Richard S. Cunanan

Rings of Frozen Time

GoS watches gives us a glimpse into the frozen heart of time.

Well, in truth, it’s creating that glimpse by an unusual use of Damascus steel, but even that is interesting, all by itself. By utilizing techniques for forging steel, GoS has used heat to create cold.

GoS stands for Gustafsson & Sjögren AB, the watchmaking company. Well, at the heart of it it’s two men, master bladesmith Johan Gustafsson and master watchmaker Patrik Sjögren. “Bladesmith” is a term that more men wish they could justify, and the connection to watchmaking is going to become ice-clear when we discuss Damascus steel.

GoS watches, on the other hand, is using the steel to make watch dials. Now, they’re not the only ones to do so. Take one look at a Damascus steel watch dial, with the intricate, many-folded patterns it creates, and you can see why. But GoS has a definite edge (no pun intended, but man that’s a good one actually) because one of their founders is an actual swordmaker.

Johan Gustaffson has a wealth of experience working with Damascus steel, and his expertise allowed him to experiment with the techniques involved. But apparently it was actually Patrik Sjögren, the watchmaker of the pair, who developed the Ice Blue tempering of Gustafsson’s hand-forged steel for the Nordic Seasons collection, back in 2012. The used traditional heat tempering on the steel, but they carefully increased the temperature that usually results in the dark blue.

The result of this was brighter blue nuances in the steel patterns. Patrik was able to create separate blue nuances for two different steel types, by tempering the steel dial in multiple steps. This bright blue touch has manifested in their Nordic Seasons collection, in their dress watch Bifrost two years later, and now in the Sarek Ice Blue.

I also want to mention the moose leather strap, because, frankly, it’s rare I get to talk about something I’ve never seen before, and moose leather is definitely that. They offer four colors of moose leather straps, and they expect the glossy black and the light beige to be the most popular choices. I’m not what you would call a “moose leather expert” but I would certainly love to be. Along with “bladesmith.”

Sarek Ladies is also available with Ice Blue dials.