December 24, 2015
I do not know about you, but I seem to really have something for the watches coming out of Iceland. And it is not like I can claim a familial connection there, or that I have even visited. I have one of my own that is a constant companion, and I always look with interest when news comes out regarding some new models. I also tend to find myself drawn to watches that lean towards the dressier side of the spectrum, so the latest news of new editions of the JS Watch Co. 101 checked off a great number of boxes for me.
JS Watch Co. is, of course, a company that calls Iceland home. The JS Watch Co. 101 collection is an homage to the old town center of Reykjavík, which is part of the 101 postal code (so that explains the collection name). Why is that important to the brand? Well, it is where the company was founded, and where their workshop and atelier are located. So, the city definitely has importance. As to the JS Watch Co. 101 collection itself, we are hitting the 10 year mark since the line was created, and we have these two new models celebrating the anniversary.
The JS Watch Co. 101 10 Year is very much a dress watch, as the polished steel case comes in a restrained (for this day and age) 38.5mm case. What struck me most about this case, aside from its size, is the partial coin-edge you see on the bezel. I call it partial, as it does not wrap around the bezel as we often see, and it looks more inset. I have never really been a big fan of the coin-edge treatment, but in this narrowed down version, I actually do like it, as it gives a bit of dimensionality to the top edge of the case. I also think that the onion crown works well with that bezel. It seems more restrained as well, and not quite as wrist-gouging as you might get from other designs.
For the JS Watch Co. 101 10 Year edition, you have the choice of two new dial colors – either an antique white or black. For the classic dress watch looks, the black would be the way to go (especially with the color-matched date wheel). The indices and handset stand out sharply against the dark dial, and just give you that perfect black tie sort of a look. On the other hand, if you want a dress watch for the office, then the antique white dial manages to loosen the tie a bit, and gives you more of a relaxed, but still classy, feel. Regardless of color, the dials are a fairly clean affair, with small numerals at the outside of the large stick indices. The logo is fairly large up top, but it is balanced out by the word “Automatic” in the same script at the bottom. For me, I could do without the automatic proclamation, and would let the 101 take that spot a bit more, but perhaps that’s why I am a watch writer and not a designer.
Tucked inside the compact case is, of course, an automatic movement. In this case, it is a top-grade Soprod A-10 with some chronometer-spec adjustments applied, along with a customized rotor. Keeping the whole thing in place is your choice of strap (or bracelet) on the 20mm lugs. For the straps, they have two different ostrich leathers (either ostrich or ostrich leg), which again lends a bit of a unique pattern to things. There is a milanese mesh bracelet also on offer, and for my money, that would be the most compelling route to go, perhaps with with an ostrich strap to swap in. If you are thinking about picking up one of the new watches from the JS Watch Co. 101 10 Year collection, you will need to bring €1992 to the counter (the bracelet brings it up to €2242; those outside the EU can deduct 20% as VAT is included in that pricing ). As far as anniversary watches go, this one is pretty restrained, and that is reflected in the whole of the design. Frankly, that is exactly what you should want in a dress watch – restraint. The JS Watch Co. 101 10 Year hits things just right in my book, and would be a worthy companion for a night out on the town. jswatch.com
Tech Specs from JS Watch Co.