What is this watch?
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  1. #1
    Member poppasmirf's Avatar
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    What is this watch?

    Need help identifying this watch. It's 9k rose gold with a telephone dial and Montal strap. The number in the hammer head is unfamiliar, it looks like a "1" followed by a "C" and the third character resembles an oddly shaped "y". The watch is definitely from 1927 or earlier, as indicated by the engraving on the caseback. The Roman numerals on the dial are faded but still legible, no other markings are present on the face. The movement shows no manufacturer mark or number except on the upper side with an "L" and "AS". Hope someone can shed some light on this one.

    Thanks,
    Doug
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  2. #2
    Member Old Navman's Avatar
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    Re: What is this watch?

    The movement looks like Eterna cal 360.
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  3. #3
    Member Old Navman's Avatar
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    Re: What is this watch?

    The hammerhead Hallmark is Swiss - C stands possibly for La Chaux-de-Fonds. Not sure about the rest.
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  5. #4
    Member simpletreasures's Avatar
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    Re: What is this watch?

    Any chance of getting pics that aren't so blurry?
    https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/westfield-watch-company.109201/

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  6. #5
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    Re: What is this watch?

    Nevertheless, with "AS" on the dial side of the movement, it's more likely to be an Adolf Schild calibre. Probably yet another bridge variant of the AS 340 family. The keyless works certainly fit the bill, once the broken spring is added:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: AS 340

  7. #6
    Member Old Navman's Avatar
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    Re: What is this watch?

    I found this movement dated early 1930's. Could be variant of earlier AS base caliber. Looks pretty close to the OP's movement, after all Eterna was an "off spring" of Schild Fréres.

    Name:  Eterna 360 3F.jpg
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  8. #7
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    Re: What is this watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Navman View Post
    Could be variant of earlier AS base caliber...after all Eterna was an "off spring" of Schild Fréres.
    Don't ever say that in Grenchen - you might get lynched!!

    Yes, Eterna is an offspring of Schild Frères, but they didn't really have anything to do with Adolf Schild. Certainly not anything they would want to admit to.....

    Once upon a time, there was a man who lived in Grenchen who was called Anton Schild. He got together with a medical doctor called Girard and they founded the ebaucherie (raw movement maker) Girard & Schild. After a while, Dr. Girard got bored and opted out. Also, the company soon started making complete watches instead of just movements.

    This man had three sons: Urs, Max and Adolf. These took over the company and they became Schild Frères. However, at some point, Adolf fell out massively with the other two, particularly with Urs, and left the company to found his own: the movement maker Adolf Schild. Although there were plenty of other makers in the city at the time (Certina, Nivada, Adolf Michel.....), the feud persisted and fairly well divided the cityfolk. It was considered unthinkable to work for one company and marry someone associated with the other (sort of a modern Protestant-Catholic issue ).

    Fast forward to the late twenties and, following WWI, the Swiss watch industry, particularly the ebaucheries segment, was doing pretty badly. Watches were luxury items and after the Great War, people had less money for luxuries. However, the oversupply of movements meant that watchmakers could choose the ebaucherie they got their movements from and depress the prices. In particular, Adolf Michel was on the verge of bankruptcy. So, AS, AM and FHF got together and founded the ESA (Ebauches SA) trust. The ultimate aim was protectionism with the Swiss industry being strongly regulated, all companies being assigned their own little place and noone treading on the others' toes. It worked, so well that even the Swiss government was persuaded to get in on the act and pass legislation that tightened the laws for companies that didn't want to join the ESA.

    One of those pieces of legislation aimed at preventing companies from being both watch manufacturer (making whole watches) and ebaucherie (selling their movements to other companies). In particular, the practices of Eterna were a sore point: Eterna was not only making ebauches as well as whole watches, they made better movements for themselves and more standard ones for general consumption. Remember the Eterna-Matic with ball bearing rotor? Until the late sixties, ball bearings were reserved for Eterna, the other companies all had pin mounted rotors. However, Eterna responded by adhering to the letter of the law only: they outsourced their movement making section to a new company, ETA, that was independent on paper but in practice still tightly associated with the mother company Eterna. Nevertheless, during the quartz crisis, the two companies were fully separated and now ETA has nothing to do any more with Eterna. And they all didn't (!) live happily ever after: Adolf Schild went under, their movements were not included in what came out of the melting pot of the ESA (ETA came out tops, Peseux, Unitas and Valjoux movements were still produced, but none from AS), Eterna lost its movement making section and ETA became part of the Swatch group, i.e. lost its independence.

