Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

Given that I wear mostly sport or casual watches, I've never been particularly compelled to spend a lot of money on a nice dress watch. Assuming I was attending black-tie occasions with regularity, I'd look into something nice from Rolex, Chopard, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, etc... Since I don't, the idea of spending more than a few thousand for a good-looking dress watch hasn't crossed my mind. With that said, people like me do need good dress or formal watch options. One of the newer dressy models I saw at Baselworld 2016 that impressed me was the Eterna Gent collection. With a simple name and a lot of styles, these under-$2,000 or even under-$1,000 models should be something you take a close look at if you want a watch of this type.

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

Swiss Eterna produces at least three types of watches. Models with their in-house movements, models with base Swiss mechanical watches, and then also models with Swiss quartz movements. The Eterna Gent collection models represent to two latter types of pieces. The mechanical models in the collection feature Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movements (similar to the ETA 2824-2) and the quartz models feature the ETA 955.112 quartz movement.

What really drew me to the Eterna Gent collection are some of the more minor details and thoughtfulness of the design. Two good examples are in how Eterna handles the hands. The vintage-style domed dial has curved minute hands on many models, which really helps the dials look their best (not to mention helping legibility). If you look at the 42mm-wide versions with the Arabic numerals, you'll notice that Eterna doesn't use the ill-advised but all-too-common polished steel hands, but rather black-colored hands which make for a nicely matching look and enhance legibility, rather than hinder it.

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

With an elegant round case in steel, Eterna offers the Eterna Gent in a polished steel tone case or in various colors such as PVD rose gold or even black for one model. The automatic models are 40mm wide and 10.05mm thick, and the quartz models come in both 40mm-wide (7.25mm thick) as well as 42mm-wide (7.3mm thick) models with the latter being slightly more on the causal side. Dial variety is key here, with most options being suitably legible and interesting-looking. One set has a "vintage paper-style" dial that is interesting and attractive.

I would caution against people having an anti-quartz bias here for two reasons. One reason is that the prices are quite reasonable as the quartz models start at $750 bucks (OK, that is high for many quartz watches), but more importantly, these have quality along with fit and finishing that would equally work for automatic watches. Oftentimes, brands that otherwise produce mechanical watches will "cheapen" the quartz version in order to help add value to the mechanical watches. This means that components such as the case, dial, strap, etc... aren't as nice in order to keep costs down or to otherwise help add value to the more expensive mechanical versions. With the Eterna Gent collection, I got the feeling that the cases and dials are "good enough for mechanical, but made for quartz."

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

I also like that the quartz models remove the seconds hand, offering just the time and date for an elegant look. It really makes me feel as though, given the simplicity of dress watches, no one should have to spend too much for a formal timepiece unless they want a precious metal case and/or diamonds. Even then - nice solid gold dress watches exist at around $5,000-$7,000 - not only several times that price, as you sometimes see.

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

The Eterna Gent watches are water resistant to 50 meters and have AR-coated sapphire crystal. Eterna offers them on a range of leather straps (some in alligator-style print) or matching steel metal bracelets. Dial colors vary with most faces having baton-style hour markers, while the larger 42mm-wide Eterna Gent quartz models have Arabic numeral 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock hour markers, making for a slightly more casual look. I happened to like these latter two reference 2730.41.13.1396 and 2730.41.48.1746 models quite a bit.

