From A Blog To Watch:
Eterna, Swiss watch manufactures since 1856, have in recent years followed an industry wide trend by complimenting their modern collection with “heritage reissue” pieces, which combine current watchmaking technology with historic design concepts. At Baselworld 2017, Eterna unveiled their new KonTiki Manufacture Bronze in a limited edition as well as a new, non-limited stainless steel KonTiki, which they call the Eterna KonTiki Gent. Eterna indicate that both pieces were designed in order to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 KonTiki expedition in which he and a few pals set sail on a homemade raft from South America to prove the possibility of primitive people engaging in transoceanic migration. Thor’s impressive nautical efforts aside, aBlogtoWatch went hands on with Eterna’s stainless steel KonTiki Gent and found out the new piece has a lot going for it and makes an interesting case for the careful modernization of vintage designs.
One of the more striking features of the KonTiki Gent is the textured dial. When we first went hands-on with the KonTiki Manufacture Bronze LE, Ariel noted the “granite textured” dark grey dial. With that in mind, I was pleased to find Eterna have carried this design element into their more pedestrian KonTiki lineup in both the blue and black dialed versions with the other model sporting a glossy white dial with contrasting, seldom seen black-lumed hour markers and hands. In all three, the hour markers are Eterna’s signature triangular-ish shape, with especially large triangular indices at noon, three, six, and nine o’clock with the twelve o’clock marker topped with Eterna’s five ball-bearing signature. Dial text is also fairly subdued, with only “Eterna Automatic” and “KonTiki Diver 200m” at twelve and six o’clock respectively.
Straightforward sword hands compliment the triangular dial elements and are, along with the hour markers, liberally coated with Super-LumiNova. One thing this design does particularly well is the placement of the date window. It’s easy to miss the mark when placing a date window anywhere other than the traditional three or six o’clock positions but on the Eterna KonTiki Gent, the date window’s four o’clock position perfectly compliments the rest of the dial’s well-planned elements. This dial design does a couple of things at the same time. For one, it faithfully reproduces certain elements from KonTiki watches of yesteryear to cement the piece in the heritage realm. However, by playing around with texture, dimension, and color, the dial on the KonTiki Gent hangs right in there with the modern watch world.
Differentiating itself again from its bronze relative, the Eterna KonTiki Gent’s case is stainless steel and 44mm in width and 12.2mm thick compared to the bronze version’s heftier 14.5mm thickness. Case finishing on the Gent is somewhat standard, with brushed and polished surfaces adding interest to the otherwise fairly predictable case shape. The bezel is, at least in shape, everything a tool diver’s watch should be. Thick and rimmed with deeply machined teeth, the bezel sports a ceramic inlay insert with US Navy no decompression figures represented in meters of depth, an odd move considering their limited utility in a world of almost universal dive computer use.
With all that being said, a ceramic insert on a Swiss watch at this price point is still something to be lauded and the bezel as a whole is visually well executed. An oversized crown, also engraved with the five ball bearing motif, sits without crown guards at the traditional three o’clock position. An anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal provides for easy viewing of the dial and the movement is safe underneath an excellent, deeply engraved caseback which is emblazoned with an image of the KonTiki, Thor Heyerdahl’s homemade sailing vessel. This is another big difference from the Bronze version which, had the exhibition caseback.
An area where Eterna have done more than you’d imagine with a watch around the $2,000 mark is with the straps and bracelets. The KonTiki Gent will come with either a stainless steel bracelet with a totally over-engineered and very cool deployant clasp or on a color matched natural rubber strap, which makes use of the same clasp.
For me, this Eterna is built in the vane of the also excellent Tudor Black Bay, given the design concept of building a totally modern watch with a series of well-loved elements from several of the brand’s historic pieces.
MODEL: KonTiki Gent
MOVEMENT: Swiss Automatic
CASE: Stainless Steel
CROWN: Screw Down
DIAL: White Dial
BEZEL: rotating Diver
CONDITION: Pre-owned – As-New!
BOXES/PAPERS: Yes/Yes – Complete Eterna Box Set, Warranty Card, etc – Everything as shown in pictures!
WATER RESISTANCE: – 200m
STRAP/BRACELET: – 2 – Original Eterna Stainless Steel Bracelet with Deployment clasp & all links & Additional Brand New Custom leather strap with steel buckle.