The Finnish Connection – The Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas Kilpisjärvi
A genuinely Finnish watch with an all-new automatic movement for a Flying Finn duo.
Switzerland isn’t the only place for watches… Neither is Germany or Japan. As we’ve seen countless times (here, here and here), watchmakers can be found in some rather unexpected places. And Finland does have its share of watchmakers. We’re, of course, talking about Stepan Sarpaneva. For his latest creation, the independent watchmaker has decided to make the most Finnish watch possible, not only when it comes to manufacturing but also its inspiration. Indeed, this watch has to do with the Flying Finn, a.k.a Iceman. Here’s the new Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas Kilpisjärvi.
This new model marks the second collaboration between the two Finnish men, following October’s VB77 surprise release under Sarpaneva’s UhrenFabrik – S.U.F. Here, however, the inspiration isn’t about racing and Formula 1. Yet, it’s still significantly linked to Finland. This new watch bears a mesmerising dial (and an all-new automatic movement, too) that recalls the calm of Valtteri’s Northern heartland and its spellbinding night sky. The opposite of the racing-fueled watch you’d have expected.
The base for this new Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas Kilpisjärvi watch is the brand’s large and robust sports-oriented case. This means a matte-finished watch with presence – 46mm in diameter and 50mm lug-to-lug – and a case with 200m water-resistance thanks to a screw-down crown. The case is made from stainless steel, but not any kind, as Stepan uses high-grade Outokumpu stainless steel from Finland (SUPRA 316L/4435). The case shows typical traits of the brand, with the lunar dimples of his ‘Korona’ moon case. Thickness remains, however, very decent at 11.5mm.
The dial is, without a doubt, the star of the show here. Following watches such as the Nocturne or the Moomin editions, the new Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas Kilpisjärvi plays on layers, cutouts and coloured luminescence to create a unique display. The in-house skeletonised dial is made from three layers and is hand-finished, DLC-coated and then hand-painted for a result that will be unique to each watch. The pattern is said to be inspired by Aurora Borealis, the Northern wilderness and Lapland. It relies on five different Swiss Super-LumiNova colours to make the dial different during the night and day.
Inside the case, there is also some news to communicate. In former models, Sarpaneva has often used Soprod movements. Here, this new model features a modified Chronode engine based on calibre P1003. This automatic movement, here presented with matte finishing, beats at 4Hz and stores a comfortable 60h power reserve. As you would expect, the back has a custom-made Sarpaneva Moonface winding mass with a ceramic ball bearing.
The Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas Kilpisjärvi is a limited edition of 17 pieces, worn on a matte black alligator strap (a rubber strap is also included). It is priced at EUR 17,500 before taxes. For more details and orders, please visit studiosarpaneva.com.
I love this watch, however it is too large for my wrist size and too overpriced for a new watch with limited history. The Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas Kilpisjärvi appears to have been included by Gerald Genta watches. If this watch were 37 or 38mm’ s and sold for around $5,000 I would make the purchase.