A Little, Steel Eterna
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Thread: A Little, Steel Eterna

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  1. #1
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    A Little, Steel Eterna

    So, only yesterday I have been doing some gardening, when I have heard a rather loud barking of Angus, my Bernese Mountain Dog. Turned out, that what he was barking at, was a truck outside the gate. Ran there immediately, and heard "Got a parcel for ya!" Signed, and ran home to open it up. Inside was this:

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    So, what's in the nice, little pouch?

    Well, here's how the contents of it look on my wrist:
    Name:  42eternawrist.JPG
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    It's a genuinely lovely Eterna - at 28mm it is small alright, but a) the case proportions make it look anything but undersized, and b) my wrist is 6.5", up to 6.75/6.8" on a hot day.

    According to the serial chart, this beauty dates to 1942. It is powered by either a cal. 845H or 905H (suffix "H" stands for the Eterna-H shock device). "Either", because the Ranfft archive entries for both movements have my "favourite" annotation - "Differences not known between..."

    Got to love the semi-gloss black dial with the gilt printing - the gilt track and Eterna inscription really stand out, especially at certain angles. Could stare at that all day long, and I wouldn't have enough of it. The radium lume has aged to a very dark, green-ish grey colour, in some places almost black. Some manufacturers in the early 1940s must have used the same lume - think of the dials and hands on German D/DH/DU milwatches. The lume on these usually aged the same way, so I guess it could have something to do with the maker/supplier of the lume.

    It's one of these Eternas, which have my absolutely favourite feature of 1940s-1950s watches made by that company - the waterproof case with a screw-down back. I have already had an opportunity to experience the quality of these, on my 1952 Eterna with a cal. 520U. The case back has a fairly tall, threaded collar, which does a great job at keeping water and humidity out. I can well be sweating like a pig, and that case back won't let a droplet through. Not a single issue with the crystal fogging up.

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    On the inside, the case is marked only "Brevet" and the Swiss cross, indicating a patented design (no patent number, though). Well, inscriptions on the inside would be redundant, as it's all here:

    Name:  eterna42caseback.JPG
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    Yep, it's one of these small watches, with as many features packed into the smallest possible package, to show off the manufacturer's capabilities. Which Eterna did show off, and in a really-good looking little watch.

    Next to its younger, but bigger sibling:
    Name:  2xeterna.jpg
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    To the fellow member of this fantastic community of watch-obsessed people, who sent me this gorgeous, wee Eterna: can't thank you enough!
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  2. #2
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    Re: A Little, Steel Eterna

    I had already been in love with that first Eterna. The new one is great. Look great together. I've got to find me a nice Eterna. Enjoy
    busmatt and mkws like this.

  3. #3
    Member SilkeN's Avatar
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    Re: A Little, Steel Eterna

    Nice litte watch and still a readable subsecond . It looks gread on your wrist but I miss a picture of the movement. I hope its in a good condition.

    Cheers Silke
    busmatt and mkws like this.
    That's what I think about today:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlUGeY7MWVo

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  5. #4
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: A Little, Steel Eterna

    Here's the movement:
    Name:  eterna905h.JPG
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    Appears to be a 905H- I don't know why the Archive lists it with the "differences not known" annotation, I think this explains the differences pretty well:
    Name:  eterna905sheet.jpg
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    It's missing the screws, and the wire across the movement appears to be a makeshift "stabilizer", resting against the case back. Will send it over to a friend in the next batch of watches to service (he's currently working on five of my watches), maybe he'll be able to sort it out. For now, I don't mind it- it works. And if it works, it works.

    The movement's very clean and winds smoothly- over these 75 years since it rolled out of the factory, the excellent case must have protected it well from humidity and dust.

    It's running wildly fast - and it does affect the compass, so I suppose that during shipping, the package must have been placed close to one with some magnetic contents. Dunno, like iPad "smart covers" or whatnot. Could also be, that the mainspring is old and lost some of its properties, resulting in a low amplitude (and therefore, making it run even faster). Guess demagnetizing it and optionally a new white alloy mainspring will do the trick. Of the mainspring issues I've learned upon having my '39 Tissot serviced - it wasn't magnetized, at least not nearly enough to even make the compass needle move by as much as 1 mm. The mainspring, on the other hand, wasn't replaced in decades, and it appears to have been causing the watch to run fast for the reason I've mentioned earlier. Haven't got the watches back yet, but from what I've been told, the new mainspring (made of contemporary materials) solved the problem.
    busmatt and SilkeN like this.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  6. #5
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: A Little, Steel Eterna

    Very nice! I am a big Eterna fan, and have more than a few, including this 30mm that is powered by the same movement. I also agree that the cases are excellent.

    Last edited by Tony C.; September 2nd, 2017 at 11:25.
    busmatt, mkws and SilkeN like this.

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