Our first blog post is about Eterna watches, a brand well known to industry insiders and collectors, but which has managed to somehow stay below the radar of the general public.
We love them for their great style and mechanical excellence. Our own interest in watches and watch collecting began, in part, with the Eterna Matic Chronometer shown here.
This one dates from 1966. It’s a gold cap over stainless steel case, with automatic movement calibre 1429U, which was the world’s thinnest automatic movement when it was first introduced in 1955. Maison Birks, Canada’s most prestigious jewellers, retailed this particular watch.
Another word you may have noticed on the dial is ‘chronometer,’ which has specific meaning in the world of high grade watches and signifies that the mechanism has been tested and certified by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). Each uncased movement is individually tested for fifteen days, in five positions, at three different temperatures and must maintain an accuracy of roughly -4 to +6 seconds a day.
Eterna were founded in Grenchen, Switzerland in 1856 by Josef Girard and Urs Schild, and originally known as Dr. Girard & Schild, changing their name to Eterna in 1905. They quickly became renowned for significant technical innovation in mechanical watch design, with milestones such as the world’s first wrist alarm watch in 1908, the production of the world’s smallest production wristwatch in 1930.
But Eterna’s biggest influence was and has been in their innovations in the field of automatic movement engineering. They came up with the ball bearing mounted revolving rotor (both of which you can see in the movement picture posted here), which hugely reduced friction. You’ll see their 5 bearing design referenced in their corporate logo with its five balls.
Eterna then created an independent company, known as ETA, to produce and supply movements to many other watch companies. Eterna, by the way, are known as a ‘manufacture,’ watchmakers who not only design their own timepieces, but also assemble them, as well as producing the tools which enable serial assembling of the components.
We’re pleased to offer many fine Eterna watches—both manual Eternas, as well as automatic Eterna Matics. Their good looks and elegant movements represent an ideal starting place for aspiring watch collectors. Relative to other high grade watches, Eternas are, in our opinion, undervalued in the marketplace and represent good potential for long-term investors in timepieces.
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