I have had my J.S. Watch Co. Frisland for approximately six months now and I thought I would share my impressions and experience:
Frisland: Also called Frischlant, Friesland, Freezeland, Frislandia, or Fixland, is a Mythical island that appeared on virtually all of the maps of the North Atlantic from the 1560s through the 1660s. It originally referred to Iceland, but after the Zeno Map (1558) placed it as an entirely separate island south of Iceland, it appeared that way on maps for the next 100 years.
The case is 42mm wide with 20mm between the lugs. It is made of “high grade German stainless steel” and is highly polished. It has a signed, substantial crown, marked with a “g”. The curvature of the lugs makes the watch ride low enough to comfortably fit under a dress shirt. This is one of the more comfortable watches I have ever worn.
I prefer sparse, uncluttered dials and the Frisland's dial is exactly that, with plenty of black space interspaced with white. J.S. Watch Co. and Frisland appear on the dial in script form, while Reykjavik appears in all caps just under the JS signature. The watch has a day-date feature where the day box appears on the left hand side of the watch between the 9 marker and the hands, and the date appears between the hands and the 3 marker. The day box is only large enough for the two first letters of the day. The day box is off-centered and in a position that is unique and stylistic.
The dial has a nice pebbled texture, which gives it depth in the light.
The days are written in Icelandic – which for me is a nice feature. I was able to find a video online that teaches the days of the week in Icelandic. I was still unable to properly pronounce most of the words, but fortunately (or unfortunately?) for me I am unlikely to encounter anyone who would know the difference.
The hours are indicated by thin but tall white marks, with the exceptions of an Arabic 12 and 6, which appear in a proportionally large sized font. Because the date sits inside the 3 marker, with the exception of the day feature, the watch has an incredibly balanced look. It is clear from this design, and others in the JS line, that the designer intended this tension of symmetry. For me, I was immediately drawn to the watch, while at the same time it took several looks for me to “get it”. It is that depth of beauty, both instantly recognizable and yet an acquired taste, that raises this watch to a work of art.
The lume is quite bright on this watch. While it appears to be C1, because the indices are tall and glossy, they glow strong.
The hands are well executed in what appears to be shinny nickel plating. The interesting thing about the hands is that while they are the hardest aspect of this watch to capture in photographs, I was pleasantly surprised to find they actually stand out in real life. (See wrist shot photo below). In the natural sunlight they often appear a golden color. The hour and minute hands are "architecturally structured", while the arrow tipped seconds sweep gives the hand set an overall sporty look.
The crystal is curved sapphire with anti reflective coating on the inside. The curvature of the crystal gives the watch a “melt down” effect. By that, I mean the highest point on the watch is the center of the crystal and everything from there flows down. The crystal sits flush where it meets the case and continues the smooth look of the whole watch. Looking at the watch from all angles is quite pleasant. Here is a stock photo to illustrate my point:
The watch is fitted with an ETA 2836-2 Assortment Chronometer, 25 jewels with a Glucydur gilt balance wheel, Anachron hair spring, Nivaflex NM main spring, Incablock shock absorber and adjusted to 5 positions.
I have had more than a few fellow WIS complement the finishing on the movement.
The watch is very accurate, running about +3 seconds a day. The movement is displayed by a sapphire caseback and to my delight is rather loud. Holding the movement up to your ear and tilting the watch, you can easily hear when the rotor turns and the seconds tick. The watch immediately starts upon winding (crown is easily turned) and holds power for up to 48 hours.
Strap / Deployment
JS offers a few strap combinations. I chose the light brown croc with white stitching on a signed deployment buckle. If I had to do it over again I would have gone with the darker brown croc with matching stitching. The white stitching is too thin for the padded strap, and the contrast stitching, in my opinion, does not fit the style of the watch.
Packaging & Service
The watch is very nicely packaged, in an inner and outer box. The outer box is white cardboard with a front-loading flap, and the inner box is hard black lacquer(?).
Service was top notch. I had my name and serial number engraved on the rotor and received the watch in just days after placing the order. JS staff promptly and quite pleasantly communicated with me throughout the ordering process.
I am very pleased with this watch and have greatly enjoyed wearing it. Thank you to Sigurdur and to everyone at JS Watch Co. for this excellent time piece.