Richard S. Cunanan
August 25, 2017     |    

Lovely Waters, Hidden Depths

Eterna urges you to take the plunge.

The dive watches of Eterna will let you go places where man was not meant to go. Which is fine, because they make ladies’ dive watches as well. So it’s all good.

The ocean deeps, Cliff Richard songs notwithstanding, are not an environment hospitable to human life. Not that it’s barren down there; no, not at all. The ocean is more than half the world (70% if you want to be precise, and 71%, if you want to be REALLY precise) and those waters teem with life. Indeed, the ocean is seen as the birthplace of all life. It’s where we all began. That goes for human beings, too; our way-back-when ancestors evolved out of the creatures that first decided to venture onto dry land. (“I was amphibious BEFORE it was cool,” say the T-shirts.) But the evolution continued, and I guess we’ve changed, and the relationship between Mankind and the Sea just isn’t what it was. Where once our forefathers swam in the depths without fear or even lungs, now we are become creatures of the land, and need air to breathe. Ah, well. Such is life as an evolved species. Although really, looking around lately, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t think Mankind qualified as evolved.

However, if you DO decide that you want to swim in the seas of the ocean blue, rest assured that Eterna has got watches for you to take on the trip. Eterna, like a good craftsman, believes in product-testing their wares, and what they do goes a step above. Or a step below, you might say, since testing a dive watch involves taking it into the deeps and watching it perform.

Towards that end, Eterna approached their friend Jason Heaton, who by no coincidence is an accomplished diver. Then he took a bunch of their Kon-Tiki watches off to a place called Bonaire in the Caribbean. Bonaire used to be part of what was called the Netherlands Antilles, which dissolved in 2010. Bonaire got absorbed into the country of the Netherlands. I don’t know exactly how that happened, but it definitely seems to have been a great thing for the Netherlands, so, cheers to them. Because Bonaire is, again by no coincidence, one of the most beautiful dive spots on Earth.

Now, I know this may sound like ol’ Jason just pulled a fast one and got himself a free dive vacation here, but believe me, by the records this is the farthest thing from the truth. Jason Heaton, (again, experienced diver) took the watches and put them through a rather extensive testing process, lasting six days. During that time he did a grueling eighteen dives. That’s an average of three a day, for those of you who really can’t stand even simple mathematics. And that’s a pretty driven schedule, because on dives of any depth (for those of you who also aren’t divers yourselves) there’s a hard limit to the number of dives you can do in a limited time. It isn’t about physical exhaustion, it’s about the nitrogen buildup in your system.

And as for choosing Bonaire, a lovely dive spot, well, if you’re GONNA be testing in the water anyway, might as well choose someplace nice. Bonaire is a place whose daily life might not immediately suggest a world of leisure; it is, in fact, a working salt mine, and ‘salt mine’ and ‘blissful relaxation’ aren’t two terms you hear used together a lot. (If you’re wondering why, you can look up salt mines, but trust me, once upon a time it wasn’t a fun way to spend your life.)

However, Bonaire, like the human race, has changed over time. (And so has salt mining, I suppose; I can only assume it isn’t the short-lived occupation it used to be.) The waters around Bonaire have benefited from conscientious marine conservation efforts, and it has a marine ecosystem that is wonderfully well-preserved. A shallow reef surrounds the island, and in most places you can just swim to it from the shore. There are, and I quote, “abundant soft and hard corals, as well as the countless creatures that inhabit them, from barracuda and tarpon, to rays, turtles, octopus and colourful reef fish.”

Testing a watch in that environment probably would have been fun no matter what, but Eterna had some really nice pieces for Heaton to wear. He had the Eterna SuperKon-Tiki Chronograph, and his associate Maria Clara Aboleda wore the Eterna Lady Kon-Tiki Diver. They started off diving under the loading pier after the ships had stopped using it, just testing the watches in the shallows.

The next step on the test would take them significantly deeper; in fact, they would go to dive inside the wreck of a ship, which as you would imagine is on the bottom. In this case, that was about 30 meters down. They dove on the wreck of the “Hilma Hooker” which I can only assume wasn’t meant to sound as funny as it does. (The story of that ship is an article in itself, and frankly I’m running out of space here, so let me just say that at one point drug enforcement police found 25,000 pounds of marijuana on board, which I am totally sure is NOT the reason why the Hilma Hooker is such a popular dive spot these days. This is also probably not a good spot to point out that we are, technically, talking about part of the Netherlands, after all.)

So, how did Heaton feel about the Eterna Kon-Tiki watches? He gave them a glowing review! He said “The Super Kon-Tiki is one of the great names in dive watches so it was a pleasure to be able to spend a week reviewing and photographing the latest of its lineage in its intended environment. The Super Kon-Tiki Chronograph represents a big step forward for Eterna and a worthy bearer of its legendary name.”


The new A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph at Watches And Wonders

A Clean Lean Stopwatch in Steel from the fine (workmanship) people at A. Lange & Söhne

The Trilogy of Burgundy

Revealing the latest evolution of the Black Bay.

Revving Up Style: The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Aston Martin Edition

A stunning watch that blends precision, style, and innovation in one unforgettable timepiece.