Sunday, August 23, 2009
Swedish watch makers Gustafsson & Sjögren present their newest timepiece called Ice, probably the most refined watch in their line up. As a pair, Johan Gustafsson and Patrik Sjögren excel at complex metallurgy and the creation of sophisticated styles of Damascus steel unique to their shop.
Gustafsson & Sjögren have been making watches for a few years, likely a decision made after being asked to supply parts for other watch makers interested in their skills. Both are Swedish - Gustafsson is a well know bladesmith (where use of Damascus steel is common), and Sjögren, among other things, is a certified watch maker.
Ice uses the special hand made Damascus steel in a few key ways, including for the dial and crown. Ice uses an manually wound ETA 6498-1 movement. Though, on other Gustafsson & Sjögren watches I believe that Damascus steel is also used on automatic movement rotors in applicable timepieces. Given then nature of how Damascus steel is made, no two pieces are the same. This means that each dial for Ice will be totally unique giving each piece an individual character.
The ETA 6498 movement is actually a pocket watch movement that has here been modified and decorated by Soprod and done in chronometer grade quality. It features a subsidiary seconds dial that on the Ice watch takes the shape of a three-curved blade style icon that is used on other Gustafsson & Sjögren timepieces - a good little touch of character.
At first glance the attractive but simple looking 44mm wide steel case may look a bit bare. Gustafsson & Sjögren call the look "simple" with the idea being that your attention should focus on the Damascus steel elements of the watch. The dauphine hands are nicely cut with a slice going through the middle of each. Hour indicators are each applied diamond jewels in white gold settings. The dial is covered with a sapphire crystal, while the caseback exhibition window has a mineral crystal. You'll find another diamond set into the end of the crown.
Gustafsson & Sjögren chose to pair the watch to a mesh steel bracelet which accentuates the look of the watch, though it would look equally nice with a variety of bracelet or straps that the owners can easily attach. The simply styled Swedish watch gives you the thrilling look of Damascus steel, popular among many including most collectible blade lovers. Price for the Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice watch will be about $8,000 and it will be made in strictly limited quantities.
By Ariel Adams