1974 Eterna Regatta ref. 154 FTP, Valjoux 726 movement, 38 X 41mm. case. I really like the detail of the alternating light blue 5 minute sections followed by 5 min. dark blue sections on the right sub-dial.
In the 1900s, wristwatches were just starting to become fashionable. Schild Freres started to produce lady’s wristwatches adapted from small pocket watches. In 1905, the company changed their name to Eterna. The company continued to be at the leading edge of watch development, and in 1908 it patented the first alarm wristwatch. In 1948, Eterna advanced self-winding watch technology with the development of the Eterna-matic automatic movement. The use of five strategically placed ball bearings made the movement very efficient with significantly reduced friction and resistance on the oscillating weight that wound the mainspring. This reduced the wear and tear on internal parts, increasing the watch’s accuracy and its useful life. Its popularity was such that in 1948 Eterna adopted the image of five ball bearings as its corporate logo.
Yacht timers are also known as yachting chronographs, sailing watchers or regatta timers and they were designed for the countdown before the start of a sailing race. The start of a regatta is quite different from a race on the ground: the sailboats are positioned before the starting buoy and when the gun goes off, the countdown begins and the competing boats cross the start line 15 minutes later. So, yacht timers are used on the countdown and they also denote the remaining time of the race.
The Valjoux 726 belongs to the V72 family, a three register column wheel manual wind chronograph movement which traces its origins back to the 1930s. The V72 was used in the Daytona Paul Newman and many other high end watches but also in some less known brands, expect to pay a premium price for watches with this rare and celebrated movement.