Eterna Gent Automatic & Quartz Dress Watches Are A Good Value Hands-On

The most casual and unique of the Eterna Gent Automatic models is the reference 2700.43.90.1392 that has a PVD black case with a "truffle gray" dial and matching camel brown nubuck leather strap. This one was certainly a crowd-pleaser among the aBlogtoWatch team. If these timepieces were double the price, we wouldn't have given them nearly as much attention, but their good values and nice designs for a range of people and occasions made them stick out. Prices for the Eterna Gent Automatic models range from $1,600 - $1,950 USD and the Gent Quartz models range in price from $750 - $950 USD. Since there are so many models, I made a simple table below so that you know the price of each of the references, and each available reference can be seen in the gallery below our hands-on photos. eterna.com

GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
GENT AUTOMATIC
2700.41.10.1383
2700.41.10.1736
2700.41.50.1383
2700.41.50.1736
2700.43.90.1392
2700.41.11.1384
2700.56.11.1391
2700.53.11.1737
$ 1,600
$ 1,800
$ 1,600
$ 1,800
$ 1,700
$ 1,600
$ 1,700
$ 1,950
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 40 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 40 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 40 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 40 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 40 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 40MM
2710.41.10.1383
2710.41.90.1384
2710.56.10.1391
2710.41.10.1736
2710.41.80.1736
2710.53.10.1737
$ 750
$ 750
$ 800
$ 850
$ 850
$ 950
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 42 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 42 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 42 MM
GENT QUARTZ ∅ 42 MM
2730.41.13.1396
2730.41.13.1746
2730.41.48.1397
2730.41.58.1746
$ 850
$ 950
$ 850
$ 950
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  • Sevenmack

    Those Eternas are gorgeous. Almost as beautiful as my KonTiki.Nothing like a lovely quartz for your collection.

    • IG

      I’d rather collect dried out dog turds than quartzes.

      • Sevenmack

        This is the time when I would tell someone like you that you should have been swallowed instead of born. But in your case, that’s rather obvious.

        In any case, a great quartz watch is a great watch. Period.

        • IG

          You sound butthurt, again. Don’t get angry because someone doesn’t share your obsession with microchips and button cells.

          • Sevenmack

            Angry? No. I’m amused to be dealing with someone who should have been the mess their father left in a used tissue. And amazed by your lack of horological sophistication.

          • Boogur T. Wang

            Be kind to the Lad.
            He is sharing deep secrets with us.?

          • IG

            The “sophistication” of your button celled wrist chips nicely matches your inbred familiy’s. A match made in heaven, I guess.

          • Shinytoys

            How about a large cup of “Shut the Fuck Up? “

      • Raymond Wilkie

        You must have deep pockets.

        • Or a custom-made turd showcase that he’s dying to fill up. I don’t judge other people’s hobbies.

          • Sevenmack

            Or maybe he shares a deep connection to dung. Because his soul and heart are made of it. I prefer not to know.

      • Shinytoys

        how incredibly, unnecessarily honest of you…

      • iamcalledryan

        Some people like quartz, some like manual wind mechanicals, why should one need to be enjoyed at the expense of the other? This is a watch blog, for watches – there is a small group of commenters here that can’t seem to unwind their own personal tastes and budgets from their appreciation of watches – their loss.

      • Boogur T. Wang

        To each his own

    • Shinytoys

      THAT’S A BEAUTY…

      • Sevenmack

        Thank you!

  • Bruce Wang

    Loved all the models specially the quartz ones without the seconds hand, they are beautiful, elegant, simply and affordable, great to have one in collection…..

  • SuperStrapper

    Most seem quite acceptable and sould do quite well. The white dial with flat printed markers and indications is awful though.

    • I had the same reaction … they just printed those dials in order to change the printer cartridge…

  • Eterna makes a number of beautiful, underrated watches whose price points put a lot of the large houses to shame. The Kon-Tiki date is still probably the best value in the category I like call “adventure watches” (because ‘sports watch’ is just a silly term. A Fitbit is a sports watch. A G-shock is a sports watch. What sport you are playing whilst wearing an Aqua Terra or an Explorer? Heck, Eterna has a category of ‘adventure watches’ on their site, too.)

    And yeah, that PVD model is stunning, but you can keep the quartz. I highly suggest checking out the 1948 Legacy Date models too, more or less around the same price point. There’s always a good deal of talk on this site about someone’s “first automatic watch” – Eternas are definitely contenders for that.

