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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

Need some help Id'ing a family heirloom. This Eterna belonged to my grandfather and was passed along to my father who has now given it to me.

Looking up the serial it looks like its from 1948-1949 and the fact that it says Staybrite on the back leads me to believe it's one of the earlier Eterna-matic watches released.

I've got a pretty good feeling the strap is aftermarket as I can't find any pictures online of this style of watch with this type of bracelet.

Any ideas as to what i have? Watch seems to run fine. Thanks in advance!

E1.JPG E2.JPG E3.JPG E4.JPG E6.JPG
 

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I'm not an Eterna expert but I'd say you've got a very nice heirloom there, the strap is either a Bonklip or a similar style strap and may very well have been on the watch since new. Has it been serviced lately? If not id get it done and wear it with pride.

Matt


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Matt.

I wouldn't be surprised if this watch hasn't been serviced in decades - if at all.

Here are a couple more pictures of the clasp - there seems to be a logo and marking on there that I can't make out....

DSC_1814.JPG DSC_1815.JPG

Apparently my grandfather wore this watch everyday - i'm pleasantly surprised that it's in it's current condition if that was the case!
 

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Definitely an early example, powered by a bumper movement, and they are very nice watches. It is possible that the bracelet is original. I own a couple of very similar versions, including this one:

 

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The bracelet is actually marked 'Mido' - at least this seems pretty clear to me, perhaps my eyes are faltering - so it's certainly not an Eterna bracelet. I believe the smaller, hard-to-read logo is for Gay Frères, a famous jewellers who made a couple of similar metal bracelets at the time. This is known as a bamboo bracelet, as the links resemble bamboo branches (I guess). In any event, it may well have been the original bracelet your grandfather had fitted when he bought it, it's certainly the correct period for the watch. I have a similar era Eterna with the same bracelet (although mine isn't marked Mido), so I think you can rest easy on the bracelet side of things. They're a bit cult: RARE '51 Vintage Gay Freres Steelinox Bonklip Watch Bracelet Band for Rolex 16mm | eBay

You really should think about getting the movement cleaned and lubed. The oils which were used when this was last serviced break down and harden, increasing the wear on all the bearings, etc. Especially if this is a bumper wind watch (which I think it isn't but rather I'd expect to find a calibre 1247T or 1247UC inside, personally, but we'll only know which when the back comes off).

Very nice watch!
 

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1948 where when the ball bearing was introduced.
So this could be one of the first Eterna models with the new and modern "ET(ern)A" movement, that was their subsidiary that they made 1932 .
 

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i have to concur with those who say that it isn't a bumper. i have found that the following guide is pretty accurate assuming no redials and watches made before the mid 70s or so-

if the dial says:

eterna- handwind if pre-quartz. or can be quartz if in that timeframe. post mid 80s, i think they did away with the "matic" designation and just went to Eterna, so everything is labeled so. i usually don't pay much attention to anything past the mid 70s so i could be mistaken here.

eterna automatic- bumper auto. as in tony c's example above.

eternamatic- full rotor auto on the ball bearing race.


the OPs watch is very early in the development of the full rotor. i think we'll find a member of the 1247 family under the hood.
 

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Here's a 1247UC that I bought last week…

_MDH6738.jpg _MDH6741.jpg

i have to concur with those who say that it isn't a bumper. i have found that the following guide is pretty accurate assuming no redials and watches made before the mid 70s or so-

if the dial says:

eterna- handwind if pre-quartz. or can be quartz if in that timeframe. post mid 80s, i think they did away with the "matic" designation and just went to Eterna, so everything is labeled so. i usually don't pay much attention to anything past the mid 70s so i could be mistaken here.

eterna automatic- bumper auto. as in tony c's example above.

eternamatic- full rotor auto on the ball bearing race.


the OPs watch is very early in the development of the full rotor. i think we'll find a member of the 1247 family under the hood.
 

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Parts are available, in general. They are robust and well-built, as well, so I think it will probably only need a nice clean, lube and adjust.
 

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I could do with a watchmaker who can get parts for Movado bumpers. Checking tonight I realised that none of mine are in working order.
 

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"the super flat automatic".

that's great. you know, there isn't much talk about it now, but back in the golden days, as many of you other hard-core collectors know, thickness of the movement was a huge deal.

companies devoted outlandish amounts of time and energy attempting to develop the thinnest movements. it was in many ways a testament to their ability as manufacturers.

and eterna was one of the best. they routinely produced the thinest movements...until some other company got a micron thinner, and the competition went on and on.

it's funny to look back on now as very few collectors or watch aficiandoes even care about that aspect.
 
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