A Week On The Wrist: The Eterna Super KonTiki Chronograph
The most renowned Super KonTiki was the one delivered in the mid 1970s, which was picked by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for use by its Navy jumpers. The pad formed case, wide bezel and interesting handset have made this moderately uncommon vintage jump watch pined for by authorities – to such an extent that Eterna profited by it by delivering a “Legacy” form a couple of years prior known as the “Super KonTiki 1973,” which duplicated the first precisely. This year at Baselworld, Eterna appeared another new Super KonTiki, this one a chronograph that holds a large part of similar allure as its chronicled progenitor while flaunting an all-new in-house section wheel flyback development. I got the opportunity to invest some all-encompassing energy with both of the new chronograph forms, blue and dark, scuba jumping for seven days in the southern Caribbean.
Let’s beginning with the development in this one, since it addresses a major jump forward for Eterna, and a re-visitation of noticeable quality for this old brand. Above all else, some set of experiences. Eterna was established in 1856 in Grenchen, one of Switzerland’s notable watch locales and home to different brands like Breitling, Fortis, and Nivada. From its initial days, the company was known for advancement in development improvement, becoming the first to sequentially deliver a caution wristwatch and, in 1948, protecting the metal ball mounted winding rotor, which brought forth the name “Eterna-matic” and the company’s logo, comprising of five ball bearings.
In the 1930s, Eterna split off its development creation into a different company known as ETA, delivering wristwatch types for Eterna watches, yet in addition for different companies. This is the very notable ETA that is presently claimed by the Swatch Group, giving innumerable developments to brands of all shapes and sizes for quite a long time, including, unexpectedly, Eterna. (Eterna is currently possessed by Hong Kong based Citychamp Watch & Jewelry Group Limited, which perusers may realize better under the holding company’s previous name, China Haidian Holdings.)
But after numerous long stretches of progress and vulnerability Eterna is getting back to its underlying foundations as a development producer, and the type 3916A in the Super Kon-Tiki Chronograph is great proof of this.
The development is great for its local starting points, yet additionally for its usefulness. It is a two-register chronograph with focus clear seconds and a little running seconds at 9:00. At 3:00 the passed minutes and hours are combined into one register, with an external 30-minute scale and an internal hours track, up to 12. In case I’m nitpicky, this register is somewhat hard to peruse initially, particularly between hours, yet it is generally a rich presentation of passed time, suggestive of chronographs from IWC and Patek Philippe.
In expansion to this element, the Super KonTiki is a flyback chronograph, a complication I end up preferring a ton. Beginning and halting are impelled by squeezing the upper push-piece and reset is the lower pusher, per common practice. Be that as it may, a tick of the lower button, while the chronograph is running, in a flash resets and restarts the chronograph from nothing, convenient for timing consecutive occasions or only for the fun of observing all hands snap back and fire up once more. Chronograph capacities are constrained by a section wheel component that invests it with exact activity and the perfect measure of opposition at the push-piece, not at all like the more normal coulisse-switch chronos (like the ETA/Valjoux 7750) that regularly have stiffer, more jerky beginnings and stops.
The type 3916A can be hand wound and has a sound 65-hour power hold from a solitary origin barrel. Around back, the development is shown through a sapphire case back, a training I’m not generally partial to on device watches (an engraved pontoon emblem would have been cool to see), however Eterna is legitimately glad for this motor and it is pleasantly brightened with rhodium plating, Geneva stripes, and a matte-shot completion on the winding rotor. Eterna says that 70% of the development parts are made in-house at their plant in Grenchen, with probably the other rate made of hairspring and gems coming from outside sources.
Protecting this development is a 45-mm, pad formed steel case that sits 16 mm tall. While this seems like a beast, the case shape wears comfortably on the wrist and, at 50 mm through and through, there is minimal perceptible shade. This shape has functioned admirably on plunge watches from Seiko to DOXA among numerous others, wearing great as well as limiting catching potential that can come from long restricted carries. A significant part of the watch’s tallness can be credited to its tall bezel which has adequate thick fluting, making hold, even while wet, a snap.
The crown is screw-down and needs defensive shoulders and is flanked by the two push-pieces, which are old-school unclogger stalks with fluting around the top edge. These pushers are not screw-down, making them a likely wellspring of water entrance whenever impelled at profundity, however in typical use they ought to be fine, since the watch is evaluated to a solid 20 bar of pressing factor, equivalent to approximately 200 meters of profundity.