  • Ulysses31

    Simple, handsome and elegant. Worth it.

  • ??????

    Very reasonable offers from Eterna indeed. Glad that they have chosen 2-hands for quartz models – it makes them work in same manner as 2-hand mechanical piece, no nervously beating second hand. Huge variety of wonderful color combinations with silver, gold tones, cool PVD model on creme strap, – every model has something special on its own. All in all, Eterna offered superb line to enter the world of fine Swiss watches.

  • DanW94

    Nicely done, although the handset on some of the models look a bit slight. I personally don’t think the quartz models are necessarily a good value at those prices. For me, Bulova offers a simple well done dress quartz which can picked up in the 150.00 range. A better value in my estimation, but again it’s a matter of opinion.

  • iamcalledryan

    The Auto’s are spot on. I am all for investing in manufactures that are building a post-ETA world for us!

  • It’s worth mentioning ETA was started by Eterna, even if they are now under separate ownership.

    • ??????

      If I’m not mistaking, the very glorious ETA2824 sold in millions of Swatch Group watches was also developed by Eterna (or takes roots from it).

    • iamcalledryan

      Agreed – and as such I await their Second Coming!

      • I have a soft spot for Eterna as my parents had bought a his-and-hers pair in Switzerland just after getting married.

  • Greg Dutton

    Very nice overall, and agree they appear to be a great value and should have the excellent build quality expected from Eterna. I wish they were a little smaller, but I have bird wrists. I especially love the linen dials – that’s some old-school texturing!

  • Shinytoys

    I have a lot of respect for this company. They might not do things in a loud way, but they have a very fine watch and it has years of experience behind them. I have a few of the Eterna 5 STAR in my collection, but my favorite of all I own is the Kon Tiki Diver. It’s by far the nicest diving watch I have ever used. Not because it’s loaded with all kinds of flashing bells and whistles, because it’s built like a bank vault and it’s a joy underwater because its so easy to read and set. The watch reviewed is more of the same in terms of great value, very nice looking, dead reliable watch for the masses to enjoy. CHEERS !!

  • Larry Holmack

    I wouldn’t mind owning one of these….the 42mm version would make a nice dress watch for me.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    First time I have come across this maker and I am well impressed. Ticks all the right boxes for quality of build and simplicity and clarity of the over all look. Love it.

  • I have no problem with eterna (i quite like them) and I have no problem with quartz (my best watches are quartz) by I will seriously argue the value proposition…$600 gets you this…

    • ??????

      Well, hard to argue, its gorgeous Seiko. Only complaint is spartan finishing of 6R15 caliber, I would prefer solid caseback. Design-wise Eterna looks more dressy and Seiko a bit more sporty.

      • Right, of course, I’m talking clearly value-for-money here. It’s a bold and original move by eterna, but I don’t know if their name carries enough weight with non-watch lovers who would either get a Calvin Klein or (heaven forbid) Daniel Wellington for half the price–OR move upstream and get a Tag quartz for 2x the price.

        Also, that bracelet just kills it IMO..the very definition of afterthought.

        • ??????

          In terms of recognition Seiko is stronger than Eterna, among non-watch lovers. However, they are unaware that Seiko also makes superb Grand Seikos, crazy-good chronometers, Spring Drives and 400k $ tourbillons… All they know is that Seiko are good old daily beaters. So things become less obvious… Anyway, who cares about the crowd wearing DW? They are parsec away from beauty of the watch world.

          P.S. Bracelet looks awful, thats true…

          • I’m just trying to figure out their marketing strategy — it seems interesting enough, but I don’t know if they have the retail network to build up name recognition in the non-watch crowd (where I am guessing most of the quartz watches at aimed at).

          • ??????

