Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 50 posts and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.
Butterfingers

Etena Military Watch

Recommended Posts

Hello to all.

Not a watch collector, hence not really any need for an introductory post.  However, like most people, I have acquired watches along the way - as it were; none I imagine of much interest to members: One is a Longines Charleston left to me by my Father; another a Garrard 9ct dress watch left to me by my Grandfather. He worked 30 years as a toolmaker to be eligible for it!  So, tremendous sentimental value, but I suspect that’s all.

I have another watch, an Eterna WWW, also with great sentimental value, that is the subject of this post. I would appreciate members’ comments about, and opinions of it.

https://postimg.org/image/lf6zjuumx/

 

Cheers,

David

*Hopefully the photo will upload!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
relaxer7    3,348

Welcome along David! I don't have much knowledge on vintage watches but it sounds like you have a nice start on a collection... 

I love the fact that each one has its own story :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gimli    1,517

That looks like a military issued watch. If it's true it's quite valuable. Although I'm not sure if the dial is redialed or not since it looks very good. Maybe post another picture with the caseback. It'll tell us whether it's military or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, and the welcome.  You are correct gimli, it is a redial. I was hoping more people would comment on it and give opinions on the quality of the work. It is a bit of an unfortunate story; it cost me a (relative) fortune, probably more than it is now worth – as I understand that many people don’t like redials.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would write a full reply to this query but I don't think it is necessary because the story of the WWW military watches is quite well known and has been covered fully online. Essentially, the British military, at the beginning of World War Two, decided that with the British watch industry seemingly not up to the job, Swiss watchmakers would be given a brief to produce a military watch fit for purpose. 12 Swiss companies managed to fulfil the relevant criteria and started manufacture of the watches, which are so named because they bear the large letters on the caseback, "WWW."  Interestingly, the WWW watches do not represent the best of Swiss watchmaking, and were obviously made to fulfil a limited set of conditions. Nevertheless, they are collectible, and complete sets of these watches - i.e. one from each of the 12 contributing watch companies - are now very valuable. The question of which manufacturer produced the best example of these twelve versions has been debated, and certainly Longines and IWC are up there among the main contenders. However, Eterna was no poor second best, and their watches of the period were of good quality.

 

The so-called "Dirty Dozen" - different versions from 12 different companies of the WWW military watch (picture from cloudfront.net/monochrome watches.com): 

WWW-Dirty-Dozen-collection2.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
artistmike    3,602
On 13/01/2017 at 19:17, Butterfingers said:

Thanks for the replies, and the welcome.  You are correct gimli, it is a redial. I was hoping more people would comment on it and give opinions on the quality of the work. It is a bit of an unfortunate story; it cost me a (relative) fortune, probably more than it is now worth – as I understand that many people don’t like redials.

David

It's unfortunate that it was found necessary to re-dial the watch as it will have de-valued it immensely but, as you say that it has great sentimental value, that won't be a worry to you and as you've not shown the condition pre the re-dial, it's difficult to say whether it was really would have been considered necessary by a collector. By the way, is this actually a re-dial or was the original re-painted? If the former then presumably you have the original and it could be replaced if necessary.   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

artistmike, thank you for your interest in my sorry little tale, "unfortunate" hardly covers it!

In December 2012 I sent my Eterna, which I have owned for more than forty years, to a watch repairer who advertised that, among other watch makes, he serviced Eternas. He also stated that he could restore the dial as new. Well, there was very little wrong with the dial - if anything - but I thought that a clean-up and perhaps a touch-up here and there wouldn’t go amiss.  I think the man I sent it to must have had health problems, as, over seven months later, in July ’13, I received the watch back; this is what it looked like!

https://postimg.org/image/u2c8teek7/

As you can imagine I was pretty devastated, but blamed myself for my ignorance. I did not realise that “restore as new” meant repaint a completely new dial – in this case a very different dial.

I put the watch at the back of a drawer and tried to forget about it.

In about September last year, I rediscovered the watch and decided to do some internet research. I found a company who looked as if they did quality work. I sent an email and they requested that I send the dial and hands. I did so and also sent a photo of the watch as it should be.

They informed me that, unfortunately, they did not have a template, but could have one made up. Rightly or wrongly I opted to pay for the template to be made. I had gone this far and in any case the watch with its botched redial was of no interest to me.

So, to cut a long story short, I paid £420.00 for the complete job: template, dial and hands.  I have to say, as far as the second redialer’s work is concerned, I cannot fault it. But of course as you have said, the watch is devalued as a result. I do not necessarily blame the original redialer for the totally different dial he sent me – but why he didn’t point out that there was absolutely no need for a redial – is beyond me.

I think, of all the mistakes I have made over the years, this is one of the most regrettable.

I am intrigued by your suggestion that the original dial could still be in existence. I will have to contact the original redialer.

 

David

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
andyclient    923

You could try and source another dial or broken watch , put a search in eBay and wait and see if anything shows up. I think that's what I'd do 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
29 minutes ago, andyclient said:

You could try and source another dial or broken watch , put a search in eBay and wait and see if anything shows up. I think that's what I'd do 

 

Good point andyclient, but it would no more be my original dial than either of the redials. Good from a collector's point of view, but not from mine.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
andyclient    923
1 hour ago, Butterfingers said:

Good point andyclient, but it would no more be my original dial than either of the redials. Good from a collector's point of view, but not from mine.

David

No i can appreciate that , and i really feel for you , but whilst i realise one from an identical watch wouldn't be " the original dial" it would be "an original dial " 

Far from your ideal solution i know , cheers Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trouble is, bearing in mind the money I have already spent, a decent quality original dial - which would probably not be in anywhere near the condition of my original dial – would be very expensive; given that, to collectors, the 'face' of the watch is everything.

Cheers,

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/01/2017 at 08:59, artistmike said:

 ...................... By the way, is this actually a re-dial or was the original re-painted? If the former then presumably you have the original and it could be replaced if necessary.   :)

I contacted the first re-dialer and he replied to me very quickly. Unfortunately my original dial was the template for the new.

 

 

On 15/01/2017 at 11:59, andyclient said:

You could try and source another dial or broken watch , put a search in eBay and wait and see if anything shows up. I think that's what I'd do 

I couldn't find any Eterna dials, but for a rough guide as to price, this is an Omega "Dirty dozen" dial currently for sale on Ebay

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-Omega-NOS-Military-Dirty-Dozen-Watch-dial-found-with-other-dials-/272487294487?hash=item3f71822617:g:RMkAAOSwA3dYUy08

 

Always"watching": thank you for the wonderful photo of the 12 different versions of the "Dirty dozen". The IWC appears to be in as-new condition; a re-dial perhaps?

Cheers,

David

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×