GoS, which is short for Gustafsson & Sjögren, have just released a new timepiece in the Nordic Seasons collection. Like all their timepieces, there’s a good share of Damascus steel in it, however the new Nordic Seasons Gold features a red gold bezel and lugs. The result is something that brings the icy chill of the arctic and the cozy, warm glow from a log fire, together in a watch.
Essential for Gustafsson & Sjögren is the intense collaboration between Patrik Sjögren, the watchmaker, and Johan Gustafsson, the blade-smith. That can be seen throughout their entire collection; just have a look at this Nordic Seasons Gold or the Bifrost Isbla and the Midnight Sun that we covered before. The Nordic Seasons was released as a series of 20 watches, divided over the four seasons. (i.e. five watches per season) The dials of each Nordic Seasons closely resembled the scenery and feel of the Scandinavian seasons. ‘Winter’ featured a cold and icy blue dial, while ‘Summer’ features a warm, bright dial. However all models are of course unique pieces!
The difference with the Nordic Seasons Gold compared to the ‘normal’ Nordic Seasons models, as pictured above, is, well, the gold. In addition to the familiar Damascus steel case, the lugs, caseback and bezel are executed in 18-carat red gold. The central hours and minutes hands, as well as the small “triple-drinking-horn” seconds indicator and the chapter ring were already done in gold (red or white, depending on the season.) The 45mm case is still made of Damascus steel, as is the dial.
The dial on the Nordic Seasons Gold is cut from a single ingot, which is made from two different types of steel and forged and folded repeatedly until it has 192 layers in total. The result, after treatment by blade-smith Johan Gustafsson, is a very fine, high contrast floral pattern, which appears to well from the center outwards.
A final new touch to the Nordic Seasons Gold is the addition of filing work to the crown. The very first two timepieces by GoS, back in 2008 already, featured the very same filing on the titanium caseback. The crown features 9 filed indentations, a number which is significant in Scandinavian mythology for a multitude of reasons – see wikipedia here. Not only does the filing work give a new look to the Damascus steel crown, it also adds grip. The applied filing technique is often used in knife making, and can be seen in many of Johan’s knives.
Inside ticks an upgraded version of the robust ETA calibre 6498. It has been adjusted by Soprod and further detailed by Gustafsson & Sjögren. The upgrades in detailing include bridges from a single piece of Damascus steel in a wood grain pattern. A new acid treatment by Patrik results in a very rich contrast between the higher and lower grooves of the Damascus steel.
The Gustafsson & Sjögren Nordic Seasons Gold will come in a run of twelve pieces, at an estimated retail price of $ 38,000 USD (before tax.) Given the fact it is powered by an ETA 6498, this is a very steep price. However when you consider the vast amount of artisanal work, a painstakingly difficult and labor-intensive process, than it all comes into perspective. Whether this justifies the price tag, is of course a personal consideration. Fact is that Gustafsson & Sjögren create very unique timepieces, which are much different from an industry full of cases that look as though they were pressed through the same cookie-cutter. GoS’ casework makes perhaps the ultimate statement of individuality.
For more information about Gustafsson & Sjögren or Damascus steel we suggest you visit their website. Be sure to check out Johan’s website too, showcasing his skill as a master blacksmith and knife maker, featuring a lot of detailed and stunning patterned Damascus work.