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“As the bat emerges from the darkness, as the blade cuts through with silence, as the grenade smashes in rage.”
No, that’s not the tagline to an upcoming superhero movie—it’s the motto of Shayetet 13, an elite special forces unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Established in 1949, Shayetet 13—like the Navy SEALs and the combat divers of the French Navy—is trained for operations on land, in the air, and on the sea. Like the SEALs, the unit works in the utmost secrecy. The air of mystery that surrounds their missions, as well as the identities of operatives themselves, has given rise to the nickname “the people of silence.”
Starting in 1970, Eterna outfitted members of Shayetet 13 and other special forces units of the IDF with this watch, the KonTiki Super.
At the time, Shayatet 13 were ranging about the world in search of escaped Nazi war criminals, and acting in counter-terrorism missions.
Such grueling and taxing operations required heavy-duty gear, which is why the IDF chose the KonTiki Super for issue to their commandos.
Eterna’s watches have had a history of being taken to some of the most forbidding environments—such as Thor Heyerdahl’s three-month voyage across the Pacific in a balsa wood raft.
In honor of that feat, which Heyerdahl enacted in 1947, Eterna released a watch called the KonTiki—the name of Heyerdahl’s raft.
The KonTiki was a purpose-built tool rivaling anything produced by Rolex or Omega. Coupling a robust steel case with a highly-accurate automatic movement, the KonTiki’s spare, unadorned frame lent itself well to many different iterations.
Starting in 1962, Eterna developed a KonTiki dive watch—the KonTiki Super.
The Super that Eterna issued to the IDF, like many dive watches of the day, had a cushion case sized at an impressive 41mm. The chunky bezel made it easy to use when wearing dive gloves. Like many military watches, the screw-down case back bears engravings: spec, issue number, and Hebrew characters to denote its status as the property of the IDF.
And inside of course beats the famed Eterna-Matic movement with its 5-ball bearing rotor mount. While Eterna’s competitors, Omega and Rolex, only adjusted their chronometer-grade movements in five positions, Eterna added one more—for temperature. This led to a robustness and accuracy that made the Kon-Tiki Super the perfect choice for the elite forces of the day.
This particular Kon-Tiki Super has a rugged, weathered appeal that comes from a life of action. Looking at it, it’s not hard to imagine it strapped to the wrist of a commando. With a worn bezel and darkened lime, it’s stood the test of time, and is sure to prove a trusty companion in all of life’s adventures.
Stainless steel case is approximately 41mm (excluding crown). Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall showing moderate signs of use and wear, consistent with age. Dial is in very good condition showing patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Unsigned crown. Case back has IDF engravings.
Includes one 20mm khaki cloth strap with IDF marking on buckle.
Also includes extra bezel insert.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options