Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wrapping Up with the GoS Stockholm

So just in time before the close of the year, I am wrapping up my review of the GoS Watches Stockholm.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the North American agent (US, Canada and the Caribbean) for GoS Watches so I will endeavor to keep this as fair and balanced as I can.

One of the first things I noticed when I visited the GoS booth at BaselWorld was the packaging that they used was well, different…

I personally HATE about 90% of the packaging that I see coming with new watches.  It is often somewhat cheezy, with felt glued clumsily into poorly finished boxes produced by the lowest bidder.  Boxes often jammed with velvet coated plastic stands that can't be removed.  In other words, you cannot hope to use the damn thing for anything other than a "display" box.  I know that there are collectors out there who feel that packaging is all important and therefore keep it all "lock, stock and worthless barrel" stashed in the garage, a closet, under the bed… I consider it the luxury goods equivalent of bottled water.  Wasteful.  So when I see someone approach packaging in a useful - and dare I say it - tasteful manner, well count me in.

So once you take the watch "stand" out of the box, you are left with an intriguing piece of Swedish handicraft.  These boxes are now standard for GoS watches, but the Stockholm was the first to use them.  Here are the details on it from GoS:

The boxes are individually crafted by Sture Nyberg, a local woodcraft artisan who is well known for his work which he regularly exhibits. The box is crafted in an ancient technique called "svep" in Swedish and is so specific to the Baltic region that it does not have an English name. The material is thin birch wood that is moisturized and bent over a round template. Birch root is then used to lock the shape with a seam. 

So once you take the watch and stand out, you could actually use this "box" for something - and frankly it is the sort of thing you would gladly pay for while visiting Sweden to take back as a souvenir.  So full points for actual functional packaging.

Packaging aside, this is first and foremost a watch.  GoS Watches are developing a cult following for their unique work in Damascus steel.  While the Stockholm does not have a Damascus steel dial like many of the current GoS collection, it boasts hands and a chapter ring hand formed, etched and polished from Damascus steel.

The dial is mother of pearl.  Disclosure number 2 - I have never been a fan of mother of pearl dials… until now.  Very often a mother of pearl dial conjures visions of sweaty, hairy men with shirts unbuttoned to navel level, gold medallions and ruby studded pinkie rings… at least for me ; )

But I have to say (and say so objectively) that the mother of pearl dial actually works on the Stockholm.  In part I think that it adds a slightly cloudy/hazy effect, that is brought into focus with the Damascus steel hands and chapter ring.  Which brings us to disclosure number 3 - Wendy and I have visited Stockholm a few times, and still consider buying a place there some day.  Now I realize that this will seem self-indulgent, but the face of the Stockholm does remind me of early evening strolls through the streets of Stockholm as the city lights came on.

The case is a polished stainless steel - 42 mm in diameter, and 10 mm in height.  The lug width is 22 mm which provides a very sane balance.

The Damascus steel details are also found on the over sized crown.  The crown is tactile and very, very functional.  This is important, because the Stockholm is a hand-wound watch.

The Stockholm uses a new old stock movement - the Alpina 592R.  These movements were featured in Alpina watches in the 1950s.  The movement is not a reinterpretation.  It is pretty much as it was, and I personally like that touch.  So often you get a watch with a vintage or NOS movement and frankly you can't recognize it any longer.  So while I realize there are some out there who feel it should be "field-stripped" down to it's atomic level, drilled, engraved and re-imagined…  I prefer this.  The time keeping was solid with no true deviations.  There is something to be said for a basic, solid movement.  Gilding and engraving are sexy - but so is being on time!

The Stockholm is secured by a Louisiana Alligator strap.  As the Stockholm is essentially a dress watch, this balances quite well.

So some basics about my time with the Stockholm -

1.  I found the fit/feel of the watch to be quite good.  At 42 mm the watch is a good size without being overwhelming.  The 22 mm lug width was a good choice.

2.  The movement was smooth and functioned quite well.  The winding was smooth and precise - the crown solid and tactile.

3.  The face of the watch is very legible.  The somewhat opaque look and feel of the dial is counter balanced by the sharp and clear etching and detail of the hands and chapter ring.  

So if you are possibly interested, keep in mind that like all GoS Watches the supply of these is very, very limited.  There is ONE of these currently available.

Specifications Stockholm
GoS Presentation Box
  • ●  Case: 42mmx10mm
  • ●  Lug width: 22mm
  • ●  Glass: Flat sapphire glass
  • ●  Movement: Swiss manual movement Alpina 592R
  • ●  Dial: Mother of pearl for 4pcs 1/4-4/4
  • ●  Hands: Spear shape in hand forged Damascus steel
  • ●  Index ring, rehaut: Fileworked and polished in hand forged Damascus steel
  • ●  Crown: 8mm in finegrained Damascus stainless steel
  • ●  Case finishing: All highgloss polished with Gustafsson & Sj√∂gren logo on case side.
  • ●  Strap: Handcrafted in Louisiana Alligator.
  • ●  Presentation box: Individually crafted box in svepask technique. 

No comments:

Post a Comment