Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition ‘Team aBlogtoWatch’ Watch Review

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition ‘Team aBlogtoWatch’ Watch Review

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

"War is hell, and so is Baselworld" is something the aBlogtoWatch team likes to chuckle at during our annual deployment to the world's biggest watch and jewelry show in Basel, Switzerland. The Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition "The War of Baselworld 2016" watches we had made for ABTW team members are a play on that idea. I'll explain. Most people who are regulars at this more than week-long trade show event agree that it isn't exactly the most comfortable experience. The historic and quaint city of Basel in the German-speaking region of Switzerland is a fairly pleasant and relaxed place to be until thousands of luxury industry buyers, sellers, reporters, and producers swarm into too few hotel rooms and facilities.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Squad aBlogtoWatch doesn't so much attend Baselworld, as we fight through it. Thus, we like to musingly refer to each instance of the important event as "Baselwar" (we also like to say "Basel tov" when feeling cheery). The most difficult question to answer while at the event is... "what time is it?" Sound odd? What else do you expect in a place with tens of thousands of watches all set to different times... if they are running at all.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Now, I don't mean to complain so much as I intend to illustrate some of the more active elements of being a watch blogger. I can say for sure that each Baselworld experience is, if nothing else, a glorious bonding experience for our team. Shared suffering (lack of sleep, exposure to international germs, human road blocks, booth attendants, Swiss internet, heavy packs, cosmetically unphotographable prototype watches, luxury snootiness, and 17-hour work days) will always make people who endure it together closer as companions. Thus, at the end of each Baselworld event, I try to do something nice for our team members who went through it together. For 2016, we finally got some watches made, and they are pretty badass.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The above text is actually a long way of helping to explain the "joke" that we applied to the timepieces. Working with Swiss watch maker Eterna that we greatly admire, we made a set of unique, limited-edition Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 watches that were originally released in 2010. I had personally been wanting one of these ever since they came out. They were a re-release of a model from 1973, which had fame in being a timepiece that was officially issued to members of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force).

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Some of these vintage models are still around, in the hands of enthusiastic collectors. I had an opportunity to buy one for around $6,000, complete with the markings on the rear in Hebrew of the elite soldier that the watch was given to. I passed it up, sadly, not having the extra cash at the time, and knowing that it would, unfortunately, just sit safe in a box. Besides, what right do I have to wear someone else's war story when I had my own – figuratively speaking, that is, with great respect to those who put lives on the line in actual world conflicts.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

It thus brought me great joy to have some special versions of the Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition watch made for the battle-hardened warriors of aBlogtoWatch who fight with gusto to bring watch democracy and horological freedom to the world. What we did first is have Eterna engrave "The War Of Baselworld 2016" on one side of the case. On the other side of the case, we personalized each of the watches for the respective team member who got it, complete with their preferred choice of faux military title. Some members even chose to have their "rank" written in Hebrew, in tribute to the watch's background. I was nominated to be "General Ariel Adams," an honor that I could not refuse.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Eterna supplied the Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 with a very authentic vintage-style mesh metal bracelet which is... well, difficult to size. Each of our team members chose to wear their Eterna differently, but I actually decided to use a different mesh metal bracelet also from Eterna, but that came with a newer model. I borrowed the bracelet from the Eterna Super KonTiki Date watch (aBlogtoWatch review here). At a glance these watches are very similar. Indeed both of these Super KonTiki models come in 200m water-resistant, 44mm-wide polished steel cases and have similar color themes.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Interestingly enough, the cases are not exactly the same but actually differ in minor ways in terms of shape and dimensions. One difference, for example, is the length of the lugs. I say all this to simply point out that Eterna isn't just using the same case and a new dial/bezel for these newer non-limited-edition versions of the Super KonTiki.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I actually prefer the retro-futuristic look of the original dial, and the bezel is, in my opinion, a bit classier on the 1973. Applied hour markers and date window frame add welcome depth to the dial, and the hands are hard not to love. Like many diving-style watches of the time, Eterna went with an ultra-prominent minute hand, and a less prominent hour hand. Legibility is great, but you also have an interesting dial design imbued with a ton of character. Functional-feeling, that makes it a good war watch for me.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Inside the Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 limited edition is a base Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic. This isn't an in-house-made movement, but I do like to remind people that Eterna actually started ETA back in the day (find out all there is to know about that in David's ETA history article here), so having an ETA movement in an Eterna actually feels quite appropriate. I should add here that around the dial of the watch is a uni-directional rotating bezel, and over the dial is an AR-coated sapphire crystal.

Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 Limited Edition 'Team aBlogtoWatch' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I happen to like taking this watch to the beach while swimming. The Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 also happens to look really killer while wearing it with a wetsuit. One of the reasons I like having watches like this with distinctive personalities is that they take on the mood of the situation they are in. As a casual weekend watch, the Super KonTiki works as well as it does as an outdoors, diving, flying, or driving watch.

It made me proud to offer a limited edition Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 watch for The War Of Baselworld 2016 to members of the aBlogtoWatch team. We do fun stuff like this as much as we can. Not only to make sure our team has objects of high sentimental value for the future, but to also remind us that at the end of the day, watches are toys, and we are here to have fun. Now, on the following page, we'll let each recipient member of the team have their own take on their Super KonTiki.

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (67)
  • I want it! (25)
  • Interesting (11)
  • I love it! (11)
  • Classy (10)
  • Thanks for including the “out take” photos in the gallery at the end of the post. As everyone said, the watch itself is great but having a shared experience with Team ABTW members is even better and these watches are a great reminder of that.

    • IanE

      I particularly enjoyed the very appropriate turtle pic!

      • I wish the turtle photo was one of mine but its not. I only did driftwood (and a few others), ha ha.

        • egznyc

          I’m guessing the vanity plate is yours, too. Now that must be an interesting conversation starter.

          • Guilty as charged (it’s my plate). The 2 comments I get are “Watches” has an “e”. I then have to remind people that Hawaii plates are limited to 6 characters to “Watchs” was the best I could do. The other comment is “what do you watch?” Like I’m a TV addict or a voyeur of some sort. Cheers.

          • egznyc

            Hilarious. I would’ve thought they could fit another letter in there for a vanity plate, but there you go. Now that watch, by the way, is very cool and quirky. Great look and interesting story (the mesh bracelet is a great look but I also like what you’ve done with it, which in my view dresses it up a bit – though I suspect that was not your intent). My only comment is I, too (like some others), would have preferred the engraving on the back. But that wouldn’t stop me from wearing it, Chief Warrant Officer!

  • BNABOD

    Personally would have put the writing on the back but not a whole lotta room. Sounds like you guys had fun. Last time I bonded at work w fellow team members I got …yes I recall now….nothing

    • Well at least you didn’t get an STD or an embarrassing tattoo (not that we did either).

      • BNABOD

        Good point and the std rate in the US is rather alarming so no thanks on that one 😉

  • Just awesome.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Bravo All !
    This model ticks all the right boxes and the personalization makes it even more special.
    Well Done !

  • IanE

    Great idea – and my sympathy to all who have to suffer through the traumas of Baselworld!

    As a related idea, I wonder if there would be interest in an ABTW special watch for readers of your blog: several other blogs have organised limited and special watches with great success by all accounts?!

  • SuperStrapper

    Fun stuff. I know it would have been a much different journey to have them engraved instead of etched, but the effect would be pretty cool with that placement.

  • Shawn Lavigne

    a nice idea. i like the hand set.

  • Mark1884

    I guess I am alone on this one.
    I do not like the hands and do not like the etching on the case side.

  • Eugene Najera

    Just awesome. Really like the watch and the engraving is over the top IMHO.

  • Word Merchant

    This year why not stay at home and steal the photos from Hodinkee?

  • Joel Schumann

    Really nice watch. With those names of legends of the trade on the side they will command big dollars some time in the future 😉

    I like those hands. They seem to be a mix of hands from the big with parts that nobody else wanted because they were too weird, but somehow they look cool together.

