Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture – 52Mondayz, week #50

Gerard Nijenbrinks
December 11, 2017
MIN READ
Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture – 52Mondayz, week #50

Which 52Mondayz watch to chose was a difficult one this week. Last week, together with the rest of the Fratello Watches team, I picked up my Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday. However already being in Biel I took the opportunity to visit Eterna in Grenchen, who had my Kon-Tiki Bronze Manufacture limited edition ready as well.

Eterna KonTiki Diver Gent Bronze Manufacture Limited Edition

As I expect that we’re covering something Speedy tomorrow, I decided to bring out my Eterna for this week’s 52Mondayz installment.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

The Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture nicely fits my 18cm wrist

A celebration of Thor Heyerdahl’s KonTiki expedition

Eterna produced this limited edition of the KonTiki divers watch to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Thor Heyerdahl’s legendary KonTiki expedition. As you could read in Michael Stockton’s article last March, five of us ordered the Eterna during this years Baselworld. Quite commonly in the watch world, it took some time to have the first watches ready for delivery. Two weeks ago we got the message that the first ones, of a limited edition run of only 300 pieces, were ready for despatch.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

The bronze casing will age differently on different wrists

Bronze being a very personal material

For the very first time for Eterna, they made a watch out of bronze. The use of bronze has a long nautical history. For centuries, ships have relied on this metal alloy for its strength and resistance to corrosion. Bronze is able to resist corrosion thanks to its ability to create a greenish/brown copper oxide layer that in fact protects it. On a watch, this layer develops differently for each and every wearer, making every watch different and thus very personal.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

The anthracite dial has a sort of granite-patterned finish

An attractive dial finish not often seen

The dial of the Eterna KonTiki Bronze has a highly recognizable design. Big triangular luminescent hour markers contrast strongly against an anthracite dial. The dial has a sort of granite-patterned finish. Not often seen but which, in combination with the large triangular cardinal markers, provides excellent legibility. Readability is enhanced even further by the lack of a date window. One of the reasons I fell quite quickly for this watch.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

The ceramic bezel insert with super-luminova no-decompression limit scale

The no-decompression limits scale

As expected from a divers watch, a unidirectional rotating bezel surrounds the dial. The bezel inlay material is ceramic, while the numerals are Super-LumiNova filled. Less expected is the no-decompression limits scale, instead of the commonly used minutes. This no-decompression limits scale provides divers with a useful backup to their diving computers. It indicates the amount of time a diver can spend at a particular depth, without the need of a decompression stop when surfacing. Let me explain this simple. At the start of a dive, one aligns the arrow on the bezel with the minute hand of the watch. Then, when the minute hand reaches the figure on the bezel which indicates the (maximum) depth of that dive, the diver has to start his descent to the surface.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

 

In-House Eterna caliber 3902A

Further with the heart of the watch, the all-new in-house Eterna caliber 3902A. Eterna, known for the invention of a rotor with a ball bearing, in 2006 patented another ball bearing. This time a ball bearing facilitating the rotation of the movement’s barrel using ceramic balls on three concentric rings. This invention, called the Spherodrive, has been incorporated into caliber 39xx. An automatic in-house movement series that is not only the engine inside the Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture, but is also the base movement for over 88 different Eterna movement references today. By the way, currently only this KonTiki Bronze Manufacture Limited Edition houses this in-house movement. Other regular stainless steel KonTiki divers models sport a Sellita movement, providing a date for these watches as well.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

View at the caliber 3902A manufacture movement. My watch bearing the number 010 of only 300 pieces.

A sapphire glass back might be a bit unusual for a divers watch. However, in this case, I’m glad the KonTiki Bronze Manufacture Limited Edition has one. The in-house Eterna movement is not often seen and interesting to look at. In this light, the regular KonTiki Divers with Sellita movement sport a nicely engraved steel case back.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

The strap made of a very soft vintage looking, waxy kind of leather.

What else is good?

So far the technical and exact observations of the watch. On a personal note, I love the way it wears quite comfortable. At first, I couldn’t believe the diameter is 44mm. Really I took out a caliper to measure it myself. The outside diameter of the bezel is 43mm, and the casing peeping slightly from underneath it measures 44mm (without the crown) indeed. Short lugs, which more or less organically fit down on the wrist, will provide a good and comfortable fit I guess.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

Wearing comfortably on even not very large wrists

Then I love the (22 to 18mm) brown leather strap. It’s made from a very soft vintage looking, waxy kind of leather. Another unusual choice for a divers watch probably. However, it looks so good with the bronze casing and anthracite dial that again I’m not complaining.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

The from time to time surprising appearance

But what I like the absolute most about the watch is its surprising appearance from time to time. The bronze is such a nice looking material and shows very different under changing light conditions. Still new of course, and I can’t wait to see my watch aging as no other watch will. And the appearance of the dial is equally special. The rough anthracite surface competes often with the polished bronze surrounded index markers.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze 52Mondayz

Original personalized buckle

The Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture was sold for CHF 2.890,= (including 8% Swiss VAT). Was – and that’s the only negative point I will mention in this write-up – because all 300 pieces were sold out already during the Baselworld fair. More information on Eterna and its watches can be found here: www.eterna.com

 

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Gerard Nijenbrinks
About the author

Gerard Nijenbrinks

Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more

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