U.S. Navy Scuba School, Subic Bay,
Phillipines. Graduating class circa 1965.
Eterna-Matic KonTiki Super
This is an earlier generation (2nd type) KonTiki Super
from the late '60s. KonTiki Supers of this vintage are
typically remembered as an "issue" watch for the Israeli
The watch is shown above on a "Olongapo" bracelet,
which is a type of watch bracelet popular with military
personnel during the Viet Nam War. These bracelets were
all hand crafted in the city of Olongapo (located near Subic
Bay Naval Station, in the Phillipines) specifically for the
wearer. The original owner of this bracelet was likely a
Freemason, as the bracelet is decorated with the symbols
of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
Case Diameter: 40 mm
Case Height: 13 mm
Case length: 47.5 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Movement: Eterna-Matic cal.
1498K, 17j non-hacking
automatic. 21,600 bph, 46 hour
Case material: Stainless steel
Crown: Screw down
Bezel: Bi-directional, no index
Water resistance: 200 meters
Vintage: Late '60s
PS: I sold this watch a few years ago, so imagine my surprise when I discovered it was listed for sale on both
ebay and an internet military watch sales forum in November of 2009. Except it wasn’t in quite the same condition
as I last saw it, now sporting (obviously fake) IDF military engravings. It’s no doubt the same watch, easily
identifiable by various bezel scratches, case wear and telltale marks on the dial. The seller was also thoughtful
enough to include a picture of the movement so I could compare wear patterns on the rotor and confirm all the
screw heads lined up the same way.
The supply of authentic military issued watches from all countries around the world is quite small. While demand
for these issued watches continues to increase, most are already in the possession of collectors. It has become
commonplace to see false military engravings applied to un-issued civilian watches, and in the case of these
KonTiki Supers, proof of Israeli military issue would easily increase the value of the watch by 100% or more.
Buyer beware. Here’s the same watch seen above, as it appeared on ebay with its new resume: