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Eterna Automatic "Click" to Login or Register 
Hamilton WW Expert
IHC Life Member
Picture of Bryan J. Girouard
I fairly clueless when it comes to Swiss automatics...

This is an Eterna bumper automatic in stainless steel with a pink (gold/gold-filled?) cap.

What can anyone tell me about this watch? How old is it? What does "Barth-Zurich" on the dial mean?

Bryan J. Girouard
Art Deco Wristwatches

Posts: 169 | Location: Dallas, Texas U.S.A, | Registered: March 30, 2004
IHC Life Member
Wristwatch Host
Picture of Tony Dukes
Nice looking watch. I feel sure Rich Kuhn can tell us all we want to know about the movement.
Posts: 1953 | Location: Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S.A. | Registered: August 01, 2003
There used to be a contemprary artist in Zurich Switzerland in the late 1940's by the name of Hans Barth. It also appears as if there is now an art gallery in Zurich called after his name. I believe the Eterna watch as shown may have been from a small private label run and an item which was either given away or available for sale to visitors of the gallery. I'd also estimate it's possibly from from the late 40's but much more likely from the 50's.

Dave Freeman
IHC Member 321
Posts: 976 | Location: Texas in the U.S.A. | Registered: January 27, 2004

I was waiting for Bruce to reply, as he's done a good bit of research on Eterna. Pending his input, I'll venture a couple of guesses. I believe your watch dates to the 30s or early 40s, partly based upon styling and it's apparent size, but more because they went to a patented ball-bearing full rotor design in 1948, and that prompted the name change to "Eterna-matic" with the familiar "five balls in a star" logo. I believe your watch is an earlier design, especially as you said it's a bumper auto.

And I also believe that it's likely that "Barth" is the name of a Zurich jeweler, who had private labeled watches made. Swiss firms used to do this the same way that American pocketwatch companies did. It doesn't surprise me that a Google search doesn't turn up a result, as this was probably 65 or more years ago, with World War Two in between.

Regardless, Eterna has a long history of high quality watches, and your example is quite nice.


Posts: 267 | Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA | Registered: December 12, 2005
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