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Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

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quietman

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Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post25 Feb 2014, 21:52

A couple of Spacemen -

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There were four basic variants of these watches - two case styles each available with either ESA9315 or ESA942.711 movements. The case style shown on the left was sold under Catena brand but also in the UK rebranded for Limit International. The Limit International version is identical to the Catena version of this case style with the exception of the glass legend and the case back - which lacks the moulded Catena logo in its centre.

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The Limit Watch was sold with the small Catena logo on the clasp. The glass has "Swiss Made" written across the top, "Quartz" bottom left and "Limit International" bottom right - all are printed on the back surface of the glass in mirrored letters that often don't photograph well.

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The strap has a high quality solid construction with clearly identifiable details on the back and sides - useful when assessing a watches authenticity from photos. The back cover has exactly the same etched markings (font, size, Part Number "394-118", etc) as the Catena version of this watch but without the Catena logo in the middle. A further detail present on both Limit and Catena back covers is the opening 'lip' visible on the perimeter next to the word 'STEEL'.

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All of the outside surfaces of the watch are brushed and the case shape/back has a deeply scalloped shape.

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The case style on the right in the first photo is perhaps harder to find. My example is an ESA9315 version that is branded CaRena. Doensens book shows a CaTena branded watch in this case style and with this strap - but the only other images of a watch in this style that I have seen (here http://www.digitalwatches.de/ENGLISH_INDEX.HTM under 'Catena') also show a CaRena branded watch - in that case an ESA942.711 version with a different strap and unbranded clasp. I have no idea why this version was apparently sold under the CaRena brand.

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The original strap has a rather large Catena logo on the clasp. The strap doesn't have removable links and doesn't have quite the same solidity of the strap on the other case style.

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The case back has the same deeply embossed Catena logo as the Catena versions of the other case style but with slightly different layout and lettering (hyphens between the words, "Swiss Quartz" instead of "Quartz", Part Number "390-118"). My case back, under magnification, shows no signs of ever having been brushed so was perhaps sold polished. It also has the opening 'lip' visible on the perimeter next to the word 'STAINLESS'. The 'Hood' of the watch is attached via two screws - through the case from between the top lugs - and is simply removed to facilitate cleaning.

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The coolest thing about this variant is the glass. It is a single piece of glass with a total of 8 facets. The legend/dial is printed on the back face of the glass. You may want to think carefully before buying an example with a chipped or cracked glass.

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All faces are brushed with sharp edges. Buttons are chrome plated, captive to the case (press fit, no c clips) and prone to brassing.

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All of the Catena Spacesonics that I have seen (mostly in photos.....) have been fitted with unbranded ESA movements. There is a note in this reference that they used Brietling branded movements - http://70swatchesgallery.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/spaceman-spacesonic/ - I think this is incorrect.

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Time for a cup of tea.

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Kasper

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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post25 Feb 2014, 22:57

impressive stuff Quietman..much appreciated info :dwf:
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post25 Feb 2014, 23:03

Beautiful watches, I like the spaceman design very much. Great detail on case and both bracelets. Real eye catchers which just were added to my whish list! Thumbs up!
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post26 Feb 2014, 14:44

Nice pair of Spacemen, quietman.
I really like them. I don't think I've ever seen the Carena with the removable shroud. Do you think it's actually a 'T' that just looks like an 'R' because of the font they've used ? Hard to believe that both Catena and Carena both made Spaceman watches. If you squint hard enough and with the eye of faith, could it be a 'T' ;-)

For those who haven't read the below thread, and don't know that there are a lot of fakes out there:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3505&p=23515&hilit=catena#p23515

Not suggesting the 2 in this post are fake. I believe they certainly are not.
BTW, the above thread suggests that only 6 digit models exist. This isn't true, both 4 digit and 6 digit versions exist. Just look for the honeycomb ESA LCD panel.
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post26 Feb 2014, 14:54

................the one 2/3 down this page is fake:
http://mirallmemoria.wordpress.com/cate ... llotgeria/
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post26 Feb 2014, 16:26

yes it's a fake one...same as mine...bought it just to have an idea how it looked like. But very bad quality. :-D
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post26 Feb 2014, 16:30

charger105 wrote:Do you think it's actually a 'T' that just looks like an 'R' because of the font they've used ? Hard to believe that both Catena and Carena both made Spaceman watches.