Design-wise, the Super KonTiki Chronograph is an attractive beast. The steel case is a pleasant mix of brushed surfaces with a wide cleaned slope. The dial utilizes the Kon-Tiki’s acclaimed three-sided markers, with a bigger one at 12:00 donning the metal ball logo. The chronograph registers are pleasantly separated on the dial, proof of appropriate case-to-development extents. The bezel doesn’t utilize any intriguing pottery or sapphire however is basically a cleaned aluminum embed, completely with regards to the watch’s vintage styling.
The watch comes in blue and dark forms, indistinguishable other than the dial and bezel tone. On the blue, the dial has a sunburst finish that shows up then again practically dark or sparkling cerulean relying upon the point of the watch and how it gets the light. The two renditions are accessible with either an elastic tie, shading coordinated to the dial and bezel, or a flexible tempered steel network with press button deployant fasten. The lash is a great flexible elastic, bounty long for wear over a 3 mm wetsuit sleeve, contingent upon your wrist size, and has a huge steel clasp, cleaned and brushed, with the Eterna logo on it. The lattice is typically comfortable yet the cutting edges of the crease over fasten are genuinely long, making the wristband stand away from the wrist a piece clumsily at times.
Reviewing a jump watch in its verifiably significant climate is a precarious possibility. The truth of the matter is, however I generally wear a watch when I’m jumping, I don’t depend on it as my essential base clock, as they would have been utilized until the appearance of computerized plunge computers during the 1990s. All things considered, a watch can be helpful for a few purposes while plunging. Timing swim distances utilizing the bezel can be a guide to submerged route, surface spans between plunges are not difficult to follow initially, and, should a battery-controlled jump computer go dark mid-jump, a trusty simple watch is an essential reinforcement. All things considered, it doesn’t take a lot to make a decent plunge watch; or rather, it doesn’t take a lot to make a jump observe great. Amazing dial/hand differentiation and perceivability, a grippy readable bezel, a long lash and great water opposition are essentially all you require, and most plunge watch producers dominated those things, harking back to the 1950s. So then it comes down to the little details.
On a night make a plunge Bonaire, I held a submerged light to the dial of the Super KonTiki for 30 seconds prior to sliding and it gleamed brilliantly for the aggregate of a 45-minute make a plunge dark water. Then, to enlighten the dial of my Suunto plunge computer required pressing a catch for three seconds, and afterward it just stays lit for five seconds. I thought that it was a lot simpler to utilize the brilliant dial on my old Aqua-Lung profundity measure and my Eterna to follow profundity and time initially. Score one for analog.
Underwater, I utilized the bezel for timing transitional exercises. In Bonaire, where plunging is to a great extent done from shore and is independent, route is most effectively done utilizing coordinated swims. Zero the bezel, swim one heading on the reef until a large portion of a tank is unfilled, note the slipped by time, zero the bezel again and return the manner in which you came for generally a similar measure of time. After dim, include an iridescent wrist-mounted compass along with everything else and focus on a heading. There’s something enormously fulfilling, during a time of Google Maps and Siri, about such a fundamental exploring, utilizing mechanical tools.
Though most watch lovers know about Eterna for the company’s incredible recorded pieces, is anything but a name that comes up regularly, at any rate in the U.S. That is on the grounds that the company hasn’t had a presence here in numerous years and on the off chance that you saw somebody wearing a cutting edge KonTiki, the individual in question doubtlessly got it on the web or used. However, for certain new developments, new watches, and a developing retailer network in the U.S., it’s an image to focus on later on.
The Super KonTiki Chronograph has a great deal letting it all out. Its inventive and helpful in-house development and on track retro styling should put it on a short rundown of plunge chronograph competitors, which may incorporate weighty hitters like the Omega Planet Ocean Chronograph and the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph. In any case, which isolates the Eterna from the rest is its cost. On an elastic tie, this watch costs $4,700; on the steel network wristband, $4,900. This is thousands not exactly comparable competitors. Obviously, it might surrender a little with regards to colorful case or bezel materials or an enemy of magnetic development, however for somebody who needs a competent and attractive plunge chronograph with a true blue in-house segment wheel flyback development, this KonTiki is, indeed, Super.
For more data about the Super KonTiki Chronograph visit eterna.com .
All photographs by Gishani Ratnayake for HODINKEE. See a greater amount of her work at swimpruf.com.
Jason Heaton is a jumper, spelunker, mountain climber, and outdoorsman represent considerable authority in the more useful side of horology. A long-term supporter of HODINKEE, he composes routinely for Gear Patrol just as other watch news sources and destinations. He’s likewise the co-maker of the famous watch and watch way of life digital recording “The Gray Nato.”