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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
“Like a Bridge over troubled Water”: Eterna KonTiki Diver 1000M (1594.44.40.1154)


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The watch:

The concept of the Eterna KonTiki Diver 1000M was first shown at Baselworld 2005 and the first models of the watch could be purchased at the end of 2007.
This KonTiki is truly unusual, as the titanium case sits in a steel bridge construction and can / must be unlocked and flipped open via two pushers to set the time and / or the dive ring. When the case is closed, the crown at 12 o'clock and the diver's bezel, which can be adjusted in both directions, are automatically secured against unintentional pulling or adjustment.

Besides the case design, there are other special features, such as the non-screwed crown and the inner diver's ring, which is operated via the outer bezel. Eterna had previously had (rather mixed) experiences with the "inner-outer rotating ring" with the limited edition Kontiki Sports. The butterfly clasp is also intricately designed and includes a diver's extension that can be folded out without opening the actual clasp, extending the strap by wetsuit-suitable three inches.

So much innovation came at a price, however; the KonTiki Diver 1000M cost 6,800.00 euros, on par with a Rolex Sea-Dweller, which then made selling the watch much more difficult. In 2010, Eterna's partner at the time, Porsche Design, followed suit with the P'6780 and also launched a watch in this design. However, the Porsche was simpler in design and "only" contained an ETA 2892.



But even though Eterna was clearly faster than Porsche with this kind of design, they still weren't the first: as early as 2004, Seiko launched the Takuya Yura Prospex SpeedMaster Bullhead Chonograph SBDP021, a watch limited to 600 pieces with the 7T62 quartz movement, which also consisted of a movement container that opened in a bridge design, but was simpler overall.




The technical specifications:

Case:

Material: movement container: black PVD coated titanium, satin stainless steel 316L bezel.
Bridge: satin and polished stainless steel 316L
Crystal: cambered sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating
Caseback: screwed and engraved caseback
Dimensions: Ø 46.00 mm, height: ↕︎ 16.00 mm, length: ↔︎ 52.80 mm
Weight: approx. 210 g
Water resistance: waterproof up to a pressure of 100 bar (1000 m).
Features: internal diver's rotating bezel adjustable in both directions via the external lunette

Dial and hands:
Color: matte black, white hands covered with Swiss Super-LumiNova®, applied logo.
Hour scale: Numerals and indexes overlaid with Swiss Super-LumiNova®, imprinted minute track
Hands: white hands, covered with Swiss Super-LumiNova®.

Movement and functions:
Caliber: ETA automatic caliber 2897, COSC certified, 28,800 A/h (4 Hz), center seconds, 21 jewels, Incabloc shock protection, blued screws, Glucydur balance, Nivarox hairspring, stop-seconds.
Power reserve: approx. 42 hours
Function: hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve indicator

Bracelet:
Material: rubber,
Color: black
Clasp: stainless steel double folding clasp, button clasp, separate diver's extension that can be folded out via another button clasp

List price (2007):
6.800,00 Euro























Trivia:

It is still unclear today whether watches by Eterna were actually worn during Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition; in any case, the wristwatch exhibited at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo that Heyerdahl is said to have worn during the expedition is a Longines COSD Paratrooper.

In 2006, during the Norwegian "Tangaroa Expedition" led by Torgeir Higraff and Olav Heyerdahl, the grandson of Thor, during which the balsa wood raft "Tangaroa" followed the route of Thor Heyerdahl's "Kon-Tiki", Eterna SA did not miss the opportunity to offer its support. The crew of the "Tangaroa was equipped with the KonTiki Diver 1000M watches, which were not yet commercially available at that time.



Source references:
Eterna SA | „Armbanduhren – Wristwatches – Montres Bracelets“ by Christian Pfeiffer-Belli and Gisbert L. Brunner, 2006, Könemann Verlag Köln, ISBN 978-3833125591
Image sources: Image 2: Porsche Design GmbH | Image 3: Seikō Holdings K.K. | Image 1 and 4 to 13: own work
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Elmero
Yes, it really is a great watch - in more ways than one ;)

I am currently still torn whether I should still put the Porsche Design P'6780 alongside it. The unequal sisters are already somehow charming.
On the other hand, there is also the Clerc Hydroscaph and the Linde Werdelin Biformeter...

@Biginboca
Well, at the list price, the KonTiki was a real challenger for the Sea-Dweller. ;)

No, you are of course right, the KonTiki is completely over-engineered and could only be sold at all with considerable price reductions. Overall, the thing was a slow seller and could not recoup the high development costs. But at least Eterna managed to eliminate the leakage problem of the bezel construction, which was not really successful with the predecessor KonTiki Sports LE.
Fortunately, Eterna only had a limited number of the ETA 2897 chronometer movements available, otherwise the KonTiki 1000M experiment would probably have been even more expensive.
A little fun fact on the side: When Porsche launched the P'6780 in 2010, it boosted the sales of the 1594 a bit - the Eterna was simply equipped with the better movement... ;)
 

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Nice write up! I think you are the only one who would consider this watch a “Sea Dweller Challeger” though. Eterna spent more time and money engineering a solution for a problem that didn’t exist and in doing so priced themselves out of the market.
totally agree - interesting watch but compared to the SDC????? no nay never
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
totally agree - interesting watch but compared to the SDC????? no nay never
As I said, in terms of list price, the Eterna was definitely a challenger to the Rolex 16600, as well as in terms of diving depth - and in terms of case construction and materials (titanium here, stainless steel there), the Eterna was even ahead…


... and of course the term Rolex in the headline attracts more. ;)
 
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As I said, in terms of list price, the Eterna was definitely a challenger to the Rolex 16600, as well as in terms of diving depth - and in terms of case construction and materials (titanium here, stainless steel there), the Eterna was even ahead…


... and of course the term Rolex in the headline attracts more. ;)
gotcha - re-read the post "6800 Euros, on par with a Rolex Sea dweller" - and all I saw was "on par with the Rolex" - but you were referring to the price, not the watch per se - reader bias for sure
 
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