Larger than average with its 42 mm in diameter, the 2009 Eterna KonTiki Date (ref. 118.104.22.1683) is still elegant and lean and will look 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 that came 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 fussy and archaic.
The choice of the color scheme not only makes the dial 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 time 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 small, blending too much into the layout of the dial.
The differences, however, are not completely visual.
While the Anniversary edition featured Eterna’s own 3010 in-house calibers, the KonTiki Date uses 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. Under its belt, the SW200 has such big names as the Swiss-based Oris, as well as the German Limes and its direct competitor Marcello C that, too, makes gorgeous divers.
Simply put, every third “Swiss Made” watch comes sports a Sellita-made movement, so I wouldn’t worry about KonTiki Date’s inferiority to the gold model.
In fact, a watch with a Sellita 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 German-based F.A. Porsche Beteiligungen GmbH, which is better known under its “Porsche Design” name, is the current owner of the brand.
Yes, the expensive (and daringly futuristic) Porsche Design watches are manufactured by Eterna. That says something, right?
Eterna KonTiki Date 122.214.171.1243 specification
Price range: CHF 2250 (MSRP) / USD $3500 (Retail)
Movement: Caliber Sellita SW 200, 26 jewels, automatic, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: stainless steel
Size: 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
Back: Solid, engraved