Since 1962, the name Super KonTiki has been synonymous among divers for outstanding reliability and precision. Today, the first diver’s watch with a rotating bezel from the House of Eterna is a timekeeping icon both on land and below the surface. This year, the original celebrates its much -awaited revival with several new models, including the Black edition, limited to 888 watches.
When Eterna developed its first KonTiki models back in 1958 to commemorate a daring expedition across the Pacific, a unique success story for the art of Swiss watchmaking began. The watch line rapidly established itself as a benchmark for extreme sportiness, absolute reliability and precision, ruggedness and resilience. It has remained so to this day, almost five decades on.
Even the earliest KonTiki steel cases were water resistant to 200 metres. In 1962, Eterna also developed the Super KonTiki for professional divers, the first diver’s watch with a rotating bezel. Its large, highly legible Roman numerals supplied divers with the information they needed to time decompression stops correctly during ascents.
Now, in 2015, Eterna pays tribute to this unmistakable icon of timekeeping both above and below the surface with the launch of new Super KonTiki models inspired by the 1960s’ and 1970s’ originals. The new watches have unmistakably inherited the solid case with its contoured sides, as well as the characteristic rotating bezel with its chunky, knurled edges, from their predecessors.
The triangular indices, shaped like a compass needle, are likewise a stylistic element that characterized the first KonTiki watches. The robust, strikingly sporty exterior combined with the reliable automatic movement predestines the Super KonTiki to be the ideal companion for modern adventurers and explorers who attach value to having their own individual sense of style.
For all those in search of something special, Eterna presents the Super KonTiki Black Limited Edition. For this version, limited to just 888 watches, the case comes shrouded in mysterious, jet-black. The orange-coloured, Superluminova-coated hands and luminescent dots adjacent to the hour indices stand out even more prominently against the likewise jet-black dial and guarantee perfect legibility whatever the lighting conditions.
The Super KonTiki Black Limited Edition comes with a black milanese bracelet, a black NATO strap with a central orange stripe that exactly matches the colour of the hands, and a black leather strap.
The brand also offers three unlimited versions of Super KonTiki in stainless steel. In these models, the famous compass needle-shaped indices on the black dial and the luminescent hands are finished either in neutral white or an eye-catching yellow. The cool vintage style is perfectly rounded off with a milanese bracelet, a black-and-orange NATO strap or a leather strap with the popular used look.
The watches in the KonTiki line are a reminder of the courage and resolution of archaeologist and ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl. Back in 1947, the 32-year-old Norwegian and five other scientists set out from the Peruvian coast into the Pacific Ocean on a simple raft made of balsa wood named after Kon-Tiki, an Incan sun god.
Heyerdahl had embarked on his derring-do expedition to prove that it would have been technically possible for the pre-Columbian Indians of South America to reach Polynesia with the help of the Humboldt Current and the Passat wind. On their wrists the researchers wore specially made, extremely tough and reliable watches from Eterna’s workshops. The crew put their trust in these indispensable navigation aids whenever they had to carry out manoeuvres or make decisions upon which depended not only the success of their mission but also the survival of the men themselves.
After 101 days and nights on the high seas, with almost 8000 kilometres behind them, Thor Heyerdahl and his crew finally reached the Raroia atoll in Polynesia. Their watches likewise survived the journey and shown no sign of damage from salt water, the humidity or the fluctuating temperatures. The technical findings and expertise taken from the creation of the timepieces for this successful expedition subsequently flowed into the further development of Eterna’s sports watches.
Super KonTiki / reference: 1218.104.22.1685 (Black edition)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1
Case: Stainless-steel with PVD, 45mm
Strap: Black nato, leather strap or black Milanese bracelet
Functions: h, min, s, date
Price: CHF 2’550.- /EUR 2’600.-