I did wonder about that but it really does look like an R to me. The watch is certainly produced by Catena though so it may just have been a marketing/branding thing done on this particular watch. I'd be interested in any solid answers here.

There were certainly both 6 digit (ESA942.711) and 4 digit (ESA9315) of both case styles produced. The modules cannot be transplanted between versions as the dial apertures are a different size and shape for the two different modules. There are 1970s marketing pictures on the net showing both 6 digit and 4 digit variants.

Regarding the fakes, there are quite a lot in the style of the Left Hand watch. I'm not aware of any fakes of the Right Hand 'Carena' style. A good reference on these Spacemen is here -http://70swatchesgallery.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/spaceman-spacesonic/ . Included are good images of both 6 digit (ESA942.711) and 4 digit (ESA9315) Catena versions of the Left Hand watch in my original post. The page also has a detailed tear-down, with images of the Chinese fakes. The page also has a copy of the Doensen book image showing a 4 digit Catena Left Hand watch and a 6 digit CaTena Right Hand watch. Another page on this site has a 1970s add showing similar watches http://70swatchesgallery.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/spaceman-salesfolder-ads/ - both 4 and 6 digit types.

You can spot the real ones if you know what you're looking for - the waffle textured display is a good indicator of an 1970s ESA module. The fake cases are poorly made and not as deeply 'scalloped' as the real ones. Also note the precise details shown on the strap images in my original post - sides and bottom are the bits to look at if you only have pictures. The small lip on the perimeter of the base is harder to spot in photos but also not present on the fakes. Deeply embossed Catena logo on the base of the Catena branded watches. I did try and write this partly as a how-to-spot real ones guide - this real Limit watch is not imaged elsewhere, ditto the Carena, so hopefully added to the info avalable here. There are plenty of good photos of the Catena versions around if you want to google away.
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post22 Jul 2015, 10:23

Thanks for the great info Mr. Quietman.
It was very useful for me and probably many others users of this forum.
Since nobody seems to own, nor had reported or personally seen a Catena Spacesonic Chrono with perpetual calendar "front labeled" CATENA (not Carena!), as the one presented in the Pieter Doensen’s book: WATCH. History of the modern wrist watch,
http://doensen.home.xs4all.nl/fotos/c16b.jpg
below you may see some photos of a real one, from my small collection of vintage watches.
In the second photo one may see the beautiful "texture"of the genuine ESA Cal.942 711 module :).
Regards,
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Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post23 Jul 2015, 12:42

Hi Mmika and welcome to the board. Thanks for those nice pictures... could you do a few highres as well if possible? "willkommen"
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post23 Jul 2015, 18:08

I love these posts Guys , it's great when you put the leg work in for others to read about

Thanks


Here's mine that my watch buddy helped me get - hope he's drinking beer on that porch as we speak :)

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Total brand new condition with the blue paint on the case back
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post23 Jul 2015, 22:05

Thanks Mr. Kasper for Your warm welcome. :Hi:
Here there are some other photos of my mint ''CATENA" front labeled Spacesonic Chrono on Photobucket.
Sorry for the Photobucket links,I have tried to upload/attach these photos to this post, but they were displayed only inside a frame as you may see in my above post :-(
So here are the photos:
1. Finally on my hand :)
http://s827.photobucket.com/user/cybr/media/watches/spc1_zpsudti8swq.jpg.html

2. The 390-118 Catena reference number on the case back.
http://s827.photobucket.com/user/cybr/media/watches/spc2_zpsqe2kbg8p.jpg.html

3. The 8 facets of the crystal glass make it quite difficult to obtain photos without some reflections, as one may see below :-)
http://s827.photobucket.com/user/cybr/media/watches/spc3_zpsyf51wwfh.jpg.html

Regards,
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Re: Catena Spacesonic - Liquid Crystal Spacemen

Post26 Jul 2015, 10:38

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