Gustafsson ō Sjögren or GoS Watches launched their first feminine watch — Sarek Ladies — at the Baselworld 2017 trade show so that ladies of today can also enjoy Signs of Viking Past.
Unique Swedish Hand-forged Watches
Gustafsson & Sjögren, GoS Watches, is a partnership between the master bladesmith Johan Gustafsson and master watchmaker Patrik Sjögren of Sweden. They first met in 2007 and soon realized that they both share a deep passion for their respective crafts and for the ancient Scandinavian craft tradition.
Their early watches featured hand-forged Damascus steel for dials at first, then also for the cases and eventually for the mainplates of the mechanical movements. As every forged piece has patterns with a different character and personality, every GoS watch is truly one-of-a-kind and a piece of art.
Winter Nights for PuristS
I know the joy of a GoS watch, being the proud owner of one of the 10-piece limited edition Winter Nights for PuristS timepieces from the Nordic Seasons Collection, that had the ultimate expression of hand-forged Damascus steel for dial, case and movement.
The hand-forged Damascus steel mainplates of the hand-wind mechanical movement was a world’s first.
Signs of Viking Past
Gradually, founders Patrik Sjögren and Johan Gustafsson, came to realise the GoS core values.
“Swedish handcraft and organic shapes from Scandinavian nature have always been a big influence but we found that Johan´s and my shared love and admiration of Viking handcraft and design could be much further developed. Both Johan and I have independently noted that much of what we do have a definitive connection with shapes seen in Viking artifacts, even when we did not do it, on purpose. We decided to take this influence one step further by documenting Viking era items that we found interesting, either through their shapes or their function. This research material was then used as input for practically every decision on design, shape and function. Elegance was however a primary goal, which means that all influences have been extensively reworked to create a result that is elegant but still uniquely GoS.” — Patrik Sjögren, Watchmaker
Some of these details were introduced in the Sarek Gents watch in 2016 but many new design choices will be seen in future. No doubt, with the distillation and clarity of design motifs now established, GoS will introduce more of their Viking legacy in subtle design details, as illustrated below for watch crowns, hands and hour markers.
Already, we can see the Viking motifs on the crowns of the Sarek watches.
Shapes from Viking sword handles were the main source of inspiration for the new GoS crown.
Johan Gustafsson has a remarkable ability to express natural vibrant colours in his hand forged steel. The patterns and tempered natural colours of the Sarek damascus steel dials are inspired by the Sarek National Park in Swedish Lapland, a confluence of sky, water and land of natural beauty. Sarek National Park is a Swedish national treasure and is often referred to as Europe’s last true wilderness area. It hosts the largest Moose (Alg or Elk) in Europe and is also home to 100 glaciers and six of Sweden’s 13 highest peaks.
Usually, Damascus steel is associated with manly pursuits with knives and guns, inherently rough and raw bloodsports or testosterone-filled nights around campfires. The makers believe that the Sarek is the most elegant watch collection they have developed to date and after handling it myself, I’m prepared to believe them.
First GoS Ladies watch
This year, they are proud to announce the first GoS ladies watch.
The Sarek Ladies is the first ever women’s watch with a Damascus steel dial.
The 31.5 mm diameter ladies model shares some of the Viking inspired details introduced on the men’s Sarek, while adding new details such as the strap screws.
The elliptic grooves on the case ring have been made more elegant on the ladies’ Sarek and the whole case is high gloss polished.
The index markers of Sarek Ladies are also different, being opened to show the coloured steel below.
The slightly sloped case interior provides more light to the indexes and provides a surface on which the coloured Damascus steel is reflected.
The hands of the Sarek Ladies are high gloss polished in a dauphine finish with a center ridge to reflect Viking arrow and spear heads.
Sarek is powered by an automatic winding movement with a customised GoS Viking triskele rotor.
The Sarek Ladies is available with black Sarek moose leather strap or optional pastel coloured straps in high quality calf leather, all fitted with a stainless steel folding clasp.
True Cost of Luxury is the Choice that it Affords
The retail price of either Sarek Gents or Ladies is US$7,800 + applicable taxes; so Scandinavian that even the prices are “unisex” or “gender-equalised”. 🙂
Like all GoS watches, every Sarek dial has a unique pattern and colouring but all will share with the same character. Clients can also request alternative colours when ordering directly from GoS.
That brings us to another aspect of a real, handmade watch; you have the luxury of choice and it can be customised.
Customised GoS watches
GoS also offers unique customised handcrafted watches in addition to their existing models. Customers can request patterns and colours based on the broad range of Damascus techniques shown in Johan Gustafsson´s knife production and previous GoS watches.
If that is not true luxury, I don’t know what is……
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).