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Vetta 24 Heures – crazy test lab (AWW 12)

2749 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Maljunulo

Name: Vetta 24 Heures
Model Reference: 73732 0907.38
Movement: ETA 555.422, quartz controlled stepper motor, 5 jewels, battery type 371
Time display: 24 hour, minute, seconds
Date: no
Case: rotating metal case with stainless steel snap back
Size: 33 mm diameter
Height: 8 mm
Face: rotating white face usable as 24 or 12 on top, blue markers and hands for 24 on top, red markers and hands for 12 on top, black Roman odd hour numbers, red Arabian even hour numbers on outer unmovable bezel
Text on dial: Vetta
Text on back: Vetta 24 Heures, 3 ATU modele depose 73732 0907.38
Hands and markers: 24h black hours hand separately adjustable, extended full diagonal black minutes hand with red and blue arrows (for use with red or blue markers), small black sweep seconds hand
Water-resistance: 30m (3 ATM)
Crown: one hidden crown behind 12 reachable from back side
Crystal: flat mineral crystal
Lug: 18 mm
Bracelet: leather strap with buckle


I bought it from one German seller who kindly told me:
I used to be a watch collector when I bought this watch in Lago Maggiore in one jewelry shop. That was about 1990. This Vetta was offered as a 24h watch, but it was never weared by me because I can't understand how it works.
That was not the most encouraging message I got after I've spent EUR 116 for this watch.

That's the eternal question - high noon or high midnight? I can't find any poll here and I don't know how our members are divided. I would say that most of the 24h models have 24 on top, probably it reflects the general demand. Some models are offered in both versions. With this watch Vetta tried to invent one solution for everybody. With this Vetta you can have even EVERY hour you like on the top. And you can change your mind every moment and turn up another top. It is easy to rotate the case without take a watch off your wrist.

The solution is based on rotating case. The inner part of case, which contains dial and movement, is rotating ball bearing. Two main positions are of course 24 on top (corresponding dial color blue) and 12 on top (red). In center is written Vetta twice, in blue and read, to help you select the right color.

These pictures are taken at 16:20 (with 15 sec delay):

Movement inside is ETA 555.422. I think that these older quartz movements are looking cool. Originally (bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: ETA-ESA 555.422) it is desribed as a movement with

  • quartz controlled stepper motor
  • sweep second
  • day: quickset
  • date: quickset

Here we don't have day and date. And we have "quickset" 24h hand. I don't know what modifications Vetta made to the ETA movement. The result is that crown position 1 rotates the hours hand separately counterclockwise and position 2 is normal time setting where minutes and hour's hands move as it is with 12h (!) watch.

The separately adjustable hour hand is a headache. Same story as with well-known Alpha Military 24h Watch. I can only second what The TimeSurfer is writing (Alpha 24 Hour Watch Review - webWatchWorld):

The_TimeSurfer said:
So the Alpha(Vetta) owner ends up having a watch where the hour hand almost never hits the hour mark correctly, and it's bad news if you have to reset the hour hand for any reason, as it can take many tries to get it all working even somewhat correctly.
And here you have always bad news. To set time you have first set minutes in position 2 and thereafter hours in position 1. The crown is hidden behind 12 hour marker and reachable only from the backside. To handle the crown is a real pain.

The dial with blue and red markers and numbers, roman and Arabian numbers and strange looking hands looks very obscure. The impression is that this apparatus can be used only by gypsy fortune teller. But I would say I can see here style. The ancient original leather strap, absolutely outdated, looks also exactly the right one for Vetta. Who can wear this watch? Maybe an artist and/or dandy?

This watch was once in 2006 presented in this forum: If I'm right the list price once we see there (Lire 450,000) was about $300. Add inflation (The Inflation Calculator) and this watch would be today $525!

Usually when I'm writing on some watch here I try to test it on my wrist for some time. My first impression with Vetta was that this watch is not wearable at all. But after one mandatory day on my wrist I noticed, that actually it works! Moreover, I continued to wear it four days in a row, what is very rare with me. The main fun was that I was able to turn the case anytime I liked it.

I found out, that Vetta is the ultimate test lab to find out finally, what is better - top 12 or top 24. As a result I would say that for me the upper half of dial is always working better. And every morning I turned Vetta to top 12 and usually sometime after 18:00 to top 24. This type of dial is known as "Day and Night" (Jeur et Nuit), and several watchmakers have this type of models (Andersen, Cartier, Maurice Lacroix, Vostok Kremlevskie, Mr Jones).


Vetta is a real unique watch where you can test with exactly the same dial and same legibility conditions all 3 main dial types of 24h watches:

  • top 24
  • top 12
  • Day and Night

For me the clear choice was Day and Night, actually I'm really surprised. After successful tests I promoted Vetta from drawer status to wearable. It looks weird but I'm trying to pretend a dandy artist.

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Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I found a Vetta 24h watch for sale which I can't find anywhere else on the internet, and this thread seemed the most appropriate place to post it. Pictures from the seller:

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Brown

Watch Brown Fashion accessory Strap Material property

Details about it are minimal: it has an eta quartz movement and 35mm in diameter.

It's almost opposite compared to the version in the thread, in that it's a very simple watch. Wondering if there are other Vetta 24h watches out there?
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I like noon at the top, but I gather that is a minority opinion.
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