Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Frisland Classic

This just in from JS Watch co. -

Courtesy of JS Watch co.
Frisland was a large island which appeared on a map in the 1500’s. The island was located in the middle of the Atlantic, just south of Iceland. The island’s appearance has ever since caused great speculation and conundrum among scientists and cartographers. 

The development period for this watch was long from the first draft to its completion. It was a mystery to us why this particular watch had such a difficult delivery, especially since customers had already started ordering it before seeing the final product and the concept was clear from day one. We talked about this watch to our barber, who is a great enthusiast about history, particularly about the history of ships and sailing. He mentioned that our story reminded him of a mystical island, Frisland, which suddenly appeared in the 14th and 15th century maps. We felt that the watch needed a name that evoked the same type of mystique so “Frisland” was the name chosen for this special watch. 

Egill Skallagrimson, the famous Icelandic poet and hero of the Icelandic Saga bearing his name, visited an island called Frisland, an idyllic little island off the Dutch coast, known to everyone today as Friesland. The language spoken on this small island has a large Nordic vocabulary reminiscent of Icelandic but this is not the island that the Zeno brothers referred to as Frisland on their map. 

The Zeno brothers were the men responsible for the map in which the large island of Frisland appears. They were famous seafarers from Genoa, Italy, who sailed extensively around the Atlantic. Nicolo, one of the brothers, supposedly got stranded on this vast island north of England and described his experience in letters to his family. Around the year 1550, Nicolo Jr., the grandson of Nicolo Zeno, decided to publish this Zeno map with the large island of Frisland in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. For the next 100 years, Frisland would remain on maps of the Atlantic. 

Today, many scholars believe that Nicolo Jr., who lived in Venice, might have forged all of his documents, letters and maps alike, to give Venetians the opportunity to claim they found the “New World” before Columbus. 

These old maps are an interesting topic of study and it is fascinating to know that while Nicolo Jr. was drawing his forged maps, a famous Icelander was busy making a new map of Iceland, which described the shape and make-up of the country in much more detail than had previously been seen. This Icelander was Gudbrandur Thorlaksson, a mathematician, cartographer and bishop at Hólar. A new mystery grew from this Icelandic made map; why had the bishop Gudbrandur left out the biggest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull? Who can ever answer that question? 

JS Watch co. Reykjavik is now introducing the latest addition to the Frisland collection, a watch asked for by our collectors in search of unique mid sized watch in a Classic design. 

The Frisland Classic watch has a Antique white dial with Roman / Arabic numerals and comes in a 42 mm steel case with Curved Sapphire Crystal and See-through Sapphire Crystal back. The Lancette style hands are Flame blued to match the blue color on the Arabic numerals. The 42 mm case is made from the finest German surgical grade steel “316L” which is the same utilized for medical implants, including pins, screws and orthopedic implants such as total hip and knee replacements. The movement is the well renowned Soprod A10-2 “Execution Top” and the watch has a brown handmade Ostrich leg strap.

Technical specifications


  • Swiss Made Mechanical movement “Execution Top”
  • Automatic winding.
  • 25 jewels, Custom decorations, Blue screws and Rhodium plated finish.
  • 42-hour power reserve when fully wound.
  • Fine tuning “Assortment Chronometer”.
  • Shock protection Incabloc.
  • Adjusted to five positions.


    • Material: Surgical grade German Stainless Steel "316L"
    • Diameter: 42mm, height 12mm.
    • Surface finish: Highly polished.
    • Curved Sapphire Crystal with multi anti reflective coating on the inside.
    • See-through Sapphire Crystal back.
    • Water-resistance 50 meters.


    • Antic silver dial with Roman numerals and indexes 
    • Date display at six o'clock.


    • Flame Blued hands in Lancette style.

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