Monday, April 28, 2008

Casio G-Shock GW-200TC-3V Frogman

I was reminded recently that 61 years ago today Thor Heyerdahl and his crew started their voyage to prove Heyerdahl's theory that ancient South Americans could have sailed to and traded with Polynesia. Their trip covered over 4000 miles and took 101 days on a very primitive sailing raft named the Kon-Tiki. What does this have to do with watches? Well, because Heyerdahl was friends with former Eterna boss Dr. Rudolf Schild-Comtesse, he and his team wore Eterna watches on their historic journey. And because their journey was so well publicized (Thor Heyerdahl's book about it was translated into 66 languages) in 1958 Eterna decided to make a watch called the KonTiki and has been making various models with this moniker ever since. I don't have any pictures of the watches that Heyerdahl or his crew wore, nor the very first KonTikis, but I assume both were similar to this. What does this have to do with the watch I'm wearing today? On the surface, nothing, but I unfortunately don't own an Eterna (either an older KonTiki Super or newer Israeli Defense Force-issued one would suit me just fine, thanks) nor do I have any real "sports watches" from the 1940s or 1950s. So, letting my mind wander a bit, I thought "What would Thor Heyerdahl wear if he was taking his trip today?" His personal associations notwithstanding, I don't know why he wouldn't wear a G-Shock, especially a Frogman like this, which is not only durable, but powered by the sun as well. Perhaps a Wademan, with its compass, or a Casio Pathfinder with a whole slew of functions would also be suitable, but one would think he would have more sensitive and practical navigation gear as well as GPS so having these functions in a watch would probably be redundant. Of course, the cynical side of me can see Heyerdahl and his crew being sponsored by Corum, Ulysse-Nardin, Rolex or any number of other high-end sailing watch manufacturers, making the most practical choice somewhat academic. So, with all that being said, today's Frogman is functionally the same as my red-strapped Triple Crown of Surfing Frogman but tends to be a little more understated.

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