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Did Thor Hyderdahl really wear an Eterna watch on his expedition? SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

  1. kippyk

    kippyk Mar 14, 2017

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    ”I have never seen borders. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.” - Thor Hyderdahl

    The Eterna Watch makes some great looking watches. Their Kon-Tiki watches have honored Thor Hyderdahl's amazing expedition from South America to Polynesia for decades.
    [​IMG]

    According to the Eterna website, everyone on the original expedition wore an Eterna watch:

    "Strapped to his wrist, each Kon-Tiki crew member carried an Eterna timepiece, the contribution of one of the few watch manufacturers of the day to have truly mastered watchcase watertightness"

    Hodinkee has a nice article about the watch and if Thor Hyderdahl wore an Eterna.

    The Eterna Kontiki watch came out in 1958, and again, it seems unlikely that Eterna would have given the watch that name, and used Heyerdahl's expeditions in its marketing, were the connection not legitimate. However, we've been unable to find any direct evidence that Heyerdahl's watch was an Eterna – or any record of its fate.

    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/six-missing-explorers-watches-whose-fate-wed-love-to-know

    Surprisingly, there is really no evidence anywhere on the internet that helps solve this mystery. So I flew to Oslo to begin my investigation. It took about 10 minutes to solve. Below is my picture from the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo that shows the watch that they wore: the Longines Paratrooper WWII Military Model.

    IMG_20160525_114920.jpg
     
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  2. trama

    trama Mar 14, 2017

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    Great sleuthing!
     
  3. Scepticalist

    Scepticalist Mar 14, 2017

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    Does that really disprove them wearing Eterna though? It's quite possible that as they were navigating without modern aids they wanted a very accurate watch as the expedition chronometer and that the members also wore Eterna watches.
     
  4. dialstatic

    dialstatic Mar 14, 2017

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    Ok, now I want a Longines Paratrooper. Thanks a lot :(
     
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  5. kippyk

    kippyk Mar 14, 2017

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    Knut Magne Haugland was on the expedition and died in 2010. He was one of the radio operators on the expedition and fought for the Norwegian resistance in WWII. He also was the director of the Kon-Tiki museum. It seems reasonable he wore a Longines Paratrooper watch in WWII. There is no way that someone that wore a military watch as a saboteur and resistance fighter in WWII would switch watch brands for this expedition. I have a feeling that the watch at the museum is his. He waned to keep the true history of the expedition intact as the Eterna marketing of the voyage grew in the years following.

    It is also possible that Thor Hyderdahl wore an Eterna. Thor Hyderdahl was searching for funding for the expedition any way he could. He might have made a "marketing" deal with Eterna but allowed his technical expert to select a different chronometer. A sponsor of the expedition was Eterna, but the true timekeeper was Longines.

    Knut Magne Haugland preparing for the voyage.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.arrl.org/news/last-surviving-crew-member-of-i-kon-tiki-i-expedition-passes-away
     
    Nachman likes this.
  6. kippyk

    kippyk Mar 14, 2017

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