Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Tangaroa Chronograph - on the Face of Things

So now a full week and some change and I'm ready to give some impressions of the Eterna Tangaroa Moonphase Chronograph.

Today I'm focusing on the dial.  It is always difficult to load a fair number of features into a watch and avoid "overloading".  In the case of the Tangaroa, Eterna came close, but showed enough restraint to stop while they were ahead.
The dial supports the watches functions -
Seconds - in the sub dial at 3 o'clock sharing the space with the one hand 24 hr/second time zone.
Day - inset to the upper sub dial
Date - Indicated by the blue numbers in the outermost chapter ring
Month - inset to the upper sub dial
Moonphase - but not just any moonphase -but more on that later
24 hr/second time indicator - sub dial at 3 o'clock sharing space with the constant second hand
And your usual counters for the Valjoux 7751.

This does create a fair amount of bang for the buck in terms of features.  Now back to the moonphase.  My understanding is that it is providing not just "a" moonphase, but in fact a moonphase for not just the Northern (my) Hemisphere, but for the Southern Hemisphere as well - something my fellow bloggers in South America would surely appreciate.

The 24 hour sub dial takes a little bit of getting used to, but Eterna have added a couple of very well thought out touches to aid in reading the 24 hour gauge.  First they have divided the dial into two separate fields - the lower being for "AM"/daylight hours being indicated by light, yellow alternating indices between the blue numbers from 6 AM to 6 PM, at which point the indices are dark blue/black to indicate the "PM"/night time hours.
 In addition, the continuous second hand is straight, while the hand indicating the hour is slightly squiggly.  I like that - a bit of whimsy in a serious timekeeper is always unexpected, but appreciated (at least by me).
The moonphase indication - allowing for both hemispheres is truly well laid out.  (I fear that I might have "inverted" them so any kind reader out there, please let me know so that I can adjust them).

The main indices of the dial are clean, solid, and extremely well laid out.  But perhaps beyond the subtle touches is perhaps one of the most obvious things on any watch - the hands!  They are beautiful! Blue skeletonized hands with a generous application of lume.

And all of this displayed on a beautiful grey field.  Having studied at the University of Oregon, I have a particular appreciation of a true grey.  Not the "silver" of most watch companies that is neither silver or grey or white - but rather a "non-color".  Almost as if they were afraid to commit to a color at all.  But this is COLOR!  Not unlike the sky of my Northern youth, just before the first snows of November - not quite winter, but not autumn either.  Neither one or the other - unique to itself.

The ability to make grey beautiful is a rare gift, an alchemy of sorts - and isn't that what we all secretly (or not so secretly) want in a watch - the ability to transform?

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