Swedish bladesmith Johan Gustafsson and watchmaker Patrik Sjögren work in traditional Swedish metallurgy traditions which date back to the days of the Vikings. They have just released a new and strictly limited edition of watches called Nordic Seasons – a stunning series of watches which take their inspiration from the rich contrasts of the Nordic seasons.
GoS Nordic Seasons
This is the first GoS series to feature a 45mm case in stainless Damascus steel. One unique feature of the GoS case is the larger diameter of the case back and bezels, which highlight the curved surface of the Damascus steel case and mirrors the intricate pattern work on the polished surfaces.
A Damascus steel bezel inset frames the dial and the trademark oversize crown, also in Damascus steel, has a larger diameter than previous GoS models.
The hands of the Nordic Seasons are in the GoS spear shape, which premiered with the Stockholm model. All hands and index rings of the Nordic Seasons watches are made in solid 18 carat gold carefully chosen to complement the colour scheme of the relevant season’s dial.
The Nordic Season also comes with an optional Damascus steel movement. Four movements are currently planned for the series and the first movement has been fitted into the first version of the Autumn model, No 1/5.
The handmade strap is crafted by a Swedish artisan in Switzerland, and is fitted with screwed lugs. The straps are made in a soft and velvety Nubuck leather. The natural-looking surface of the straps blends well with the Damascus steel finish. The natural-looking surface of the straps blends well with the Damascus steel finish. And the cases for the Nordic Season watches are manufactured by the best watch case maker in Germany.
A long history
Metalworking has a long history in Sweden: the Vikings were among the first to develop a pattern-welding technique to make their swords superior to others. The processing techniques that were developed during this time in Scandinavia improved the quality of tools as well as ironwork throughout the world. The main technique for making superior swords was hot forging of the sword material and quenching, to retain the martensitic structure. (Of course you'll know this from your metal working classes at school, Martensite, named after the German metallurgist Adolf Martens (1850–1914). In the 1890s, Martens studied samples of different steels under a microscope, and found that the hardest steels had a regular crystalline structure. He was the first to explain the cause of the widely differing mechanical properties of steels.) It is said that the Vikings quenched forged swords in beer and read their fortunes from the lines and patterns that were formed.
Following on from this tradition, the finishing that Patrik achieves is unlike anything else in the watch industry as it combines a raw Damascus steel finish with traditionally finished bevelled edges and holes. Patrik Sjögren is a skilled watchmaker and has received praise for the GoS watches from the most demanding watch aficionados.GoS believes this is the first time watch movements with bridges in solid Damascus steel have ever been produced.
Meanwhile, skilled bladesmith Johan works with a technique that has been used for more than one thousand years. Some say the technique comes from Asia, some say from the Middle East (Damascus), others say it comes from Scandinavia and the Vikings. No one knows for sure. In those days, the technique was used to create stronger and better swords than the enemy. The forging became so refined that even today’s specialists wonder how it was done. One of the results is that a beautiful pattern appears in the steel , when slightly etched in acid, or when the patina of using it over a long period of time shows on the surface of the steel.
Nordic Seasons will be produced in a limited edition of 20 pieces with 5 pieces for each season. To order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Related link: www.goswatches.com
All GoS watch photos by Jocke (c)
Article by Michael West for Watchuseek (c)