Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph Watch

Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph Watch

Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

For 2016, Eterna will release what will perhaps be the nicest version of the "new" Royal KonTiki yet - with these Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph watches. All Eterna Royal KonTiki watches currently use forms of Eterna's very nice in-house made Caliber 39 (which our David Bredan thoroughly detailed here). Eterna boasted that the Caliber 39 was designed with over 80 different potential layouts in mind, and this chronograph dial is just one of them.

Eterna first debuted the new Royal KonTiki collection of sport watches back in 2013 with the Royal KonTiki GMT (hands-on here). In 2014, Eterna upped the ante significantly by adding the Royal KonTiki Chronograph GMT to the collection. Slightly exotic in layout and aggressive in its design, the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph GMT proved a bit controversial, and I don't think enough people really appreciated the watch for what it was.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

With the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph, we have something which indicates Eterna got the hint about engaging in a bit more design restraint in terms of colors, etc... Thus, the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph is a lot smoother but also embodies a lot of the valued design personality that makes the Royal KonTiki case special.

Whether or not you like the design, I should mention once again that case finishing as well as fit and finish for Eterna Royal KonTiki watches are very impressive. Not only is the 42.55mm-wide case and matching bracelet or rubber strap very comfortable, but it also has wonderful polishing and surfacing. The case has some interesting details which are difficult to detect such as the PVD coated black bezel screws, as well as the PVD black crown and crown guard. The also black chronograph pushers are apparently coated in black rubber too.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The Eterna Royal KonTiki case is water resistant to 200 meters but isn't very thick, and I think, as modern high-end sport watches go, it is an ideal timepiece - especially for those who like historic, albeit more "marketing-quiet" luxury watch brands. I appreciate that legibility on the dial has been further emphasized by reducing things that get in the way of the hands, and compared to the other two Royal KonTiki watches, Eterna seems to have given the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph a bit more "white space" on the dial, and that is something I appreciate. Look at the hour makers and hands: they are all covered in what appears to be ample luminant.

Inside the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph is the in-house made Eterna Caliber 3916A. This is basically a slightly more simple version of the Caliber 3927A which is found in the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph GMT. For the 3916A, Eterna removed the lower GMT dial for the second time zone, and moved the date window to the 6 o'clock location. You still have a full 12-hour chronograph with a layout very similar to that of the Omega caliber 9300 - so I would say that this is Eterna's natural competitor to those high-end in-house chronograph movements made by Omega.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Additional details about the Caliber 3916A are that it is, of course, an automatic, and it operates at 4Hz with a power reserve of 65 hours. Eterna also claims "chronometer accuracy." Moreover, the chronograph (which uses two hands in the right subdial to measure elapsed minutes and hours) has a flyback mechanism. Being quite taken with the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph watches, I look forward to checking them out hands-on.

At launch, Eterna will offer three versions of the Eterna Royal KonTiki Chronograph including a steel version with a bracelet (ref. 7755.40.50.0280) or on a rubber strap (7755.40.50.1289), as well as a fully PVD-coated black model on a rubber strap (ref. 7755.43.40.1289). Price is actually rather reasonable at 5,000, 4,800, and 5,100 Swiss Francs (respectively). eterna.com

What do you think?
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  • SuperStrapper

    Meh. Too overly integrated for me. No lugs and I’m rarely a fan of integrated chronograph pushers like this.

    The watch doesn’t have much of that KonTiki DNA and instead looks to have some Linde Werdelin flavour.

  • wallymann

    meh +1. likewise dont see any kontiki DNA aside from the font on the dial.

  • Luciano Oliveira

    I like it (although is looks like the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer with a rotated dial). But fine nevertheless…

    • wallymann

      i see it!!!

      • iamcalledryan

        And the IWC has borrowed from the Nautilus bracelet!

        Only so many ways to skin a cat as they say.

    • resonator resonator

      Ha! You beat me to it. So dead on.

    • Bernhard

      I actually like both, for the same reasons. Although, with its 45mm size I would never be able to wear the IWC. I really dig Eterna’s smaller size here. And, of course, the much lower price tag.

  • I_G

    Nice multi-layered dial.

  • A very nice and reasonably sized IWC Ingenieur (case wise) with a lovely bi-compax layout like the great chrono hour & minute sub-dial from the latest Speedmasters. I know that the 5 dot design is a reference to their logo which is a reference to their original 5 ball bearing automatic rotor design, so the case looking like an IWC is forgiven.

    Price seems reasonable for what you get too. I get the comments that this does not reek Kon Tiki DNA, but with Eterna’s changes these past few years I see them as finally charting new design courses and I’m very happy to see their flexible caliber 39 movements in their new watches. Thanks for the review.

  • spiceballs

    I very much like the reasonable price, size, thoughtful dial layout, finish (hope lume is good?) pushers, good size crown, strap and new movement. but prefer the IWC bezel sans Eterna “grooves” and screws. Appreciate Eterna’s direction and will watch with much interest.

  • iamcalledryan

    Really nice. I am a fan, and very excited to see their movement manufacturing stepping it up. Companies like Eterna are going to be vital to the next phase of the industry as ETA continue to pull back.

  • BNABOD

    I have been watching these Eterna chrono for a little while. I think they look great and the price is right. Wish they had a see through case back to look at the manufacture movement. They remind me of a cross between IWC Ingenieur and Omega Dark Side of the Moon. A winner in my book.

  • cg

    Nice KT and that great term “marketing quiet” says it all…. I’d buy it.

  • ??????

    Much better than Hublot IMO.

  • Ulysses31

    I like it. Not that many watches out there that integrate the bracelet and case very well. A modern and stylish design from a respected marque.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    A bit if the history of the ETERNA marque might be in order for those comparing it to the very worthy IWC offering.

    Especially interesting, to some perhaps, are the origins of the ‘Kon Tiki’ name.
    Think Thor Heyerdal or even back to Gardener McKay…;)

  • Important to note that while the dial layout is similar to the Omega 9300, the movement is nowhere near as sophisticated, lacking a column wheel and easy time zone adjustment.

    It also uses a far inferior 30 minute tracking subdial, where the Omega uses 60 minute, so the subdial is read exactly like the time.

    That said, there’s a lot to like here. I applaud Eterna for making an in-house calibre, they just have a little way to go before they can step up to Omega’s calibres.

    • somethingnottaken

      Yes, the Omega movement is more sophisticated; however, the price points also reflect this.

  • somethingnottaken

    I like the dial design; however, the case design doesn’t really appeal to me.