The Swiss watchmaking company Eterna will soon expand its line of chronograph wrist watches with a new Eterna Heritage Chronograph 1938 Limited Edition (ref. 19188.8.131.520) model. Presented in a massive, rectangular stainless steel body that somehow reminds me of similar timekeepers manufactured by JLC, the new vintage-styled chronograph leaves a lasting impression.
I am not sure whether the introduction of this model is a sign of an imminent overhaul of the complete Heritage collection or is it just a “design study,” an attempt to find a new, more refined design language for the struggling independent brand. Originally a co-founder of ETA The Great and Terrible, the watchmaker unarguably has a legacy of its own, so this attempt at creating a more “classic” watch doesn’t look unfounded to yours truly.
As you can see on the pictures, the watch features a nicely executed stainless steel case that elegantly combines alternatingly polished and brushed surfaces.
It is a pleasure to note that even the tiny chronograph push-pieces that stay on their usual places at 2 and 4 o’clock, too, have their faces brushed and the edges finely polished.
Powered by the time-proven and reliable ETA 2894-2 automatic ebauche, which is not terribly large with its diameter of some 26 millimeters, the watch is still presented in an oversized body 45 millimeters long and 36 millimeters wide.
The case of the watch is also quite thick measuring around 13 mm from top to bottom. Perhaps, a part of the blame goes to the sapphire crystal that adds at least a couple of millimeters to the overall thickness of the timepiece.
The good news is that the new Eterna Heritage Chronograph 1938 also features a very thin bezel, which helps to dramatically increase the dial real estate and thus increase its legibility.
Thanks to a pair of long gold-toned hours and minutes hands and a high-contrast layout of the dial, the watch allows for an easy, almost instant read-off of all the presented date, including small date window at 6 o’clock and the bi-compax chronograph with its single 30-minute totalizer at 9 hours (the other counter is for running seconds.)
Well, if you are not intimidated by the size of that thing and are looking for a vintage-styled watch with a modern movement (and can’t afford a similarly styled timekeeper from a real Manufacture like, say, Girard-Perregaux) this still may be a nice choice.
Eterna Heritage Chronograph 1938 Limited Edition automatic watch specification
Price: Approx. €2500
Movement: Automatic, ETA 2894-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 37
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, polished and brushed
Bezel material: Stainless steel, brushed
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Square
Bezel shape: Square
Case size: 45.00 mm x 36 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Roman, gold-toned
Hour markers: Gold-toned
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with contrasting stitching and steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid, engraved, machine-brushed steel