By John Galt
Baselworld 2015 will be big for Eterna as they are set to debut their first in-house chronograph movement to the baying watch world and the new Royal KonTiki will be the first release to house it. The latest KonTiki model with its sporty looks remains true to the series whose success goes way back but its evolution and distinctive looks reminds me of a teenager trying to find its own sense of quirky style.
The first thing your eyes are drawn to is the distinctive bold red circle running round the outer edge of the dial seemingly hugging the case, giving a very dynamic contrast to the blue of the dial. The unmistakable wave pattern in reference to the origin of the KonTiki series remembering Thor Heyerdahl’s ocean expedition. Three black and silver sub-dials stand out boldly and seem to float on the wave inspired design, the sub-dial at 3 O’Clock houses the coaxial chronograph counters with two hands outer for minutes. The inner is for hours and perfectly aligned at 9 O’Clock is the small seconds display, with the last sub-dial and keeping perfect symmetry is the 24hr GMT dial. The large centre mounted second hand acts as the flyback stopwatch to instantly start/stop and reset the chronograph. My only qualm with the dial layout is the date window which is squeezed between 4 & 5 O’Clock and feels like a position it had to have so the piece could have a date window. I would have liked to see it at say 12 O’Clock being more visual and giving perfect symmetry to the dial. The hands and applied hour markers are coated with white super-luminova giving outstanding legibility even in the most difficult of conditions.
The stainless steel case is 45mm in diameter with a nice rugged sporty feel to it with its unmistakable bezel comprising of ceramic arcs separated by 5 black PVD coated arms screwed in and perfectly arranged to depict the Eterna logo. Both chronograph pushers are PVD coated also for ease of use and operation with the crown guard made from blackened steel keeping a nice dark arc sweeping from top to bottom. The integrated steel bracelet has a nice weight and feel to it especially with the centre links coated in high quality black rubber adding more sporty credentials to the piece.
The new in-house chronograph movement is based on the 39 calibre but thanks to its unique design and architecture the calibre it can be used as a base for no fewer than 88 different movements, in basic form the 39 calibre is hand-wound with only hours and minutes but Eterna have added for the 3927a movement additional complications of automatic winding, flyback chronograph, GMT feature and date display. Other impressive features on the 3927a movement are chronometer-level precision and Eterna guarantee a 60 hour power.
I congratulate Eterna on their movement with its unique design which can be simply upgraded to include additional complications, which in the process keep the price down and enables Eterna to add functions that are normally only available on much higher priced pieces. The KonTiki is a great watch with its bright sports dial coupled with tough and rugged looks it ticks all the right boxes as a utility sports piece. The pricetag is 7,550EUR. For more info, please visit eterna.com
John Galt – Contributing Editor
John Galt caught the horology bug back in 2010 on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology, his favorite brands being HYT and Greubel Forsey that push the bounders of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.