Monochrome Watches
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The Otherworldly Damascus Dial of the Sarpaneva Dragonskin x Justin Mastine-Frost

It started with a typical "What if I had a crazy weird stupid idea..." and ended up stunning-cool!

| By Brice Goulard | 2 min read |

Some of the best ideas (and also the worst ones…) often start with a simple “what if” question… What if I could create a dial with a spectacular pattern found on Damascus steel forged in South Africa…? And then through it into an equally original watch… Say for instance a Sarpaneva? That was the question Justin Mastine-Frost, a long-time watch editor known for his acquired tastes, asked himself and then on to Stepan. The result, from ideation to completion, has taken three years of work for all parties involved. And this Sarpaneva Dragonskin, originally custom-made for Justin, slightly opens the door to more.

Knowing both Justin Mastine-Frost and Stepan Sarpaneva, you could not expect something mild as a result of their collaboration. You want the real deal, the true hot spicy sauce, not the mild imitation made for tourists. Right, I digress slightly. Jokes aside, both men are known for original ideas and thinking out of the box. This doesn’t mean the result can’t be brilliant. It’s just different, and in fact, very cool indeed. The story starts with an idea initiated by Justin M. Frost, who encountered a crazy material. Damascus steel is always something special, but the example here is special among the special.

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The base is a highly original forged steel, using the Damascus method, yet here with a pattern that’s highly different from the usual waves and layers often seen on watch dials and Japanese knives. Touching base with Angelo Fisher, who works for Canadian company Grimsmo Knives, Justin discovered this alloy with outlined dots reminiscent of a dragon skin (or at least, the representation we have of what could be the skin of a dragon…) The raw material is forged in South Africa, then dials are made in Ontario, Canada by Grimsmo and then finished and assembled within a Finnish watch by Stepan Sarpaneva.

This custom-made unique piece is all about its dial and the metallic purple and burgundy tones. The watch itself is well-known, being the not-so-classic 3-hand model of Stepan. The base of the Sarpaneva Dragonskin is a 42mm scalloped case in high-grade Outokumpu stainless steel from Finland, with a screw-down crown at 4 o’clock. The Damascus base layer is then topped by an openworked module with DLC-coated Sarpaneva indices and the man’s classic two-tone steel hands.

Under the sapphire back is a modified Chronode P1003 automatic movement, with 4Hz frequency and 60h power reserve. And of course, the usual moonface oscillating weight on top to wind the movement. It is paired with either a leather strap or the optional Sarpaneva Moonbridge Steel bracelet.

So what about the availability of the Sarpaneva Dragonskin? At first, it started as a unique piece for Justin Mastine-Frost and it is, for now, the only one of its kind. However, interested clients can put in requests for one of the labour-intensive Dragonskin dials as a made-to-order unique piece. Price on request.

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1 response

  1. I could be interested in the Sarpaneva Dragonskin x Justin Mastine-Frost if it were 38mm and the name was shorter.


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