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October 18, 2017

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Eterna Watches: A Time-Honored Luxury Brand

https://www.timescapeusa.com/collections/eterna

 

TimeScape is proud to feature the luxury Swiss  brand of Eterna, with a 150 year illustrious history in watchmaking that proves its innovation and prowess in horology. From the Eterna-matic worn by iconic movie stars of the golden years to the infamous Eterna KonTiki Collection , inspired by a scientist heroic journey across the Pacific Ocean, Eterna’s influence and innovation to the world of watchmaking has no doubt made its mark.

 

The Beginning of the Eterna Watch

https://www.timescapeusa.com/collections/eterna/ladies-watchThe storied history of the Eterna watch begins in 1856, when Dr. Joseph Girard a physician and his partner Urs Schild, a school teacher founded the ébauche factory “Dr. Girard & Schild”.  Ébauche, meaning, quick sketch or underpainting in oils and the appropriated term in horology refers to unassembled watch movement (or generic movement) to be then manufactured for use in other Swiss watch brands.. Since the beginning, the Eterna watch movement was in the forefront and continues to perfect and revolutionized their own calibers and Sellita movements.

 

In 1886 Dr. Girard retired & Schild then went on to produced his own designs of ladies wrist watches refurbished from pocket watches under the name Präzisionsuhren-Fabrik Gebrüder Schild (Precision Watches Factory Schild Brothers) or Schild Fréres & Co. with his brother.

Schild Fréres & Co. began producing fully assembled and manufactured watches including the case and dial with great success in 1876. When the “Eterna” collection was released in 1890 and labeled on the dial, the company was employing 300 workers and producing 180 timepieces a day. The collection was so popular that the Eterna label was adopted as the corporate brand name in 1906: "Eterna-Werke, Gebrüder Schild & Co."

 

Eterna Innovations through history

1948 was a fundamental year in the history of Eterna watches, and the entire watchmaking industry: it was the year the Eterna-matic watch movement was released. Other automatic watch designs were subject to wear and tear, which affected their accuracy and reliability. But that was no longer a problem with Eterna’s ball-bearing mounted rotor. The rotor was mounted on five miniature ball bearings, which provided support, balance, and significantly reduced friction. With this invention, the Eterna-matic watch ran smoothly and reliably, even under extreme conditions.

 

The Eterna-matic was a huge hit, and the five tiny ball bearings—which brought worldwide success to the brand—were chosen as the new logo. Eterna of course kept expanding on the movement, first miniaturizing it for ladies’ watches, and then slimming it down. This resulted in the smallest automatic winding calibre in the world, which powered the Eterna-matic Golden Heart for Ladies. This timepiece received the endorsement of stars such as Gina Lollobrigida and Brigitte Bardot, contributing to this model’s success. The Golden Heart collection is still in production today with pieces such as the Golden Heart LE, modernized with state-of-the-art technology to pay homage to its heritage.

 

The Eterna-matic movement is still in use today, further proving the importance of the history of Eterna watches, as well as their innovative prowess. TimeScape proudly offers Eterna timepieces from the Eternity collection, which draws inspiration from the iconic pieces from this period. The Eternity Artena, Eternity For Her, and Eternity for Him collections capture the classic elegance of Eterna watches.

 

The Kontiki Dive Watch

The Eterna KonTiki Collection commemorates the ground-breaking expedition that Thor Heyerdahl, an archaeologist and ethnologist, took in 1947 to prove the theory that South Americans migrated from the east and not the west to populate Polynesia. The journey was documented in a documentary movie and won an academy award in 1951 along with a published book of the trip in 1948 translated into 70 languages

 

Heyerdahl and five other scientists struck out to prove that pre-Columbian natives of South America could reach Polynesia on a primitive raft with help from just the Humboldt current and the eastern winds. After 101 days, the explorers reached the Raroia atoll in Polynesia on a simple Balsa-wood raft named after the Incan sun god Kon-Tiki, with Eterna watches on their wrists that withstood the torrential adventure. To celebrate this achievement, Eterna designed a collection of rugged and sturdy pieces to commemorate this iconic trip for explorers everywhere.

 

This Kontiki diver wrist watch has enjoyed success ever since its release and is one of the most popular Collection offered. The Eterna KonTiki watch comes in a variety of styles from the classic automatic Kontiki with pyramid shaped appendices to the Super Kontiki diver with unidirectional bezel. The Super Kontiki Chronograph Manufacture has a see-through exhibition case back to display the movement and the luxurious Royal Kontiki is accented with decorative screws within the bezel. TimeScape, also carries the  KonTiki 4 Hands Eterna-Matic, which has many of the same aspects as the original release, making it ideal for the explorer who has an appreciation for history.

 

Eterna’s Continued Success

Eterna’s limited Edition Bronze Kontiki was just released at Baselworld 2017 and features a 44mm bronze case and ceramic bezel limited to just 300 pieces. Shop the entire Collection and see the other wonders that the world of the Swiss-made Eterna brand watches manufacturers. TimeScape is proud to be a brick and mortar store that showcases this fine line in our retail store as well as on-line. Shop the Collection now, we guarantee all our wrist watches are authentic with a 2 year warranty on the Eterna Collection.


Craig Zaligson
Craig Zaligson

Author



3 Comments

Jim Sennish
Jim Sennish

March 12, 2020

I recently inherited an Eterna Automatic watch with a black face. My jeweler said it was old, but he couldn’t pinpoint the date it was made. Is there a way to learn when it was made? Thank you!

Ed Miera
Ed Miera

March 12, 2020

I have a kontiki eterna-matic that looks like the picture in the original magazine advertisement. If it is one from the 50’s is it collectable?
All the ones I have seen on line have a strap, mine has a bracelet thank you Ed Miera

Lester E KlingenbergLester
Lester E KlingenbergLester

March 12, 2020

I have a 1950s eternal with 12 diamonds on face very nice watch I didn’t know you still sold them I’m in wichita ks I want to buy another one where do i go to see them in person my watch is amazing

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