Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Back to Basics - the 180

This is the latest from Sarpaneva's sister brand, S.U.F, may I introduce you to the 180.
Courtesy of Sarpaneva/S.U.F Watches
Now as a point of transparency, I am a Stepan Sarpaneva fan.  I like his unique take on things, I like that he speaks his mind (when he speaks), and I truly appreciate his aesthetic sense.  It would be easy to say that it is all in the DNA, and when you come from a famous artistic family that would be an easy conclusion to make.  But dig into his work, or just spend some time shooting the shit and you will come to understand pretty quickly that Mr Sarpaneva is a one-off.  And thank goodness for that!

Now while I write about this stuff, and get to see beautiful things, it is safe to say that as a social worker/English teacher the Sarpaneva collection is something that I will have to admire from afar.  And that is why I was so excited when he came out with the S.U.F collection.  And I'm even more excited about this new series - the 180.  Something cool, "Sarpanevaesque", and priced within reach!  
And it's something new - a field watch.

Courtesy of S.U.F
The case measures 38.7mm and is machined from Finnish steel.  The movement is an automatic Soprod A10.  The 180 is limited to 50 pieces in each color version.  The  price is 2200 euros without taxes (2728 euros including 24% VAT).

While there is nothing wrong with pilot's watches, I have never fantasized about throwing on a bomber jacket, goggles and jumping in a biplane.
shamelessly borrowed from the worldwide infoweb
It's just not me.  But a field watch?  Now that's something that appeals.
Courtesy of Sarpaneva
You can have it in a cobalt blue, white and a black dial.  

And my personal favorite?  RED!  But not just any red, this is referred to as cranberry-red “Karpalo” -
Courtesy of S.U.F
While bright red not be everyone's jam, let me give you a personal bit of Henki lore -

Back in the 90s, Wendy and I lived first in Turku, then Helsinki Finland.  Winter was, let's just say, not my thing.  I like ice hockey, I enjoy making a snowman.  But beyond that? It was a challenge to adapt to.  Without realizing it, I took to wearing fairly bright colors during the winter months, and bought an Omega Speedmaster in bright yellow (Schumacher).  I can honestly say that up to that point I was not too fussed about color and full truth be told?  I did not want to stand out.  Was it my own way of keeping a "summer" feeling during a dark couple of months?  Quite possible, or maybe it was my little way of being contrary.  At any rate, had the S.U.F 180 cranberry-red “Karpalo”been around back then?  I would have bought it for sure.

But enough about me, here is the rest of the 180 story straight from the source in Helsinki:

S.U.F performs a flawless about-turn with ‘180’, marching into utilitarian field-watch territory

Sometimes, we all need to stop. To turn 180 degrees and realize how far we’ve come, but also remind ourselves where we’re going. Even S.U.F – a watchmaker driven by the Finnish people’s stoic, honest-to-goodness determination – needs perspective.

The new ‘180’ is precisely that: a stripped-back field watch, whose minimal utility draws on S.U.F’s past while signposting the future. All the while providing new recruits with an unfettered way into the world of ‘proper watches’.

Long-devoted fans of S.U.F will sense echoes of its early model, the Komentaja. But true to form, 180 goes back while moving things on; reimagining classic features with a contemporary cool.

The ‘railway’ minutes track for a start, circling numerals whose Scandi-noir typeform is unique to S.U.F.’s founder Stepan Sarpaneva - the master watchmaker with iconic Finnish design in his blood. 

The traditional ‘lollipop’ seconds hand too, sweeping across a gleaming dial in far-from-traditional colourways. For 180’s launch, these include cranberry-red “Karpalo” -
Courtesy of S.U.F
Liquorice-black “Salmiakki” -

Courtesy of S.U.F
 Cobalt-blue “Taivas” -
Courtesy of S.U.F
And “Kuura”, in a crisp frosty white that Helsinki residents know all too well.
Courtesy of S.U.F
Wherein lies the rub, since the 180 could arguably be the most ‘Finnish’ S.U.F yet. Its high-grade stainless-steel case is machined from domestically forged metal, impregnated with chrome mined near the coast. The straps’ leather even comes from Nordic Elk.

And of course, it’s all painstakingly hand-assembled in the heart of the Finnish capital, at the SarpanevaUhrenFabrik workshop.

Whose postal code also happens to be ‘180’.

No comments:

Post a Comment