The Obsessive Behind GoS Watches
The Obsessive Behind GoS
Big watchmakers aren’t really the most personable in the world. Yet for all their ‘iconic’ models, ‘revolutionary’ advancements and ‘famous’ ambassadors, it’s easy to forget that they all started with a person. Breguet, OMEGA and Patek Philippe all have their founders and even Rolex wouldn’t have existed without Hans Wilsdorf.
It just goes to show that no matter how big the brand, it’s the individual that really matters. It’s something that you immediately notice when you enter the niche end of the market. The smaller the brand, the more distinctive, the more of that individual you see in the watches. In the case of GoS, that individual is Patrik Sjögren.
Patrik is the kind of guy that’s not happy with compromise. Not many of us are, to be honest, but we grin and bear it regardless. Patrik doesn’t. If he’s going to do something, he dives in headlong until it’s done, whether it’s repairing an old moped or starting his own watch brand.
It’s all the more impressive when you find out Patrik came late to watchmaking – at least as far as these things are considered. In fact, before he entered horology he was a computer security expert, about as far away from the analogue world of watches are you can get. He got a fair way into his career – like I said, everything Patrik does he commits to – before deciding it wasn’t for him and enrolling in the Swedish Watchmaking School.
That was where his mildly obsessive nature came to the fore. Most students were happy to do what they were asked and nothing more. But where they would restore an old clock mechanism, Patrik would build the carriage. Where they would focus on the movement alone, Patrik learned about fine finishing. Where they became horological technicians, Patrik became a fully-fledged Swedish watchmaker.
He certainly impressed his teachers. When GoS co-founder and Damascus steel guru Johan Gustafsson was looking for a watchmaker to collaborate with, he was instantly pointed towards Patrik. And so, GoS was born.
The partnership was instantaneous. Both shared the same kind of vision for what their watches would be, and the first designs started to take form. They had to be flawless internally and with a design that harkened back to traditional Swedish Viking motifs while showing Johan’s immense craft off to the full.
It’s a lot to ask from any brand, let alone a completely new one relying on a forgemaster and a watchmaker fresh out of school. Still, that GoS is here today stands testament to their successes past and present. They’re still small and there’s nothing that looks quite like them, which just goes to show more than ever how important the man behind the brand, Patrik Sjögren is to GoS.
Oh, and if you ever happen to be in their home town of Linköping, make sure you catch a performance from the local Jazz band. You might just see Patrik front and centre on the drums. It goes without saying by now that he’s pretty damn good too.