Although definitely larger than average with its 42 mm in diameter, the new Eterna KonTiki Date (ref. 1126.96.36.1993) automatic wristwatch is still quite elegant and lean, and would look really great on a hand of a guy who spends three nights a week in a gym while keeping a low-carb diet.
Named after Thor Heyerdahl’s most famous raft, the KonTiki line represents the ‘sports’ branch in the Swiss brand’s current collection of inexpensive mechanical watches. The refreshed model, which is coming in a stainless steel case, is essentially an affordable version of the last year’s KonTiki Anniversary model that was presented in a gorgeous red gold body.
Although much cheaper, the KonTiki Date with its stainless steel body and the elegantly styled white dial with blue triangular hour markers and Arabic numerals, looks even more appealing than the Anniversary model. While the former is graphic and modern, the latter was clearly fussy and archaic.
The choice of color scheme not only makes the watch look more interesting, but also greatly increases its legibility thanks to an extremely high level of contrast and a generous amount of luminous substance.
The latter covers not only its hour and minute hands, as well as the dots above the stick-shaped hour markers, but also fills the four triangles at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, which makes the watch especially easy to read even in total darkness.
The timekeeper’s only problem is, perhaps, the date aperture. Placed between four and five hours, the simple calendar window looks very small, blending too much into the layout of the dial.
The differences, however, are not completely visual.
While the Anniversary edition was delivered with Eterna’s own 3010 in-house caliber, the new watch is powered by a run off the mill Sellita SW 200 automatic movement.
Being a slightly modified clone of the ever-popular ETA 2824 movement, this little engine has a good reputation for its reliability and accuracy and is used by such watch companies as the Swiss Oris, and the German Limes and Marcello C.
Simply put, every third “Swiss Made” watch comes powered by a Sellita-made movement, so I wouldn’t worry about KonTiki Date’s inferiority to the gold model.
In fact, a watch with Sellita’s caliber may prove to be even more reliable than its more exclusive predecessor.
By the way, if the name of the company scares you away, you should take into account that the Swiss brand is owned by the German-based F.A. Porsche Beteiligungen GmbH, which is better known under its Porsche Design brand name.
Yes, the expensive (and daringly futuristic) Porsche Design watches are in fact manufactured by Eterna. That says something, right?
Eterna KonTiki Date (ref. 1188.8.131.523) automatic watch specification
Price range: CHF 2250 (MSRP) / USD $3500 (Retail)
Movement: Caliber Sellita SW 200, 26 jewels, automatic, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case material: stainless steel
Case dimensions: 42.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: White, with a guilloche pattern
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Canvas / Bracelet / Leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid, engraved