April 21, 2016
When it comes to geological phenomena being referenced in watches, the powerful volcano has certainly got to be leading in popularity as of late. Particularly well known is the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which caused quite a global disruption back in 2010. Given its location, it makes sense that also Icelandic JS Watch Co. would build something that references the fiery mountain. What makes it interesting is how they incorporated the volcano into the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition.
By that, I mean that they literally incorporated the volcano into the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition. More precisely, they incorporated ash from Eyjafjallajökull into the dial. Unfortunately, the brand did not share a lot of details (that is, none) on how the dial is made, so I am not sure if the ash is pressed to form the dial, or if its simply incorporated onto the surface of a regular steel dial in a resin of some sort. From the photos, it does provide an interesting texture. Furthering the association with the volcano, some of the ash is hued red, making it look like a splash of lava. Interestingly, they also show one photo of the watch on a brown strap where the lava splash is in yellow, rather than red.
If we stopped there, the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition would be a mildly interesting watch, in terms of the material used for the dial. What actually drew me in more than the dial was the engraving they did. On the left side of the case, they have hand-engraved a depiction of Sif, a goddess of the earth from Norse mythology (apparently; I had to look it up). Along with the obvious shading and gradations you can get from engraving steel, they have added in a 24k gold inlay to really make things stand out. How Sif might relate to the volcano, I really could not tell you (other than a volcano on Mars being named after her). For me, I just think it’s a rather cool, almost Art Nouveau, touch to the side of the case.
Between that engraving and the case, there is a lot going on, aesthetics-wise, on the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition. With all of that, it still looks to be a very functional watch. Tucked into the 40mm case, you have a Soprod A10-2 Swiss automatic movement, an AR-coated sapphire crystal, and a rather nutty 1000m WR rating (that does not apply if you try to dive into a volcano, however). Aside from all of the extras, and just looking at the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition purely as a watch, I really like the large, lumed, Arabic numerals and indices on the dial, as they stand out in sharp contrast, keeping things nice and legible. From the photos, it feels like the handset might be a bit on the narrow side, but they should still be functional and easy enough to read the time at a glance, given the contrast between their luminous fill and the dial.
If you still feel like the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition does not have enough going on for it from a looks perspective, they threw in another texture with the strap, which here is a black sharkskin with red contrast stitching. It goes well with the overall looks of the watch, and, as a child of the 80s, I cannot help but make a (favorable) mental association with those colors with the A-Team. Sure, Hannibal and crew are not going to save you from the side of a volcano, but with the JS Watch Co. Sif N.A.R.T. Volcano Edition, for a price of 7,850 EUR you can safely get close to one, or at least some of its remnants, without needing an underground paramilitary rescue. There is also the option to get the watch without the engraved case for 4,210 EUR. jswatch.com
Tech Specs from JS Watch Co