October 25, 2009
by Ariel Adams
I recently discussed the Arlanch watch, another Swedish timepiece. That watch and this “Dragon” from Gustafsson & Sjögren (who call themselves GoS for short) couldn’t be more opposite. One a distinct bore (Arlanch), while this one (GoS) a distinct work of art. Their real contribution to the work of horology is their uses of Damascus steel that they develop themselves. You might not like all the watch they do, but you have to admire their talent and dedication to their artistic pursuit. What started as a talent for collector’s knife making eventually found its way into working on watches. They have a few models, each similar in tone with the specially created and polished metal being the main attraction. Plus, all the Damascus metal they make is done by hand.
The Dragon model has a dial done in the pattern of what looks like bubbles under a microscope, with the shape of a dragon in the center. It is all done with the pair’s special metal working magic. Damascus steel is essentially layered metal that has been polished in a special way as to reveal the various layers. When using different metals or chemicals in the process, you can present a world of different colors. Art like this is least impressive in images, as seeing it really allows you to appreciate how nice it can be. Further still, due to the relative “organic” nature of how the metal is produced, no two pieces are alike. Thus, each in the limited edition made will look a bit unique. There is no specific number for the limited edition I believe, but GoS won’t make too many of them. Their main characteristic work is on the watch dial, crown, and automatic rotor for the movement (done in what they call a “wood grain” Damascus finish).
The case is 42mm wide in steel, ad hefty. The back in engraved with details about the watch in G0S’s fun looking “Jurassic” style font (as I think of it). Movement is a “chronometer grade” Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic, that is viewable through the caseback. The crystal over the dial is flat and sapphire, which should allow for the best view of the dial. I prefer flat crystals over domed ones. The reason is that a domed shape attracts like and glare much easier.
GoS fits most of their watches on mesh metal bracelets which seen to compliment the look pretty well. The exposed movement is nice, but other than the fantastic rotor, there does not seem to be much decoration. They should have placed a bit more on there. The dial attempts to look simple with only four hour markers, but I would have preferred all 12 of them. The hour markers are done in gold dial with diamonds. Not in the Dragon, but in other GoS watch models, you’ll find another diamond used as a cabochon at the end of the crown.
Watches such as this are very hard to get and usually need to be arranged directly through G0S. Good news one of their dealers is located on James List. You may be able to bypass the wait, and give for the retail price of $8,600. Pricey maybe, but uniquely Nordic in fashion, and certainly unlike most watches out there.
See the Gustafsson & Sjögren Dragon watch available here on James List.