It’s not often that we see the world of high-end custom knives overlap with the world of high-end watchmaking. Gustafsson & Sjögren have announced its latest piece, the Sarek Trollius, designed and made in collaboration with Swedish custom knifemaker and engraver Anders Hedlund. The watch features many of the design elements present in Hedlund’s knives, in the form of an engraved steel case, polished gold pins, and damascus steel adorning the dial and custom-made rotor.
As a lover of both custom knives and watches, it isn’t often that I get to see the two worlds collide like this, despite watches being a large part of the custom knife and EDC community as a whole. Anders Hedlund is a highly skilled knifemaker who creates true art pieces out of steel, and, with his use of gold and engraving, he is able to craft knives that would look more at home in an art museum than they would in your pocket on the day-to-day. So, needless to say, a collaboration of this caliber is very cool to see for someone whose interests overlap like mine do.
To cover the technical specifications, the Sarek Trollius measures in at 43mm in diameter and 10.5mm-thick. The lugs are a standard 22mm width, and the watch comes mounted on a moose leather (you read that right) strap. The watch features a sapphire crystal that is double-AR-coated and is water resistant to roughly 40 meters (just in case). Powering the Sarek Trollius is a Soprod A10, an automatic movement with 25 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve, beating at 28,800bph. Visible through its display caseback, Gustafsson & Sjögren has fitted the movement with a custom damascus steel rotor, featuring steel made by Johan Gustafsson (one of the two gentlemen behind the brand), matching the damascus steel featured on the dial as well.
The Sarek line from Gustafsson & Sjögren was introduced in 2016, designed after elements of the Sarek National Park. From that point forward, the brand has taken the opportunity to introduce other variations that give attention to the natural beauty present in the Scandinavian peninsula. The name Trollius was selected for this model due to the use of gold in the watch, being named after the Trollius Europaeus, a flower with yellow buds that is commonly found in Sarek National Park in Sweden. From there, the engraving on the case was designed to emulate flower petals, with the gold pins on the watch being the yellow buds.
In the custom knife world, were you to purely look at a the sum of a knife’s parts, you would certainly find that you’d be better off purchasing a lower-priced production knife and calling it a day. Similarly, with the Sarek Trollius, purely reading a spec sheet and the movement powering the watch, it would seem that you’re better off to look elsewhere. However, the true beauty and desirability of a watch such as this comes in the true craftsmanship and skill that is present in its creation. The intricately engraved case, the gold pins and gold accents mimicking the gold that Hedlund uses in his knives, the damascus dial and rotor. All of these come together to create a watch that is truly going to be unique (and is dictated as such, with each piece marked as 1/1) and surely going to be like nothing else in your watch box.
At a price point of $18,500, there are certainly watches in the market that have more technically impressive movements, or a new space-age case material, from brands that bring more clout to your wrist than Gustafsson & Sjögren. But I don’t believe that’s the point of the Sarek line. Maybe I’m just waxing poetic because I’m happy to see the art from the knife world flow into the watch world via this piece, but I find that the Sarek Trollius is presenting something unique, for a specific group of people who appreciate the craft and work that goes into a piece such as this. If you’d like to learn more about the Sarek Trollius, or other members of the Sarek family, visit goswatches.com.