Saturday, February 28, 2015

Revontulet - and the Quick Northern Fox

Hyvää huomenta everyone! Having spent four winters in Finland (2 in the "old capital" of Turku, and 2 in Helsinki) I can tell you that it takes a special person to find the magic and express it in a way that is understandable to the ulkomaalainen (foreigners) . Ladies and gentlemen, Stepan Sarpaneva is pretty special.  And it took something pretty special to create this latest offering from Sarpaneva - the Korona Northern Lights.
Courtesy of Sarpaneva
These three pieces are the latest from Stepan Sarpaneva and represent a truly unique collaboration with James Thompson of Black Badger.  The Korona Northern Lights come in 3 versions -

Green -

In the daytime...

Courtesy of Sarpaneva
And at night...

Courtesy of Sarpaneva

Violet -

In the daytime...

Courtesy of Sarpaneva
And at night...

Courtesy of Sarpaneva
And Blue...

In the daytime...

Courtesy of Sarpaneva
And at night...

Courtesy of Sarpaneva
In Finland the story goes that the Revontulet (Northern Lights) are created by the escapades of a frolicking naali (Arctic Fox).  As he/she is running around (as foxes are apt to do) his/her fur brushes the sides of the mountains creating sparks that fly into the night creating the northern lights.

Another version has the playful naali brushing the snow with its tail, sending the northern lights skyward.  I prefer both explanations to the scientific ones.
Courtesy of Sarpaneva
But it would seem that in this instance, it was not the naali, but rather the Black Badger himself helping to create this magic with his fantastic "Moonglow" composite.  But as he explains in his Notes from the workbench, Moonglow was only available in one color - green.  So Mr. Thompson did some research and discovered some additional possibilities.  I don't want to steal the Black Badger's thunder, so here is a link to his site so that you can read all about it straight from the source -

The case is 46 mm in diameter, with a thickness of 12 mm, has a sapphire crystal with multiple interior anti-reflective coatings, and will stay safe and dry to 10 ATM thanks to the Double secured water-resistant SARPANEVA screw-down crown.

The movement is a modified Soprod A10, which is self-winding and features a moon phase indication (29.5 days) that is the result of Stepan Sarpaneva's in-house complication.  It offers 42 hours of power reserve and is Rhodium plated with perlage finishing.

The dials are are DLC coated in green, violet or blue with Super-LumiNova indices, and as mentioned above were made possible thanks to the collaboration with James Thompson of Black Badger Advanced Composites.  The moon phases are of red or white gold.  The hands are also treated with Super-LumiNova.

I am really looking forward to seeing these in person at BaselWorld in a few weeks' time, but for now
here are the complete specs:


• Modified Soprod A10 calibre, 11.5 lines, 28800 vph (4 Hz)
• Mechanical, automatic winding
• Phases of the moon (29.5 days), in-house complication
• 25 jewels
• 42-hour power reserve
• Rhodium-plated, perlage finishing
• DLC coated winding mass with 18K gold moon and masses

• Stainless steel, 46 mm in diameter, 12 mm in thickness
• 1.5 mm thick curved sapphire crystal with multi anti-reflective coating inside
• Double secured water-resistant SARPANEVA screw-down crown
• Water-resistant to 10 ATM

• DLC coated blue, green or violet with Super-LumiNova indexes
• Luminous dials in collaboration with James Thompson of Black Badger Advanced Composites 
• Moon faces made of 18K red gold and 18K white gold
• Rhodium-plated hands with Super-LumiNova

• Leather in various colours, rubber
• Stainless steel buckle

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