Event

The Tangaroa expedition will be setting out at the end of April to emulate Thor Heyerdahl’s exploit of sailing on a self-built balsawood raft from Peru to Polynesia. Once again, Eterna, the Swiss watch manufacturer, will be there as a sponsor and equipment provider.

official sponsor of the Tangaroa Expedition

Following in Heyerdahl’s footsteps

The Watch Quote™ - April 25th, 2006

The Tangaroa expedition will set out on 28 April 2006 from Peru as a tribute to Thor Heyerdahl who is regarded as one of the most important Norwegians of the last century. In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl wanted to prove by his legendary KonTiki expedition that the population of Polynesia might long ago have sailed across the ocean from Latin America. Heyerdahl and his crew built their own pre-historic balsawood raft and sailed nearly 8000 kilometres in 101 days before reaching a Polynesian island. Heyerdahl named his raft after the sun God of the ancient Peruvians: KonTiki. Heyerdahl gained a worldwide reputation for his book and the Oscar-winning film about the expedition. Today, the KonTiki expedition remains one of the greatest of all legendary adventure.

New scientific demands

The Tangaroa Crew also plans to sail the route from Peru to Polynesia on a self-built balsawood raft. However, this project is no mere remake of Thor Heyerdahl’s expedition. His subsequent ideas about the control of prehistoric balsawood rafts are also to be tested in practice. On the long voyage, the team will be conducting research into pollution of the ocean and its impact on the fertility of sea mammals. Apart from research, the aim of the expedition is to call attention to the pollution of the seas. That is one reason why the Tangaroa crew will be sailing under the UN flag. The crew consists of five men from Norway and Sweden: journalist and expedition leader Torgeir Sæverud Higraff, teacher Øivin Lauten, photographer Anders Berg, agronomist Bjarne Krekvik and construction engineer Olav Heyerdahl. The latter is Thor Heyerdahl’s grandson. Eterna will be there as an official sponsor and equipment provider. “We welcome the opportunity to support the Tangaroa Expedition”, C. Emanuel Bitton, Marketing & Sales Director of Eterna, comments. “Like the Eterna brand, Tangaroa stands for the link between tradition and a pioneering spirit”.

Tangaroa crew left to right: Anders Berg, Øivin Lauten, Torgeir Higraff, Bjarne Krekvik, Olav Heyerdahl


Partnership with tradition

The partnership between Eterna and Tangaroa did not come about by chance: with the Tangaroa Expedition, a piece of Eterna’s history is being relived. When Thor Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 1947, he wore an Eterna wristwatch on his adventurous voyage. The legendary crossing was the start of the long friendship which continues today between the watch manufacturer and the Heyerdahl family. For nearly 50 years, robust Eterna sports watches have been sold under the KonTiki name.

Since 1856, Eterna has been a byword for the manufacture of high quality mechanical watches. It its long history, Eterna has introduced a great many significant developments as a pioneer in the art of watchmaking. Revolutionary innovations, such as the ball bearing mounted rotor or the first wristwatch with an alarm function, came from the House of Eterna. Today, the traditional Swiss brand is owned by Ferdinand A. Porsche and is therefore one of the last great independent manufacturers worldwide. As Porsche Design licensee, Eterna is responsible for the successful Porsche Design watch collections.

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