Monochrome Watches
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Report of my Trip to Helsinki to pick up my Sarpaneva Korona K1

| By Frank Geelen | 3 min read |
Sarpaneva Korona K1

Here’s a report about a personal journey, picking up my new watch at the watchmaker’s atelier. Since there have been some big changes in my personal life, I decided to buy a ‘special watch’. Not just the next cool watch, but a watch that is at the top of my budgetary means, and that will become an important watch for me. After giving to a lot of thought I finally decided which watch was going to be my ‘special watch’. Not that making the choice was difficult, but I wanted to be really, really sure about it. It was going to be a Sarpaneva Korona K1 in steel. 

After I seeing the photos of the Black Moon Ceremony and the lovely ladies in Stepan’s arms, I joked about going to Helsinki to pick up your own Sarpaneva. I guess it inspired myself to do exactly that! For me this is so much better than a Fedex guy bringing a package or even visiting a good AD. Here’s a report from my trip…

Saturday morning around 10 AM I walked out the door to catch the tram to The Hague Central Station, where I boarded the train to Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

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Since the traject from The Hague to Amsterdam Schiphol airport is usually littered with traffic jams, the train is actually a convenient alternative. Plus no parking problems and huge parking fees. The train stops right underneath Schiphol airport. Everything went very smooth and within a few hours I was in the airplane to Helsinki. And a few hours later, after a smooth and relaxing flight, I was at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, watching the last passengers getting out of the airplane. Since I only had cary-on luggage I walked out the airport within a few minutes and there was my ride….

I don’t think Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, A. Lange & Söhne or Patek Philippe will pick you up from the airport when you’re buying one of their watches. They will probably not bring the watches to their customers in the same way that for instance Stepan hand-delivered the first Korona K3 to Kuala Lumpur, July of last year. When I read a report of that delivery, it was my first encounter with Sarpaneva and his watches. The first impression was there, and slowly started to get a permanent imprint in my mind. Driving from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to the city of Helsinki takes about 30 minutes. This was very nice to get a bit of a view of the area surrounding Helsinki. It’s green, very green, with lots of trees (something we do not see too much in my country).

Stepan took me to his atelier where he had the watch waiting for me. Sarpaneva’s atelier is in the old cable factory of Nokia, where they made the immense telephone cables used for transatlantic telephony. The building is next to the sea, so the long, long cables could immediately be loaded on a boat for transport.

To thank Stepan for taking the time to pick me up from the airport, to welcome me in his workshop, and to tell me a lot about his watches and showing me around town, I brought a bottle of bubbles as small gesture of appreciation. Stepan insisted we would open it to celebrate this special occasion for me. And since the champagne wasn’t cold enough, Stepan showed he was a very pragmatic man.

In the far corner of Stepan’s atelier I saw a lovely watch being tested…. The test results where very good and well within C.O.S.C. specifications! No need for any Swiss testing laboratory to test it. Every Sarpaneva watch will be tested to make sure everything is OK before it’s delivered to the new owner.

In a next article I’ll do a thorough review of this beauty and how it’s made. To conclude this report of my trip to pick up my Sarpaneva Korona K1… here’s the first wrist shot of my ‘special watch’.

More info on the Sarpaneva website.

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