    So, if you go to Grenchen and voice your statement these days, you might end up being heard by someone still loosely affiliated to either of the two (now three) companies who bears a grudge. Knowing how bloody the feud used to be, I wouldn't be surprised if a stock of tar barrels, bags of feathers and wooden planks were still maintained in that city.....

    Hartmut Richter
    Last edited by Hartmut Richter; 1 Week Ago at 23:25.

  9. #8
    Member Old Navman's Avatar
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    Re: What is this watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Don't ever say that in Grenchen - you might get lynched!!

    Yes, Eterna is an offspring of Schild Frères, but they didn't really have anything to do with Adolf Schild. Certainly not anything they would want to admit to.....

    Once upon a time, there was a man who lived in Grenchen who was called Anton Schild. He got together with a medical doctor called Girard and they founded the ebaucherie (raw movement maker) Girard & Schild. After a while, Dr. Girard got bored and opted out. Also, the company soon started making complete watches instead of just movements.

    This man had three sons: Urs, Max and Adolf. These took over the company and they became Schild Frères. However, at some point, Adolf fell out massively with the other two, particularly with Urs, and left the company to found his own: the movement maker Adolf Schild. Although there were plenty of other makers in the city at the time (Certina, Nivada, Adolf Michel.....), the feud persisted and fairly well divided the cityfolk. It was considered unthinkable to work for one company and marry someone associated with the other (sort of a modern Protestant-Catholic issue ).

    Fast forward to the late twenties and, following WWI, the Swiss watch industry, particularly the ebaucheries segment, was doing pretty badly. Watches were luxury items and after the Great War, people had less money for luxuries. However, the oversupply of movements meant that watchmakers could choose the ebaucherie they got their movements from and depress the prices. In particular, Adolf Michel was on the verge of bankruptcy. So, AS, AM and FHF got together and founded the ESA (Ebauches SA) trust. The ultimate aim was protectionism with the Swiss industry being strongly regulated, all companies being assigned their own little place and noone treading on the others' toes. It worked, so well that even the Swiss government was persuaded to get in on the act and pass legislation that tightened the laws for companies that didn't want to join the ESA.

    One of those pieces of legislation aimed at preventing companies from being both watch manufacturer (making whole watches) and ebaucherie (selling their movements to other companies). In particular, the practices of Eterna were a sore point: Eterna was not only making ebauches as well as whole watches, they made better movements for themselves and more standard ones for general consumption. Remember the Eterna-Matic with ball bearing rotor? Until the late sixties, ball bearings were reserved for Eterna, the other companies all had pin mounted rotors. However, Eterna responded by adhering to the letter of the law only: they outsourced their movement making section to a new company, ETA, that was independent on paper but in practice still tightly associated with the mother company Eterna. Nevertheless, during the quartz crisis, the two companies were fully separated and now ETA has nothing to do any more with Eterna. And they all didn't (!) live happily ever after: Adolf Schild went under, their movements were not included in what came out of the melting pot of the ESA (ETA came out tops, Peseux, Unitas and Valjoux movements were still produced, but none from AS), Eterna lost its movement making section and ETA became part of the Swatch group, i.e. lost its independence.

    So, if you go to Grenchen and voice your statement these days, you might end up being heard by someone still loosely affiliated to either of the two (now three) companies who bears a grudge. Knowing how bloody the feud used to be, I wouldn't be surprised if a stock of tar barrels, bags of feathers and wooden planks were still maintained in that city.....

    Hartmut Richter
    Wow Hartmut,
    I would expect that anybody even remotely interested in watches has, at least, some idea about the Schild & Eterna connections.
    Must say, haven't seen you write that much for a while. You seem to know what they may do to me in Grenchen - are you sure that you are not from the area?
    Nobody knows Everything, but Everybody knows Something!


  10. #9
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    Re: What is this watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Navman View Post
    Wow Hartmut,
    I would expect that anybody even remotely interested in watches has, at least, some idea about the Schild & Eterna connections.
    Must say, haven't seen you write that much for a while. You seem to know what they may do to me in Grenchen - are you sure that you are not from the area?
    No, I'm afraid that I am virtually never in Switzerland. I just read a lot.....

    Hartmut Richter

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