from 1943 says hello:
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    The reference of this one is 106 BDT, so I suppose that it's the same with your 905H. In the reference, 1 stands for stainless steel, 06 is a code for "round case", B = originally equipped with a metal bracelet, DT (or, in some models, simply T) = waterproof. By the way, is the bracelet on yours a generic one, or Eterna-stamped? I've been trying to look for any clues as to what bracelet would these watches have been originally equipped with.
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony C. View Post
    Yes, sadly, they are replacement hands. I say "sadly" because it is a cool and uncommon, small, clamshell style case. I also suspect that the dial, while genuine, may have been transplanted from another watch.
    Agree. Infact the dial is too small for that case.

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    Member joeabroad's Avatar
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Now that I'm looking more closely it's obvious that the dial is too small for the case--you can see a gap all the way around it. Now I'm really curious to see what's inside. I still think that the case and the dial are both very cool--at least on their own!

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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    UPDATE: As you can see, the watch has arrived now. I've spent some long hours trying to find just the right hands for it. The movement is cal 600S (H1.50 x M.90) and as it's 10.5''', they need to be quite short by modern standards. I have an extensive collection of vintage hands, but all the same, the combination is fairly hard to find; most are too long. So these seem pleasing to my eye, although likely not to be the original shape (as in my posted example cal 905H and mkws' example). They should be luminous, but can't find the exact combo; I'll continue to hunt.

    The case is clamshell, as you can see. I have no doubt that the dial is both original and correct to the case, the fit is perfect. Sorry to those who think otherwise, but the dial is the same size as the movement and must - due to the clamshell construction = be no larger that the bottom part of the case or the glass would sit directly on it. The glass sits on the edge of the case, outside the dial, it has to. If it looks to you as though there's a gap there, it's an optical effect and not visible in real life. I presume that there should be a flat gasket between the glass and the case back.

    The ageing is consistent with a watch that dates from 1937 (going by my Eterna chart, sorry for misreading that earlier).

    Anyway, it's running beautifully and although small, presents very nicely.

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    Last edited by Habitant; January 15th, 2018 at 17:55.
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  10. #9
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    Thanks for the update. While the hands should be luminous, the ones that you have affixed look good!

    Still, it's very odd that there would be such a pronounced space around the outer track of the dial. I appreciate your point about the fit, but cannot recall having seen another example of such wasted space.
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    Re: Eterna ca 1951 - opinion on hands

    I see what you mean now. Actually, it really looks quite natural in the flesh. Honest. Actually, I'm wearing it now and it looks totally normal, but in the pics looks like a space wide enough to drive a train around. Can't see how dial could come from another case, but research will continue. Here's a link to Sparcster's WUS thread with a similar watch/dial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony C. View Post
    Thanks for the update. While the hands should be luminous, the ones that you have affixed look good!

    Still, it's very odd that there would be such a pronounced space around the outer track of the dial. I appreciate your point about the fit, but cannot recall having seen another example of such wasted space.
    Last edited by Habitant; January 15th, 2018 at 19:00.

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