These days, it’s not much of a surprise when a watch brand announces that they’ve signed some celebrity as a brand ambassador or that they’re sponsoring some particular event. These are often the same events the brand has been tied with year after year, or popular musicians, actors, or athletes of the moment. What’s more surprising is when a brand decides to go in a totally different direction. Swedish Sjöö Sandström has done just that, picking up two “eSport” stars as brand ambassadors, and releasing the limited edition Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer LEET to commemorate it.
While I have been known to enjoy a video game now and again, I won’t claim to know who, precisely, Emil “HeatoN” Christensen or Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson are (those super into eSports, feel free to educate me in the comments). However, anyone who manages to win 18 world championships, whatever the arena, are surely folks of note. What has my interest, more than the ambassadors, is the watch itself. You see, this is a new version of what has become my go-to watch to wear, the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer.
When reviewing the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer here, it’s safe to say folks took umbrage at the name of the watch, because this is not the kind of watch that “worldtimer” usually refers to. For those people, well, just look away. For everyone else, this is still the same tidy, well-executed GMT watch that we saw in that review with a 41mm case, topped by a sapphire crystal, and water resistant to 100m. Inside is the same “G16” Swiss automatic movement, probably a base ETA or Soprod. Here, of course, we’ve got a new look. I was surprised by how much I actually liked the black paint job (ok, it’s a DLC coating) that the watch received. Normally, when a watch is given the blackout treatment, I roll my eyes and move on.
That wasn’t the case with the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer LEET, though. Sure, I probably sound like a Sjöö Sandström cheerleader, but I truly do like what they’ve done here. While my own grey-dial version is perfectly legible, the white indices and handset stand out in crisp contrast over the cross-hatched dial, keeping legibility at the forefront, no matter the level of lighting. It may make reading the GMT time a bit tricker (as the fixed bezel is darkly coated as well) – so just check closely when you’re scheduling your match or raid with your buddy living in another country.
Along with the black coating applied liberally to the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer LEET, you’ve got a lumed crosshair showing up just above the 6 o’clock position, as well as on the caseback. These identify the watch as being part of the LEET (elite, or 1337 in “leetspeak”) lineup. The other significant change here – at least from my watch – is the textured rubber strap. While I love the bracelet on the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer, I think that it would have a harder time keeping that dark finish looking clean and not banged up – so the black rubber makes perfect sense here.
At the end of the day, the Sjöö Sandström Royal Steel Worldtimer LEET is – in all practical terms – largely a fresh coat of paint on an existing watch. Fortunately, it was already a solid watch to begin with, and this particular blacked-out iteration is a nice addition to the lineup, in my book. Pricing for the watch stands at $2,060, and it is available directly from the brand. Game on! Learn more at sjoosandstrom.se