July 21, 2010
by Ariel Adams
Bar none, my favorite new watch for 2010 from Eterna is this wonderful heritage re-release model of the classic Super KonTiki from 1973. While the new and older version of the watch have some differences, the character of the original classic remains (thankfully). I first wrote about the original Eterna Super KonTiki watch here, discussing how it was used by the famous IDF (Israeli Defense Force), and was a coveted collector’s item. At that time I wondered if Eterna would ever revisit this model… and low and behold they did.
At Basel 2010, I walked by the Eterna booth, surprised and delighted to see this guy in a case. It made me even more excited to talk with the Eterna people and play with it. You’ll notice below a comparison of the original model and the new Heritage model. Up a few millimeters in size, the Heritage Super KonTiki limited edition 1973 is 44mm wide in a steel case with a tall rotating diver’s bezel. The case is 200 meters water resistant (why not 300m I am not sure, they could have easily made it that, I am sure). Nevertheless, it is a very capable diver’s watch with a fantastic spirit.
The dial is super cool retro futuristic. Like the best of the 1970s on your wrist (without any of that mostly ugly brown and orange that was common at the time). With its white, yellow, and black tones, it feels pretty modern. The case has a great classic looking tonneau shape to it, behind the round dial. Hour markers are applied, and there is lots of SuperLumiNova on the dial and the hands. Eterna always intended the hour and minute hand to be different – making them easy to read underwater. Like the classic, the seconds hand is a large needle.
Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic, which should do nicely. Both watches have similar caseback engravings of the original KonTiki ship for which the watch was named. Eterna fitted the watch with a great mesh metal bracelet with a special deployment clasp for micro adjusting it. They all offer an extension segment for use when diving. Being a limited edition, the Eterna Heritage Super KonTiki 1973 watch will be limited to just 1,973 pieces (for the year it was originally introduced). It should be available this fall for about $3,300. I really want one of these and am happy to see collector demand high enough for Eterna to price the Super KonTiki back.
See Eterna watches on eBay here.