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Taniwha are fantastical mythical water based monsters that dwell mostly in rivers, lakes and the ocean or anywhere there is water like swamps. They mainly live in dangerous areas where there are fierce currents, strong breakers or rocky shorelines.

Taniwha have a great variety of forms. In the oceans they can be seen as pakake(whale) and sharks or great monsters with razor sharp spines with fish scales and large teeth. Some have wings and can even fly. Many can disguise themselves as floating logs.

They could also be described as dragons.

They also have a variety of names, Marakihau is one of them and has great bulbous eyes, three fingers, a serpent like body and a tongue that is a long tube used to suck unwary sailors from the surface.

The early Taniwha arrived from Hawaiki and were generally guardians of the ancestral canoes that arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand. They helped create harbors for the canoes and opened channels to the sea to enhance travel as well as protecting their people from the elements of the seas and enemies.

Taniwha can be a ferocious and bitter enemy when riled or seeking utu (revenge) for an injury or death of one of his people, or when it is hungry. There are many famous stories of how it has taken up to 200 warriors to kill one giant Taniwha. But it takes a lot of guile and skill to do this as they are intelligent creatures.

A Taniwha can also protect its own and so long as the tribe observes the respect and customs due to it. If people had to pass by a taniwha’s cave or wanted to go fishing in the area of the taniwha’s home they would often leave an offering of a green twig. Some people offered the Taniwha the first vegetable of the crop or the first fish or bird of the season.  Taniwha often gave their people early warning of the approach of enemies and escorted the fishing waka (canoe) safely back to shore. Although mainly invisible to humans the Taniwha can sometimes be seen on the water as a mark of respect when a leading rangatira (chief) dies.

Other references: Wikipedia

Movement: 9015 Miyota with hacking seconds
Case diameter: 42mm excluding the crown
Case finish: 316L Stainless Steel (polished top and brushed sides with bead blasted back)
Crown: Screw down crown.
Crystal: Sapphire (double domed), AR coating.
Dial and Hands: Super Luminova C3
Case Back: See-through (sapphire) case back, DLC with anti finger-print coating.

Water-resistance: 200m/20ATM Water resistance
Strap: Leather black strap with red stitching, remborde edge, lorica lining.
Limited Edition: 20 pieces


  • Automatic winding and hand winding
  • 28.800¬†BPH
  • 24¬†Jewels
  • Hour, minute and sweeping second hands
  • Second stop mode (hacking function) when setting time
  • Shock absorber¬†for balance staff
  • Running time of more than¬†42 hours¬†when fully wound

Engraved Timepieces

Like all artistic endeavours, the subject matter is open to artistic interpretation by the artist creating the design. This was true of ancient cultures as it is today.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that today we have far more research material and a wider sphere of influence to call upon than the ancients did. But both share the same common theme that has been carried on for a millennia of artisans of all cultures, and that is to create objects of outstanding beauty that can have practical and/or spiritual meaning to the society they live in.

Hand engraving is a highly refined and skilled art that has changed little in the last few centuries. The artisan cuts lines in the metal using small, sharp, steel hand tools called 'gravers' that are forced along by hand or a slight hammering action. To do this the engraver must develop an affinity with the metal they are working on whether it be steel, copper, brass or precious metals like silver and gold.

Today's engravers have the benefit of better magnification like microscopes so the work can be incredibly fine. They also have better steel gravers as some of the metals to be engraved like stainless steel are extremely tough to cut through.

First the design is roughly drawn out with pencil and paper and increasingly refined until the final design is reached. After that it can be drawn straight to the metal or transferred by various means to the item to be engraved. The main lines are then cut into the surface.

For more high end and sophisticated work, the background is then relived which involves the cutting away of the background to below the surface level. The background is then textured in some way to make a contrast between the surface design and the background. This texturing is an integral part of the overall design of the engraving and has to be balanced in harmony with the overall design. Too much background dominates and too little will overcrowd the work.

Finally the shading, or detail cuts are made. These tend to be lighter than the main cuts and add shadows and contrast to the overall design. It is at this stage that the personality of the work shines through. Quite often the engraver will just make it up as they go along and it is only then that they get to see the real beauty of the metal and design that lies within the engraver's imagination.

Read about our engraver, Andrew Biggs.

See more in Engraved Timepieces

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