Having covered the watch and jewelry world as a journalist for more than three decades, I have had the great fortune of watching many start-up brands continue on to success. GoS Watches is one such brand. Highly unusual in its offerings, GoS Watches celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and in honor of that anniversary, the brand unveils its first timepiece dedicated to women: the GoS Sarek Lady.
Before we dive right into this watch, however, we want to explain what makes GoS Watches – handmade in Sweden – so incredibly unique. First, of course, is the fact that this brand was founded – and continues to be based and to produce its watches – in Sweden. More importantly, however, is the fact that GoS produces watches that feature hand-forged Damascus steel movement components and unique tempered color Damascus steel dials.
The brainchild of master bladesmith Johan Gustafsson and master watchmaker Patrik Sjögren (GoS founders), GoS watches are hand forged with patterns and tempered so their color emerges – each with a different personality. Essentially, Damascus steel is a technique of pattern welding that easily dates back to the Viking era and embraced by Scandinavia, as well. By quenching the steel during the pattern welded process, using acid or other materials, different colors, patterns and patinas emerge.
This is the concept GoS utilizes for its unique watches, but in a modern manner forged by Johan Gustafsson using his own trademarks so that each is its own work of art. GoS also uses stainless Damascus steel for exterior parts of the case so there will be no corrosion. Additionally, to keep the hand-made in Sweden concept pure, the brand has, for the past couple of years, begun finishing all of its watches with locally produced Moose-leather straps.
Predominantly inspired by the elements of nature that surround them, these two men encapsulate that inspiration in the different watch lines, such as the Nordic Seasons, Aurora, Winter Nights, Midnight Sun, and now the new GoS Sarek Ladies line. The first women’s watch with a dial crafted from Damascus steel, the new Sarek Ladies line is inspired by the Sarek National Park in northern Sweden that is one of Europe’s oldest national parks.
In 2015 and 2016, the brand started on a men’s Sarek collection, but quickly opted to add the women’s line, a first for the brand. Thanks to Gustafsson’s ability to extract natural vibrant colors in his hand-forged steel, striking bright pink, purple, orange and blue hues make the watches incredibly alluring – of course, depending on the watch, the dials will be entirely different in both motifs and colors.
Additionally, the brand adds some Viking-inspired details such as visible strap screws and has enhanced details from the men’s Sarek for the women’s, such as high-gloss polishing on the elliptical case ring grooves. Finally, the brand opens the round index markers for the hours so that the color beneath comes through. Even the hands in high-gloss polished finish are inspired by the Viking arrow and spearheads. A Soprod A10 movement with a custom GoS rotor in satin grey powers this 31.5mm watch.
The exceptional dial patterns, as well as the tempered natural coloring that emerge on the dials are reflective of Sarek National Park, home to 100 glaciers and six of Sweden’s 13 highest peaks. The colors emulate the rivers, valleys, mountains and sun-drenched peaks. In fact, each dial is 164-layered steel Damascus with a pool pattern that is heat tempered to bring out the colors.
Mind you, this watch is not for everyone. The patterns and colors are bold. If you are looking for a subtle watch, this is not it. However, the watch wears very comfortable thanks to the 31.5mm size and despite the seeming busy look of the dial, readability was easy thanks to the large hands and the steel against the colors. So all in all, it is a great piece on the wrist. Another thing to be mindful of is that if you are not a fan of the pinks and purples, GoS Watches will work with you to try to coax your preferred colors out of the Damascus steel.
As to the finishing touches on the Sarek Ladies watch, we love the Moose leather strap, as well as the colorful pastel and white leather straps that are also offered. Because of the way the dials are forged, each watch is unique. Water resistant to 5 ATM, the watch crown has double gaskets. Each piece has a double-sided anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal and each is engraved with “Unique pieces 1/1” and a serial number. The Sarek Ladies watches retail for US$8,500 (+ applicable taxes). For more information: GoSwatches.com.
Technical Specifications – GoS Watches Sarek Ladies
- Case: 31.5mm diameter x 9mm thickness – 16mm single lug – stainless steel polished case – sapphire crystal on both faces – 5 ATM water resistant
- Movement: Soprod A10 – automatic – personalized rotor – 4Hz frequency – 42-hour power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds
- Dial: 164 layered steel Damascus steel with a Pool pattern. Tempered coloring of dial results in unique combinations for every dial. GoS spear shape hands.
- Strap: 16-14mm in either black moose leather or pastel colored leather with steel folding clasp.
- Price: US$8,500
This article has been written by Roberta Naas, founder of A Timely Perspective; and author of six books on watches.