            Eterna sells its entry quartz watches quite okay when they reach ~50% of MSRP, take Artena quartz for instance. So, first to notice here is that major part of these quartz models won’t be sold at full MSRP. More realistically at ~70% and less, which puts them into 350-500 category. Secondly, quartz watches are not oriented solely on non-watch fans. I know many watch lovers who have a couple of quartz for lazy days. I don’t use winder, because I’m not totally confident that its harmless solution, so there are days when I get up and all my autos, manuals have stopped; and I have no desire to correct the time & date on them… So I just put my lazy quartz 😉 it may be less watch, less fun, but it shows right time any time I take it. For dress watches see only hand-wound and quartz appeal me, the rotor isn’t something I want in such cases. Finally, the watch isn’t just about the caliber, I totally agree with Ariel here. Casework, level of finish, dialwork also matter quite a lot. Some time ago I was thinking like you: quartz is just for those who don’t really like watches; but now I have a couple of quartz pieces and I know why I bought them.

          • I actually really like quartz and my quartz/mechanical rotation is 50/50, my two best watches are quartz!

            My main point is that Eterna does not have brand name recognition among the general public so it might appear too expensive compared to fashion brands. Also, in a high profile store it might sell close to retail.

            As for WIS who in generally don’t like quartz, they would first consider mechanical alternatives in this price range. Even comparing it to other quartz, a GS quartz can be found for around 1200 street price.

            So again, i applaud the idea but i am not 100% sure who their main target is. Still, the two hander is a good dress idea for the right price, which is not retail 😉

          • ??????

            Oh, I see you like quartz!

            Grand Seiko quartz is definitely much better than Eterna offer by (almost) all perspectives: stronger quartz heritage, better inhouse calibers, more sophisticated casework and dialwork, even the service/warranty indicates total confidence in their product! But anyway, Eterna quartz won’t compete much with GS – the difference price-wise is 2X which is a big gap in this range. Eterna will deal with Baume&Mercier quartz, Raymond Weil, Tissot/Certina/Mido, Alpina, FC and other entry-level Swiss brands (mainly!). 90% that they are oriented on the newbies in the watch world: they want Swiss, they want something special and classy to “show taste”. WIS crowd would better get something from Orient Star or Seiko SARB lines with mechanical inhouse calibers and high level of finishing. My absolute leader line among watches from 250-750 $ is Orient Star, especially JDM models. Crazy good value!! Run at COSC level, level of finish is superior to some SARBs. No Swiss can compete below 1000$.

          • It’s all good! Here’s my quartz today 🙂

          • Sevenmack

            I would say on quartz, the Swiss can’t compete with Seio and Citizen at any price. Especially when it comes to complications, radio control/GPS, and HAQ. Save for F.P. Journe (whose quartz offerins are very well finished and better than most offerings from Seiko and Citizen), most aren’t even trying.

          • ??????

            Agree 100%. Japan has won quartz battle hands down IMO. Grand Seiko, Seiko Astron, Citizen Chronomaster, Citizen Satellite Wave, Campanola, Casio Oceanus – all offer great value for quartz timepieces, some by overall quality and level of finishing, some by technological perspective. Among Swiss brands offering quartz I have respect for Breitling: they move in right direction. Thermo-compensated, robust calibers with accuracy which can compete with best Japanese models. Breitling also tries to put some extra functions like activation by Gyro-rotation, but it is better field for G-Shocks IMO.

          • ??????

            Seems like you had some comment with your quartz today – but when I tried to see it dissapeared lol

      • Sevenmack

        I would argue that the finish of the 6R15 is anything but spartan. Zen-like and minimalist? Yes. But the movement has its own flourish, especially compared to your basic ETA 2XXX series.

        • ??????

          For me, both look pretty shitty 🙂 and should be covered by caseback with nice engraving IMHO.

          • Sevenmack

            Depends on perspective. I’m a watch collector in part because I enjoy looking at movements. Admiring the gears and escapements are part of the game. If you don’t, then just buy watches with solid casebacks. Plenty of them already exist.

