Eterna will soon expand its line of vintage-styled chronographs with a new Eterna Heritage Chronograph 1938 Limited Edition (ref. 19126.96.36.1990) model. Presented in a massive, rectangular stainless steel body that somehow reminds me of similar timekeepers manufactured by JLC, the new watch 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.
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 blank caliber, which is not terribly large with its diameter of some 26 millimeters, the watch sports a deliberately oversized body 45 millimeters long and 36 millimeters wide.
The case is also 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 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 a 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 19188.8.131.520 specification
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2894-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 37
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel, polished and brushed
Bezel: Stainless steel, brushed
Dimensions: 45.00 mm x 36.00 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
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
Back: Solid, engraved, machine-brushed steel