VITAL INSTRUMENT

The 1960s and ‘70s were the golden age of scuba diving, when the sport’s practitioners trotted the globe discovering shipwrecks, dodging sharks, and exploring the alien world under the sea. Those were the days of rubber diving suits, oval masks, twin-hose regulators— and dive watches. Strapped on the wrist alongside a depth gauge, the dive watch was a vital instrument, allowing its owner to safely track his time underwater. Out of the water, a dive watch became a symbol of derring-do, letting people know that its wearer was a man of action. One of the most iconic of those early dive watches was the Eterna Super KonTiki, a 200-meter water-resistant timepiece with a rotating bezel, that had its origins in 1962.

Named after the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s epic 1947 voyage across the Pacific on a balsa wood raft, Eterna’s KonTiki watch family is renowned for its dependability under adverse conditions and its dive watches have been favored by recreational and military divers alike for decades. The new Eterna KonTiki Diver is the latest in this legendary watch family, and hearkens back to that golden age of diving, still an emblem of an adventurous lifestyle.

The inspiration for the watch itself comes from a vintage Eterna dive watch from the 1970s. Divers at the time used “no decompression” tables developed by the US Navy to determine how many minutes they could safely spend at each depth and still go directly to the surface. By adhering to these tables, divers could avoid having to pause for decompression during ascent and ward o the bends. The markings on the bezel of the KonTiki Diver denote the depths and their corresponding “no deco limits”, assuming the diver aligned the arrow with the minute hand upon starting his descent. While nowadays divers wear digital dive computers that take care of those vital underwater calculations, no decompression limits are still important and the KonTiki Diver is a reminder of that, and of a time when a dive watch and a depth gauge comprised the original dive computer.

The KonTiki Diver’s distinctive bezel is topped with a scratch-proof engraved ceramic ring, and ratchets anti-clockwise to eliminate the risk of time being added to a dive by an errant bump. The polished and brushed stainless steel case is a substantial 44 millimeters in diameter, sealed tight by a screwed-down crown and case-back, and pressure tested to 20 bar, the equivalent of 200 meters of depth. Inside ticks a self-winding mechanical movement, the Sellita caliber SW200 with 26 jewels and 38 hours of autonomy o the wrist. A scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protects the matte dial in black or blue, adorned with the distinctive triangular luminous markers that have appeared on Eterna KonTiki watches since the 1960s.

The black and blue dial versions of the KonTiki Diver are available on either color-matched rubber straps replete with fold over locking clasps, or a polished and brushed steel bracelet. Whether worn over a wetsuit sleeve or under a shirt cu , the new KonTiki Diver is a watch worthy of its legendary name and an inspiration and perhaps invitation to live adventurously, above or below the waves.

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