Eterna Cylinder How old?

Thread: Eterna Cylinder How old?

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  1. #1
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    Eterna Cylinder How old?

    I have a ladies Eterna ww with a cylinder escapement.
    The movement serial number is 1770031 and I'm hoping Jim H. will be able to assign a date to it.
    Are there any books about Eterna?
    Last edited by Watchloon; June 14th, 2010 at 16:47. Reason: Had erroneously referred to cylinder as pin-lever

  2. #2
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    No date

    I did manage to find a book, though.
    For anyone interested in the history of Eterna, plus some pictures of both vintage and newer watches, the book is:
    Eterna Pioneers in Watchmaking by Gisbert Brunner and Christian Pfeiffer-Belli
    Overall, a very nice book, but no production dates for movements

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: No date

    Well done for tracking one down. Have you actually got a copy?

    A quick google tells me that Eterna themselves commissioned the book - and its rather expensive and hard to find. You'd have thought sticking a data page or two about movement dates in would be essential. No serial numbers either?
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    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Eterna Pin-Lever How old?

    Hi Watchloon,

    I record Eternas with known age (e.g. by inscriptions) since a couple of
    years. Not yet enough for publishing, but after my list the 1770031 was
    made about 1915/1916.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  6. #5
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    Re: No date

    Marrick, I was lucky and found a lightly used copy at a reasonable price.
    Eterna still sells copies of the book via their site and it is surprising to see that their price is less than most resellers' prices.
    It was a great disappointment to discover that there are no charts of movement dates.
    The majority of watch pictures show only the complete watch, not the movement.
    Strangely, the movement pictures that are there are angled, so that it is difficult, at best and often simply impossible to read the serial numbers.
    The vast majority of watches pictured are assigned dates, so it is strange that there's nothing to help a collector to determine the date of his watch, unless an identical watch is pictured.
    I guess Brunner ensured that vintage fans would find some satisfaction since the majority of pictures of vintage watches do have dates assigned to them.
    A search of Eterna's website didn't find any reference to them looking up watches' serial numbers (not even for plenty of cash, like Patek Philippe), so I find the angled movement pictures a bit puzzling.

  7. #6
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    Re: Eterna Pin-Lever How old?

    Roland, thank-you very much for the help with the movement date.
    It was very disappointing to discover the lack of that information in the official Eterna book.

  8. #7
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    Re: Eterna Pin-Lever How old?

    Eterna are in business to make money, specifically not to make the likes of us happy. They are a good name, not a great one and don't have the need to trade on the history or collectability of their product. Sad for us but true. Fortunately there will be those enthusiasts such as Roland who carefully preserve, archive and collate any scrap of information so that results can be extrapolated into useful data. Interesting that the now mighty ETA were making pin lever watches less than 100 years ago when so many other well known names were already making fully jewelled movements.

  9. #8
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Eterna Pin-Lever How old?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomshep View Post
    Eterna are in business to make money, specifically not to make the likes of us happy. They are a good name, not a great one and don't have the need to trade on the history or collectability of their product. Sad for us but true. Fortunately there will be those enthusiasts such as Roland who carefully preserve, archive and collate any scrap of information so that results can be extrapolated into useful data. Interesting that the now mighty ETA were making pin lever watches less than 100 years ago when so many other well known names were already making fully jewelled movements.
    It's not that interesting at all. Pin lever movements were used in the lower end watches of the day. Not everyone could afford a watch that used fully jeweled movements. They were catering to more then one segment of the market. A pretty good business model if you ask me.
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

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  10. #9
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    Re: Eterna Pin-Lever How old?

    Actually, there is something quite interesting about it, IMHO.
    While it is a cheaper type of movement, the watch case is 14K--and is also stamped Eterna, so I do believe they left the factory together.
    My guess is that the purchaser knew that a wristwatch would be quite n impressive item, so they spent the money on a nicer case, rather than a better movement.
    While it is only a lowly pin-lever escapement movement, it does have 10 jewels, so it seems to be a better type of a lesser quality movement

  11. #10
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Eterna Pin-Lever How old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchloon View Post
    Actually, there is something quite interesting about it, IMHO.
    While it is a cheaper type of movement, the watch case is 14K--and is also stamped Eterna, so I do believe they left the factory together.
    My guess is that the purchaser knew that a wristwatch would be quite n impressive item, so they spent the money on a nicer case, rather than a better movement.
    While it is only a lowly pin-lever escapement movement, it does have 10 jewels, so it seems to be a better type of a lesser quality movement
    That bit is interesting most definitely. I think I worded my reply incorrectly. What I meant was it made sense for Eterna to sell to all segments of the market. The higher end and the low end.
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

    -- John Maynard Keynes

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