Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch Watch Releases

The Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones by Eterna is a handsome watch, but watch industry pundits will no doubt consider the bigger story being the first appearance of the new Calibre 39 in a production watch.

It couldn't have happened soon enough.

When the Calibre 39 was announced this year, its appearance seemed to embody that well known saying ascribed to Plato that "Necessity is the mother of invention." Since ETA owner, the Swatch Group, announced their intention to limit the supply of ETA movements to competing companies, the scramble had begun to find an alternative supplier.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch Watch Releases

After-all, with the drying up of the supply of these workhorse engines, many watch companies would be left with pretty watch cases with nothing to put inside, thus threatening their survival. Those companies who could (ie: with deep pockets) were given impetus to develop in-house movements, partly to remove dependence on external suppliers, and partly to move up the chain as it were, towards credibility as a watchmaking company.

Amid this backdrop of change within the industry, it was the announcement of the Calibre 39 by Eterna that changed everything. We wrote about the Calibre 39 (which you can read about here) and you may have known that this is the result of a project that Eterna started in 2007 to create a brand new movement.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch Watch Releases

The main selling point of the Calibre 39 is the fact that it was designed from the ground up with modularity in mind. The goal was a strong base calibre from which many types of complications could be piled on top, creating a large number of variant movements. Ease of adding complications was also a main priority, with most modules needing only a few screws to install. The resulting 88 variants as conceived by Eterna would then be supplied to watch companies to carry on producing what they have always produced, as well as introduce new types of complications not previously seen from the ETA movements we know and love.

The Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones here uses the variant of Calibre 39 called the Calibre 3945A. It is an automatic movement fitted with Eterna's Spherodrive system, beating at 28,800 bph and holding a 68 hour power reserve. As the name implies, the main complication that this watch showcases is the GMT function served by a central hand with a red arrow tip.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch Watch Releases

The 42mm case is in polished and satin-finished stainless steel, enhanced with a decorated bezel with five engraved grooves and five PVD-clad screws that easily recall the Eterna logo. What is interesting here is how the case looks very similar to an IWC Ingenieur, even to the shape of the crown guards. With the KonTiki however, the crown guards are PVD coated and add a further dash of sportiness to the already rugged looking case. Rounding off the specs is the water resistance to 100m and a black rubber strap held together by a stainless steel buckle.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch Watch Releases

A handsome and sporty design, and in many ways I'm glad that the KonTiki was the first watch to use the Calibre 39, being the only signature line of Eterna that is easily associated to the brand by watch geeks. And since the KonTiki name is associated with the legendary sea voyage of Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl and so recalls the image of travel, this watch then, with the chosen complication, hits the right note because nothing is more useful to a traveler than GMT.

Want your Calibre 39 fix in a different flavor?  Well, you can look to the Porsche Design P6752 WorldTraveler launched at the same time as the Royal Kontiki Two Time Zones.

Porsche Design, as you might know, owned Eterna from 1995 to 2012, and as such the association runs deep. The P6752 WorldTraveler while sharing the same movement, differs markedly in its design. The Porsche Design aesthetic is all about motorsports and as such, the case is made of sandblasted titanium and the dial is of the more restrained, red, white, grey and black colour-scheme.

Eterna Royal KonTiki Two Time Zones Watch Watch Releases

Both these watches are fetching indeed, but what they represent is really something new for the Swiss watch industry. As the first watches to contain the Calibre 39, and by extension, the start of giving more choices to the mechanical watch-lover, well, that can only be a good thing.

What do you think?
  • Interesting (1)
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  • Ulysses31

    It’s a beautiful thing, except for that crown-guard.

  • MikeFig

    Any word on price?

  • Lesthepom

    Sounds like the caliber 39 should be able to take up the slack as ETA start to restrict access to there movements but will it be as built proof as some of the ETA are
    I like the power reserve assuming it is fully wound on Friday after work you could take it off and put it back on Monday morning and it would still be working
    As GMT’s go the Kon Tiki is a good looking example I am not a fan of the world time watches as the place I am visiting is never named on the dial and this makes them way too cluttered for my taste
    May be Eterna can come up with some more interesting designers and give us some thing different to look at

  • MarkCarson

    I prefer the Porsche Design’s P’6752 to this Eterna Kon Tiki, but I’m happy to see them both on the market as  examples of the Caliber 39. I think this movement has great potential as Eterna has been so forward thinking and it will be offered in many many variations in the years to come. 
    I have no problem with the movement’s 30 mm (13.25 ligne) diameter but I hope the base movement is much thinner than the ETA/Val Joux 7750 which is a thick bugger. As are the newer ETA A07 movements which are all 7.90 mm thick. Ever see a thin 7750 based watch? Nope. Hopefully the Eterna 39 will allow for thinner cases, especially when just the base movement (without modules) is used.
    Longer power reserve, column wheel chrono module, lots of variants – there is so much to like with the caliber 39. Plus it should start to show up in non-Eterna/Porsche Design watches at some point. An Eterna person at BaselWorld told me that right now these movements are not available to outside watch makers as their internal needs are consuming all of the current production.

  • DG Cayse

    With the Cal 39 coming at 28,800 bph and holding a 68 hour power reserve, it is a valid contender for the ever lessening supply of ETA calibers. Its modular design is a very forward looking move for what looks to be a work-horse position in the watch world.
    Eterna has the history to grow into a dominant force. Their past affiliation with the PDG also will open many new doors for this marque.
    Solid platform, excellent design team, marketing to the right demographic and a history of well made watches….Bravo Eterna! 

    Now about that pricing….?

  • DG Cayse

    ABTW again leads the pack…on the Eterna website they are still featuring, for their auto GMT caliber, the Calibre : Selfwinding Eterna 3843.

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