One of the latest examples of the watch industry’s current ‘Bronze Age’ trend is Eterna’s KonTiki Bronze Manufacture. Shown at this year’s Baselworld, the Bronze has been produced in a limited edition of 300 pieces to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the KonTiki collection’s namesake expedition. The expedition saw six men and a parrot sail 101 days and 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean in a self-built, balsa-wood raft — with all six sailors wearing Eterna timepieces.
The KonTiki Bronze is the first KonTiki to be produced in the eponymous alloy and features a 44mm case with a sapphire-crystal caseback; essential, as bronze can cause skin irritation. Despite the large case diameter, the watch wears well and sits comfortably on the wrist. The Bronze would feel a little too restrained and look a little too ungainly if it were any smaller, proving, that despite current inclinations in the watch world, bigger is still sometimes better.
As is expected with a conventional, modern dive watch a uni-directional bezel has been included. However, instead of the more normal graduated 60-minute scale, this bezel displays a decompression scale. Indicating the amount of time a diver would have to spend at particular depths in order to avoid decompression sickness (or the bends, as it is more commonly known). The KonTiki Bronze’s bezel was inspired by a watch in Eterna’s archives, a Super-KonTiki produced for the US Military in the 1960s with a similar ‘no decompression limits scale’ bezel.