While the name Eterna wasn’t used until the 1890’s, the origins of the brand date back a bit further to 1856 when Dr. Joseph Girard and Urs Schild, a 28-year-old school teacher, capitalized on the growing Swiss watch industry and went into business producing pocket watch movements. In the early 1900s the brand began to flex its technical muscles by introducing a watch moving safety band lugs and the first wrist worn series production alarm watch both of which brought a lot of success to the brand. A big turning point for the brand came in 1932 when the third generation of the Schild family took over the management of the company. At this time the company was split into two legal entities with distinct purposes. The two companies were ETA SA for the production of movements, and Eterna dedicated to the production of watches. For anybody familiar with watches, an ETA movement is a common sight in watches both new and old but the fact that it grew out of Eterna is lesser known.
The KonTiki is certainly the most famous and desirable of the model lines from Eterna and the story behind the model line definitely adds to their allure. In 1947 an explorer and writer by the name of Thor Heyerdahl set out from Peru with his crew on a wooden raft with the goal of reaching Polynesia. Heyerdahl wanted to prove that ancient South American and Polynesian cultures could have had contact with one another. The raft they used was named Kon-Tiki after the Inca god Viracocha, for whom “Kon-Tiki” was said to be an old name, and the watches that they wore were supposedly Eterna’s. The rest is history.
The Case and Bracelet
The bicolor 37mm case is in great to excellent condition with no major flaws to note. The case features an unusual inlaid gold bezel, screw down case back and crown, and an acrylic crystal with an integrated magnification window. The original signed bracelet and deployant clasp are in similar condition with no major flaws and the bracelet will fit a 7 inch wrist.
The Dial and Hands
The white dial and gilt hands and indices are in excellent condition. All of the printing on the dial is crisp and clear and all of the components are correct and thought to be original.
This watch features an automatic ETA caliber 2824-2 movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic ETA caliber 2824-2|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel and Gold|
|Band Material||Stainless Steel and Gold|