Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wrapping Up the Eterna Tangaroa Moonphase Chronograph

Well, sadly the referee has blown full-time on my extended review of the Eterna Tangaroa Moonphase Chronograph. While I will be sad to take her to the airport for her SWISS AIR return flight, I am glad we had this brief opportunity to get to know each other.
The tell-tale heart - in the case of the Tangaroa, the heart beat is provided by the ETA 7751.  Here are the specs as provided by Eterna -

Movement: ETA Valjoux calibre 7751; self-winding mechanical movement with chronograph functions; 48-hour power reserve; 28,800 vph; 25 jewels; diameter 30 mm (13 ¼ lines), hours, minutes and seconds, date, day of the week, month and moonphase display.

So I will firmly vouch for the 48 hours of power reserve.  And in terms of "the going rate" - very very accurate.  The greatest single day deviation I experienced was + 11 seconds, and this was a day that I ran the chronograph function for over 10 continuous hours.  I had spoken with Patrick Kury, who at the time was the Head of Engineering.  We were discussing the benefits of the 7751 vs modular approaches.  Now keep in mind that these were the merits of ETAs modular options as opposed to the performance of the 7751.  At the time, I think we both agreed that the 7751 was a better option.  Having said that, I am very, very anxious to see how the Spherodrive performs once it is pressed into full service.  But the Tangaroa performed flawlessly.  Overall we were at + 6/7 seconds per day.  

The movement is nicely finished - nothing over the top mind you, but still quite nice.  I realize that the finish work might have been "standard" in the way that the movement was delivered, but credit where it's due - they could have gone down market and given us something less attractive to look at.  Considering that it is a sapphire crystal display back, it is a nice change of pace to have something that is actually sorta' nice to look at.

The functions all worked quite well.  Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph functions, 24/hour time scale, moonphase and date all performed perfectly.  The day of the week and month are nice as well and the readability was quite good.
The bracelet is something that I did not get a chance to comment on earlier in the review - but let's just say that this is one of the NICEST bracelets I have come across for some time.  Comfortable, and easily adjustable!  No pins and collars here, no dear readers Eterna provides a bracelet that CAN be adjusted by mere mortals like yours' truly!
As luck would have it, I still have a few screw drivers from my DOXA days and they enabled me to adjust the bracelet in no time at all.
The links have both a polished and matte effect with the outer portions being polished, and the inner portions brushed.  Now this actually makes a great deal of sense beyond mere aesthetics - the middle part of the link is what is bound to be "roughed up".  So the contrast is there, but it is clear that the folks at Eterna really gave this some thought.

The Tangaroa also uses one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Eterna touches - the "hidden" butterfly clasp.  Now I am particularly partial to this as it is what my very first Eterna (Super Kontiki 50th Anniversary) came with.  It is solid and tactile without being "silly".  By silly I mean that there are so many "MANLY" watches out there where they feel that apparently there must be a "Quadruple" locking system or the watch will simply fall off of your wrist if you look at it funny!  No, this is clean, elegant, but still masculine.  And most importantly - it is secure, and easy to use.  Isn't that the point?

Bracelet/clasp: polished and satin-finished stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp.
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Ever wonder why some watches look different, why the feel different?  Most often it's because the watch company decided to take a slightly different approach, and look at the design process through an alternative set of eyes.  The case of the Tangaroa was designed by an architect.  Round - not flat.  Ergonomics - they're not just for office chairs!  This is something that you will wear all day, almost every day - shouldn't it be comfortable?  This is without a doubt one of the most comfortable watches I have EVER worn.  It is not insignificant in size - 42 millimeters of stainless steel is not a "light-weight" timekeeper.  But owing to the curved, smooth design and finish of the case, and the superlative bracelet and clasp - this is a wonderfully comfortable watch to wear.

Case/back: round-shaped polished and satin-finished stainless steel case; anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal; screwed-in case back with sapphire crystal opening; water-resistant to 50 m (5 bar) / ~ 165 feet; diameter 42 mm; height 13.95 mm.
Courtesy of Eterna
So would I recommend the Tangaroa Moonphase Chronograph?  Absolutely!  Get your hands on one!


  1. What size screw driver was used to remove pins?

    1. Hi - this review is more than three years old, I really couldn't tell you at this point. I suspect most of the Bergeons that are used for bracelet sizing could do the trick.