August 25, 2017
The other thing with the bracelet is its clasp. You see, when you turn your wrist over, there is no visible clasp – it truly looks like a bracelet. Not even any pusher buttons sticking out from underneath. True, this makes it take a bit more force than you’d expect to open the clasp (to take the watch off, if for some reason you wanted to) but it gives it a rather clean look. Without the pushers and spring release, it also makes for a much more compact package under your wrist. In other words, this is a very comfortable bracelet, in my experience.
That leaves us, now, with the dial of the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer. Here, you have a few different options – black, white, orange, and grey. Obviously, I opted to look at the grey dial, but the orange was surely a temptation. Outside of dive watches, orange is a rare color. In the end, though, I settled on grey, as I feel it makes for a more flexible watch (again, thinking about a watch you can wear anywhere, any situation) – and am I glad I did. Again, my expectations were met, and exceeded. There is a subtle sunburst pattern in the dial, but it’s more matte than I’m used to seeing. This, of course, allows for a sharp contrast to the raised and applied indices, as well as the handset. Of note – look at the hands and indices. Notice how the indices look just like the tips of the hands? Now, that’s attention to detail, dear reader.
The dial itself has fairly minimal text on it, and at first glance, carries a very monochromatic feel. Taking things up a notch, at least in my book, means mixing in some color – subtly – in there, and Sjöö Sandström hit that, almost like they read my mind. I do like grey, but blue is my favorite color – and that’s the shade they went with for the arrow on the GMT hand. A closer look at the dial shows that blue marks show up on the outer ring as well, at the GMT hours. Perhaps not necessary given the bezel, but it’s an added detail that brings some color into the mix. And really, it just underscores all the little details that are present on the watch, and in my book, those add up to a great watch. Take, for instance, the date window. It could have been a simple cutout, but here, there’s a white border around it. It almost gives the look of an embedded magnifier (it isn’t, but wouldn’t that be sweet?) and gives a refined edge to what is otherwise just a squared off hole in the dial.
I do want to get back to the movement in the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer. One might ask that, since I do not travel near as much as I used to, why would a GMT movement make sense? Well, really, it doesn’t. It simply is a complication that I’ve grown to enjoy, and it adds another detail to the watch. I do still have a practical use for it, though. As our systems (at my day job) store things in terms of true GMT time, I keep the hand set to GMT rather than using it as a day-night indicator for my normal time zone. That way, I can quickly check what actual date or time things occurred at, by using the watch. One other thing with the movement here, is the placement of the crown. We’re used to seeing crowns at 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, or even 9 o’clock. But up at 2? That was a new one for me. Of course, it does help keep the crown from digging into your wrist (not that this fairly thin crown would). Something else I did not expect with the crown was appreciating that it was not screw-down.
That’s right – the watch carries a 100m water resistance rating, but the crown is just a push-in style. Realistically, for a watch like the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer, if you’re hitting water with it, it’s because you’re washing up, or swimming in the pool, not going off snorkeling. So, the lack of a screw-down fits the use case for the watch. As an added bonus, it makes it super-simple to wind the watch (say, if you’ve not worn it for the day) to get some energy stored in the barrel before the automatic rotor takes over. Again, I realize not everyone will have the same opinion on that crown, but I think it fits with the watch and how it will likely be used by most owners.
For my use, it was simply wearing it to the office, around the house, over the weekends, and so on. In other words, just living life with it. And in that, I found the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer to be quite capable. Timing stayed accurate, and with color and styling of the watch, I never felt that it was out of place. Even with shorts and a t-shirt, it worked. Now, it may not be a watch I’d head off to the woods with (at least not on the bracelet; on a strap, then perhaps), but for everything else, the watch fits me and how my life goes these days. So yeah, reading through this, this very likely seems like a not-so-veiled love letter for the watch. And you know what? I’m okay with that. As I mentioned, after five-plus years of looking at watches, when one grabs on to me like this one did, I will sing its praises, and unabashedly.
Other than the issue I had with the fairly tight clasp on the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer (recap: sometimes its pretty tight to release and get the watch off), this is a perfect watch for me. It scratches my GMT itch, it carries a Swiss movement, comes from a country (Sweden) that we don’t normally hear from, and presents the well-worn GMT format in something that is interesting and recognizable, all while creating a steel sport watch that’s ready to be on your wrist, day in, day out. Is this style of watch for everyone? No, but I will wager that most everyone can find something to appreciate with the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer.
For those who are rowing the same boat I am, though, this is a watch that you will enjoy, and for years to come. Pricing on the watch starts at about $2,200 (18,700 SEK) for the 36mm on the rubber strap, and tops out at just over $3,000 (25,700 SEK) for the 41mm on the steel bracelet. For all that comes with the watch, from the technical details and design choices, this certainly looks and feels like a watch that can hold its own against other luxury GMT watches. And if you find a Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer on your wrist, I can only imagine it will continue to look timelessly good as the years peel by. sjoosandstrom.se
>Brand: Sjöö Sandström
>Model: Royal Steel Worldtimer
>Price: $3,059 (as reviewed, 41mm on steel bracelet)
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Without hesitation. The proportions are perfect for my tastes, and the polished surfaces and center links make this a decidedly dressier sport watch.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: You’re looking for a solid, everyday, go anywhere sort of a watch that, by the way, throws a GMT complication into the mix as well.
>Best characteristic of watch: For me, on this watch, it’s all the small details – the logo on the bracelet, the flatter bezel, the blue GMT hand, and even putting the crown up at 2 o’clock. It’s these little things that elevate the overall watch in my book.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Without a push-button release, undoing the clasp on the bracelet is a bit tough.