From years of watch gazing on various forums, I became intrigued with Eterna and many of its models. One in particular continued to stand out to me among the crowd; the Eterna KonTiki Automatic Chronograph (ref. 1240.41.63.0219). As fate would have it, I was able to pick up a minty specimen from a trusted collector.
Eterna was founded in 1856 by Urs Schild, but the company didn’t become popular until the early 1900’s in the midst of the wristwatch boom. Eterna’s earliest timepieces were marketed to women, whose wristwatches were made from pocket watches. In 1908, the company was able to patent the first alarm wristwatch and in 1932, Eterna established ETA, a subsidiary company born to provide movements for not only itself but other Swiss watch companies as well.
Ever ask yourself why this watch is called the “KonTiki?” Yeah, me neither, but since this is a KonTiki review, I’ll direct your attention, even for a few seconds, to what the KonTiki Expedition was. In 1947, a gentleman named Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer, piloted a raft known as the “KonTiki” across South America to the Polynesian Islands. The expedition was labeled a success after Thor and his crew made landfall in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7th, 1947. Of course, he was wearing an Eterna!
Eterna’s success has continued until modern times, where many of its models have garnered a cult like following. After owning one, I can see why Eterna is synonymous with quality and value.
Eterna KonTiki Automatic Specs:
Case Diameter: 42mm
Case Height: 15.8mm
Lug Size: 22mm
Lug to Lug: 47mm
Bracelet and Leather Strap Options Available
Movement: ETA Calibre 7750
Crystal: Sapphire with dual anti-reflective coating
Water Resistance: 200m/ 660ft
Retail Price: $4,595 (approximate)
The watch arrives to you in a cream colored Eterna inscribed two-piece box and inside a pushbutton wood grain presentation box with white velvet lining. I know what you’re thinking; very posh! The two piece box and the wood grain box are separated by a thin layer of foam wrapping. While this isn’t a must, and most couldn’t care less whether their watch box is wrapped or not, this simple extra step has told me that Eterna has gone above and beyond in delivering a product that does not disappoint. As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Ultimately, you’ll be the judge of that. As for me, this is what I have come to expect from a watch that retails near the $5,000 USD mark.