June 29, 2016
by Zach Pina
With the UEFA Euro 2016 football (soccer, if you’re reading this in the United States) championships having just *ahem* kicked off in France, Reykjavik-based, Icelandic JS Watch Co. is introducing this special limited-edition “Euro MMXVI” watch to commemorate its national team clinching a slot in the prestigious tournament after a recent victory over Kazakhstan.
It’s a big deal for Iceland’s 330,000-ish residents because, not only is the country the smallest nation to ever qualify for the month-long tournament (an achievement previously claimed by Slovenia), it’s also the first time the Iceland team has ever really been in contention to make the cut at all. So despite JS Watch Co. not routinely associating itself with professional sports – its ambassadors are more classic outdoorsman types – it still sort of makes sense as the quirky and fiercely independent brand flies its nordic flag proudly, and such a milestone is too noteworthy to ignore. However, we’re not here to talk about sports or cultural monuments as much as we’re here to talk about watches – and the JS Watch Co. Euro MMXVI is a pretty neat one, at that.
The JS Watch Co. Euro MMXVI follows the traditions of every other JS Watch Co. edition, which are designed and assembled at the brand’s Reykjavik studio with top-grade Swiss-made ETA movements and 316L stainless steel sourced from Germany. Beyond the “EURO MMXVI” on the dial, you’ll have to look closely for the subtleties that pay homage to the Iceland national team. The details start with the rich sunburst blue dial and contrasting red seconds hand, which match the team’s jersey colors. Then, it’s on to the pilot-style demarcations and luminous arabic numerals, which use the same font as the names and numbers on the jersey backs.
Lastly, look a little closer, and you’ll notice the 60-minute chapter ring divided into 45 minutes of “game time,” and 15 minutes for a footb—er, “soccer” match’s “half time.” The rest of the watch is relatively standard fare for an ETA-based automatic movement, except this one exhibits blued screws and a nice rhodium-plated finish from the watch’s sapphire crystal case back. Sadly, we couldn’t get images of the case back, but we will share those once we can get a hold of them.
One thing that’s certain to be appreciated with this 100-piece special edition JS Watch Co. Euro MMXVI is how the brand has maintained its signature Scandinavian reservation in a realm where watch designers routinely get a little carried away by applying the same flamboyant style to match the wrists of the expected demographic or ambassador. Instead, we have a conservative, 42mm case that observes much of the styling of a vintage pilot or field watch, rendered in a genuinely attractive shade of blue – that’ll remain classic long after the Euro 2016 champion is crowned.
Socc—er, “football” fans and collectors have a lot to like here, and can own a piece of Iceland history with the JS Watch Co. Euro MMXVI for the price of 2,665 EUR, or around $2,400 USD. jswatch.com