Eterna-matic 130T KonTiki – Hands

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Back in 1958 when the first Eterna-matic reference 130T KonTiki was introduced, it was with “Mercedes hands” similar to what we are used to see on Rolex divers watches…

The interesting thing is that if you make a search on the Internet you find very few, if any of the first KonTiki divers with “Mercedes hands”…

Most of the 130T you will find have the same hands as mine – Dauphine hands with big lume.

Eterna-matic 130T KonTiki – big lume Dauphin hands

Here is a document from 1958 “La Montre et les métiers” (Watch and trades).

The KonTiki with “Mercedes hands” and big lollipop seconds hand. Fun side note, the Rolex Submariner shown do not have the characteristic “Mercedes hands”:

La Montre et les métiers 1958

Second version of hands shown in documents are more traditional Dauphine hands with only a thin line of lume and no lollipop seconds hand – like in this ad from 1959:

Eterna-matic KonTiki ad 1959

Some with thin lume you can observe while searching the Internet…

But still, most you will find with the same hands as mine… Big lume triangles and no lollipop on the seconds hand.

Eterna-matic 130T KonTiki – no lollipop

So are they replacement hands? – I would say no! A) Too many with the exact same hands B) looking at this ad from 1961 which show the exact configuration like my watch:

Eterna-matic KonTiki ad 1961

My take on this is – Eterna planned to use the “Mercedes hands” and possible prototypes and the very first batch used the “Mercedes hands”.

By some reason they changed their mind and went for Dauphine hands instead, but the first version had too thin lume to really work for a divers watch…

So instead they changed to the big lume Dauphine hands which is why that is the most common version of hands even if less common in documents…

Even if these documents span over three years – I suspect these changes happened quite fast. A) Due to the number of big lume hands that can be seen B) There is often a delay in documents. If existing model, often an old image is used C) My watch, based on the movement number is from 1958.

Eterna KonTiki 130T hands – 1958, 1959 and 1961

I could of course be completely off, but that is my interpretation based on documents and watches observed over the years…

One common point for all of them is they are the first Eterna KonTiki divers.

Eterna KonTiki – 130T with the KonTiki raft on the back (no gold medallion)

Small details make big difference…

Stay tuned as we will look closer on more details!