          • ??????

            I didn’t say that I don’t like to look at movements: I also admire gears and escapements A LOT. But seeing burrs, rough gray plates, no chamfering, – it makes me feel that the watch is so unperfect and that it would make impression of more finished product if they hide these drawbacks under caseback. Just IMHO.

          • Sevenmack

            That’s you. For me, the 6R15 is gorgeous and minimalist at once. [Photo not mine.] But to each his own.

        • ??????

          Some 50 years back they used to cover some real jems like in the pic attached!

      • egznyc

        I agree the Eterna models look dressier and the Seiko more sporty. Hell, the Seiko is water resistant to 100m. Not bad for a dress watch!

        • ??????

          True! What I love about my Seikos – all have 100M / 330 ft WR rating minimally and no matter is it sport, dress, etc. I snorkeled in my dress Seiko in Malaysia – and it worked totally fine LOL. I want all manufacturers to test their watches for 100M+ WR.

    • egznyc

      Beautiful watch. Do you own other Seiko watches that are similarly dressy? How happy have you been with this one? Was it a tough decision – were you considering other Seikos before you went with this model?

      • Hi i don’t have this watch yet but I am seriously considering it. I am just waiting to find a Grand Seiko at an attractive price, and go the extra mile. This is my fallback as it were!

        My experience with Japanese watches spans the entire spectrum and I have been very happy at every price range. The good thing with Japanese is that you are getting a very good product even at the low prices.

        Spending more gets you a better product, but many would argue that the difference is marginal — although the difference is there if you want to look for it.

        Bottom line, i think that you can also get the Sarb033 at half the price (around 300 street) which looks very similar. If you’re not going to wear it very ofter, the 033 is a great alternative and with the same movement.

        • egznyc

          Thanks for your thoughts. I see the value in the 033, but the case, dial, and hands look even more fantastic on the $600 watch. Yes, I’m happy to forego the lume, which makes it less practical but more beautiful. Now if only I could see one in the flesh I’d know whether to pull the trigger – and just a fraction of the cost of GS 😉

          • Btw the ref. is SDGM003 — and whatever you do, DON’T watch the Tanaka video until you are ready to order 🙂

          • egznyc

            Oh, yes, I knew the model number – but I did NOT know about the Tanaka video. Of course, I couldn’t resist watch it – but thanks for the warning. 😉

            In all seriousness, the date window on the Seikos is much nicer compared with many date windows – and certainly compared with the Eterna’s date window. The matching background and the sharp border trim make a huge difference. Generally I prefer a date at 6:00 – not 3:00 – but Seiko makes it look good!

  • otaking241

    I actually like the idea of a quartz dress watch for occasional wear because you don’t have to worry about it winding down and having to reset it when you want to put it on. Price-wise these slot in between cheaper options from Seiko, Citizen etc. and the higher-end quartz watches from the GS line. If they look as good as they do in the pictures this might be a palatable choice for someone who doesn’t wear a suit everyday but wants a dressy watch for the times they do.

  • the second hand post on those quartz should have a cup to make it look better IMHO

  • peter_byford

    I like the irony on the dial…..Swiss Made….SINCE 1856….
    Still Swiss made today ( for the time being ) but now owned by a Chinese Co since 2012 lol !
    If you can get past the connection, great, they’re nice watches.

    The only thing in the article I, & many others , think erroneous is the continued allusion to quartz watches being cheaper than their mechanical counterparts. In terms of Research & Development, tooling up, expertise & assembly,…..quartz watches are more costly, like for like than the mechanical model. Many see mechanical prices artificially high to subsidise keeping the quartz model artificially low…….It was Rolex who openly said the watch, in terms of all the above , that they were most proud of, was the Oysterquartz. Nothing like it from them since.
    They can be more accurate & pass COSC just the same. ….A contentious issue no doubt, so don’t shoot the messenger lol !……just something to muse on that’s all lol !