Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch
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Thread: Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch

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  1. #1
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    Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch

    Hello,

    Just joined because I see this forum is very educated and this watch is stumping my bad. Any help greatly appreciated!

    Got this watch in a trade. Has engragiving on inside of date: 71748 and a name B.Snyder. The first of these new ball bearing movements say 1949 according to the source pictured.

    The body looks almost like a machined prototype. The locking mechanisms that are held with 2 tiny machine screws are confusing me because I have never seen anything like it.

    I am not saying I found a holy grail watch, I just can’t find anything on this watch. Any information or insight would be greatly appreciated. A possible value would be great too. Oh yeah, did I mention she works great!

    Thanks in advance,
    Dennis
    Forum Super Noob
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  2. #2
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    Re: Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch

    It's an "early" waterproof case from the 40s. There was also a variation with 2 screws only and then the famous breveted clamshell case from the 30s.
    Here a few examples:
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    HTH

  3. #3
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch

    Three things... First: what makes you think that the number scratched on the inside of the case is a date? This looks like a service marking, done by a watchmaker upon servicing a watch. These can mean just about anything. And yes, SCRATCHED, not engraved. Engraving is something of an art, and this scratched mark was never meant to look good.
    Second, the movement is no earlier than 1949, as indicated by the serial number.
    Third, the dial has been poorly restored at some point - the font has little to do with anything to be found on a genuine Eterna dial.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    Second, the movement is no earlier than 1949, as indicated by the serial number.
    Not that sure. Consider that the Eterna records, and accordingly the lists in the web, are organized after the case number. But Eterna sold also naked movements to be encased by the customer, mainly to the U.S.A. Therefore the movement number is (with few exceptions) higher than the recorded case number, and the op's movement was likely made in the first production year 1948.

    There are good reasons to start a new movement generation with ladies movements. They are the higher challenge, and if mastered, the follow-up of a gents movement is easy. Moreover a ladies movement can well be dropped into a gents case, while it is at least hard to squeeze a gents movement into a tiny ladies case - especially back then, when ladies prefered pea-size watches.

    However, Eterna followed this way and started the first ball-bearing line with a ladies movement in 1948, the 1194 with 7.75''':
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Eterna 1194R

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    For bigger watches this was blown up in three steps up to the "gents" 1199 with 10''':
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Eterna 1199R

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    In 1949 they took their old bumper automatic and equipped it with the ball-bearing rotor - a pretty easy approach to create the first gents movement line with sizes between 11.5''' and 13.5'''. The smallest was the 1248:
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Eterna 1248T

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    I doubt that the blown up ladies movements were contnued after having this easier to produce model, and therefore almost all with numbers around 3,300,000 were actually made in 1948.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  6. #5
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    Thanks, I appreciate all the detail and effort you put into this thread. I learned a lot!!

  7. #6
    Member joeabroad's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped! Possible Earliest Eterna Matic Mens Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    Consider that the Eterna records, and accordingly the lists in the web, are organized after the case number. But Eterna sold also naked movements to be encased by the customer, mainly to the U.S.A. Therefore the movement number is (with few exceptions) higher than the recorded case number, and the op's movement was likely made in the first production year 1948.
    If I understand this correctly, because Eterna sold "naked movements" they produced more movements than cases, accounting for the fact that in most Eterna-Matics the movement number is higher than the case number. Is that what you're saying? I''ve always assumed that the year of production year list at Triple Time dated the watches by the movement serial number. If you're right, then all of my watches are a year or two older than I thought they were, and I no longer have a birth year watch!

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