  • Yan Fin

    Nice watch, super cool story. – ??? Yan Fin

  • Brent P.

    So nice to see the story of this watch resurrected after its brief LE run seven years ago. I love mine (it’s one of my ‘keepers’).

  • 4tens

    Other than you guys having fun and well rewarded for the battle of Basel… how about talking about the great “caliber maison”! The in house movement from ETERNA… who is using it and what makes it so special, and if this is the entry level collectors watch…
    “Feed Me Seymour”

  • Shinytoys

    Great back story Ariel. Eterna has got to be the most underrated over achieving group that I am aware of. From vintage to current day product, I have nothing but admiration for this company.

  • Shinytoys

    The Kon Tiki flip up deep diver is the finest analog watch I’ve ever had the pleasure to dive with. That’s a watch to really check out as well…

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    I really only like signed cases by the brand only (and limited at that). If you plan to keep it forever….all is well. If you decide to hock it, who would purchase this or even hand it down with another name on it. Future grand kids perhaps! Other than that, it is an awesome dive watch from company who has been around a few laps! I do think it awesome they would honor you like this however!

    • Speaking for myself, this watch is a keeper not a flipper.

  • IG

    Should be hand-wound…™ Better for war especially for motionless snipers.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Lovely, love the mesh.

  • Yojimbo

    love the mesh, love the watch, that’s baller

  • Larry Holmack

    These are very nice….not my style, but I’m not into dive watches.

  • Simon_Hell

    I dig the hidden anti-palestinian jibe, i really do. The watch seems pretty ordinary, but the idea of wearing something worn by terrorist ass-kickers sure adds a spark.

    • You are over thinking it.

      • IG

        That would need a brain.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    One question – I like the watch and all that, but –
    How is the mesh with arm hair?
    I am a hairy guy and have noticed a bit of a problem with mesh pulling hair on the arm/wrist area.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      If you ever had a problem with a spring chest expander i would think twice about a mesh strap.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Joking aside i had a friend with a similar problem, loved the look but he was hairier than the missing link. What he did was stick a roll of cellotape across the inside of the strap and the problem was solved.

    • Brent P.

      I’ve had absolutely no hair pulling problem with this bracelet.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    You poor guys having to go to baselworld every year and put up with the hell of looking , wearing and talking about watches 17 hours a day.

    A big thank you from me for your sacrifice.

    • Yeah, it’s like being Carlo Ponti back in the day. A dirty job but somebody has to do it, ha ha.

  • Timestandsstill

    One of the oddest handsets ever……but kind of cool. ?

    Nice watch

  • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

    Crappy photo, I know, but just threw these together for all to see. I’m a big Eterna fan, and these are most of my Kontiki’s. I have a bunch of other Eternas too.

    I wore the original 1973 Super Kontiki (on leather strap) at Baselworld 2015, but I was just there as a public person, so I could walk around and just enjoy myself.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d670ec5eec93a70cf13cf54733e7c6c1266f6cf6028d0c6fb40a714970350052.jpg

    • Shinytoys

      excellent grouping !

      • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

        This is one of the six Kontiki Diver watches that was on the Tangaroa expedition across the Pacific in 2006. The expedition was a re-creation of the Kontiki expedition. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart.

        • Shinytoys

          I can certainly understand that ?

  • goju1

    Can’t help thinking that in 1973 the production of this watch was influenced by the Ploprof. It is a solid case and bracelet. A nice watch to have in one’s collection.

  • I cringe at the idea of engraving, monogramming, or personalizing anything, but it’s a great story of a great keepsake of a great event.

    (As you can see, I left my thesaurus on the train).

  • cg

    Great watch and a nice way to show your appreciation of others efforts towards success.

  • Perhaps the only great case engraving story I’ve read so far. The watch itself is a classic, quirky hands and all that.

  • Ulysses31

    I love this watch. I appreciate the reasons for the customisation, though I personally feel it cheapens the look somewhat. Might have been better kept on the case-back.