Help Identifying Eterna?

Thread: Help Identifying Eterna?

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  1. #1

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    Question Help Identifying Eterna?

    Hello there people :)

    Whilst cleaning and getting rid of old junk from an old cupboard of mine I bumped into this Eterna brand watch. Had it fitted with a new battery, but the fellow at the store couldn't really say a word about identification, only mentioned that probably from the 70's and that he had trouble finding a suitable battery.

    I was unable to open the back cover, however here's a few pics of the front of the watch. Seems to run just fine, any help on identification, era and value would be very nice! Whilst Im not planning on selling it, sparked my interest in old watches.

    Cheers,
    J
    Attached Images Attached Images




  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifying Eterna?

    It is hard to say without a picture of the movement. It is possible this is a quartz controlled balance wheel (which were often labeled 'electronic' as well as quartz) or a quartz controlled stepper motor (a modern quartz).

    We don't do valuations (there is a note at the top of the page saying why). It is quite a collectible watch and you can check eBay for ones that are similar. They usually go for a lot less than people expect.

    This watch is from the middle 70's, I suspect. Eterna is a recognized Swiss brand with a good record of making quality watches.
    Last edited by Eeeb; August 26th, 2008 at 11:39. Reason: typo
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3

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    Re: Help Identifying Eterna?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    It is hard to saw without a picture of the movement. It is possible this is a quartz controlled balance wheel (which were often labeled 'electronic' as well as quartz) or a quartz controlled stepper motor (a modern quartz).

    We don't do valuations (there is a note at the top of the page saying why). It is quite a collectible watch and you can check eBay for ones that are similar. They usually go for a lot less than people expect.

    This watch is from the middle 70's, I suspect. Eterna is a recognized Swiss brand with a good record of making quality watches.
    Thanks for your reply,
    Managed to open the back covering and here are the innards, as I dont know squat about watches - dont look like much to me :) Interesting though, would like to know more.
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  5. #4
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifying Eterna?

    I have just posted a link to this posting in HEQ ... that quartz group is very interested in early quartz watches.

    On the baseplate just above the battery (from the picture's orientation) there may be a manufacturer's mark... can you see one?

    I have never seen a quartz movement quite like this one... maybe reenforcements will be able to shed some light on this.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifying Eterna?

    Let me add a little detail so when you are looking at this you see some things.

    The part labeled D3 is probably the quartz crystal. The black object with 7330 is a small integrated circuit that controls the watch. Just above it (in the pic) is a brass screw in what was once a round piece of plastic... it is the 'fine tuning' for adjusting the rate of the watch... It looks like it may have broken at some time in the past.

    Surrounded by the label Swiss Seven 7 Jewels and the Eterna plate is the top of the balance wheel with a ruby (one of the jewels) set in a shock absorber mount.

    This is an Eterna 1555 calibre. This makes sense as the 1550 was their version of the ESA 9162 tuning fork movement and this quartz watch would have been seen as it's sucessor.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  7. #6

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    Re: Help Identifying Eterna?

    Ah, interesting. So is the movement somehow unusual then? Despite the round piece possibly being broken, it seems to keep time very well - as far as I can tell :) On the baseplate it says 918 0 and on the other side of the battery is a roundish blob with E and "SA" below the E. I tried to take another picture in a different orientation, which proved a little difficult, however one picture worked out semi-well, and is posted as an attachment.
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  8. #7
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Help Identifying Eterna?

    This may be clearer. (I don't know anything about it though!)
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    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.

  9. #8
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    The movement is an ...

    ESA 9180 which was the first ETA quartz movement.



    You can learn more about this movement here: ETA-ESA 9180

  10. #9
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: The movement is an ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JimH View Post
    ESA 9180 which was the first ETA quartz movement.



    You can learn more about this movement here: ETA-ESA 9180
    I suspect Dr. Ranfft is not correct on this one... I see no coil for the stepping motor. I am not sure why one would encase a balance wheel as it has been done, however. In any case, it is a rare bird indeed.

    I remember buying Eta's first quartz... but I can find no record of it in my files.... I must have just bid on it and lost. Oh well... I guess I don't get to tear it apart to solve the mystery!

    AH, a question... does it make a ticking sound??
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  11. #10

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    Question Re: The movement is an ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    I suspect Dr. Ranfft is not correct on this one... I see no coil for the stepping motor. I am not sure why one would encase a balance wheel as it has been done, however. In any case, it is a rare bird indeed.

    I remember buying Eta's first quartz... but I can find no record of it in my files.... I must have just bid on it and lost. Oh well... I guess I don't get to tear it apart to solve the mystery!

    AH, a question... does it make a ticking sound??

    No, no sound at all. Im a little confused by this right about now :D
    edit: ok, if I put right next to my ear in a quiet space and really focus, I can barely hear the arm(s) moving.
    Last edited by Porq; August 26th, 2008 at 15:16.

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