December 30, 2014
It is not unheard-of for a watch brand to issue a special edition of one of their watches to commemorate some special event – say, the 50th anniversary of a model being released, or the company having been in business for so many years. What is less common is to celebrate a milestone being hit by the master watch maker for the brand – but that is precisely what we have with the JS Watch Islandus 45 Anniversary Edition.
In this case, the man being honored is Gilbert Ó Guðjónsson who has been working on watches since 1970, when he started off in a provincial repair shop in Reykjavik. Since then, he’s opened his own workshop (1977) and of course became the master of watch making for JS Watch Co., where he and his shop have been winning awards.
So, what sort of watch do you create for a man such as this? Well, you start off with one of one their classic styles (the Islandus), and then you do some rather spectacular upgrades. For instance, take a look at the dial. The dial is made of solid Sterling Silver which has a hand-Guilloche pattern applied, over which an antiqued gold finish is lain. On top of that? Golden Roman numerals, of course.
That gives us a pretty special dial, but given that the watch is honoring a watch maker, the changes are certainly more than skin deep. Driving the flame-blued Breguet hands is a modified hand-wound Unitas base movement. The movement has a customized 3/4 plate, decorative finishing throughout (including Côtes de Genève stripes and perlage), and an overall golden finish. This is on top of the technical specifications for the movement, which can be read about below.
This is all housed in a highly polished 44mm 316L steel case, which is numbered (via hand-engraving) and features sapphire crystals both front and back. Finish things off with either an alligator or ostrich strap in the 22mm lugs, and you have quite an homage to 45 years in the business.
The number, 45, also informs the watch itself. This is a very limited-edition, with only 45 pieces being produced (which explains how the cases can be numbered by hand engraving). Given the limited nature and the upgrades given to the watch, it is no surprise that the price has gone up considerably from the “base” Islandus. If you are looking to get one, the JS Watch Islandus 45 Years Anniversary Edition is available at a price of $10,427. jswatch.com