The landscape of Scandinavia is defined by two things: ice and light. The first of those hardly needs any explanation and the second we need only look to where Led Zeppelin came from (at least in Immigrant Song), the Land of the Midnight Sun. It’s no surprise then that both are inspirations behind the latest release from GoS, a brand defined by their Viking heritage. That and damn good use of Damascus steel.
Their signature metalwork however is not the key feature of their twin ladies’ pieces, the Sarek Glacier and Sunset. In fact, the central aspect of the pairing is a material that in many ways is the complete opposite: mother-of-pearl.
Mother-of-pearl is nothing new. Hell, it’s positively antique, the kind of material that your grandmother probably wore plenty of, that’s still overused in women’s watchmaking to a worrying degree. Fortunately, this isn’t just about pretty oyster grit.
You see, everyone knows that pearl and light go hand-in-hand. The material has a soft lustre that you can only really appreciate in direct light, be it pink, blue or black Tahitian. What you might not realise is how translucent it is. Light doesn’t just bounce off it; when used sparingly, it passes through.
For GoS, whose emphasis on materialism (in a good way) has driven the brand almost as much as battle axes and longships, that meant only one thing. Each new Sarek watch has a dial in three layers. On top, the pearl; on the bottom a brass dial and in-between a layer of coloured lume.
In normal light, this gives the pearl a tint that’s far more pronounced than naturally available, at least outside of an heirloom necklace. However, in the dark it’s a completely different story, with the dial coming to life in either cool blue or vibrant orange, depending on your watch of preference.
Don’t worry too much though, beautiful as the new dials are there’s still plenty for the GoS purists out there to love too, namely the copious use of their signature Damascus steel. Copious in this case can be defined as the bezel. It’s a beautiful contrast, the subtle texture and colour of the pearl with the grey, hard-edged waves of the steel.
There are plenty of other signature GoS design elements too, from the spearhead-shaped and beautifully bevelled hands to the case like ancient arm bracelets to the crown in imitation of a Viking sword hilt. The guys are evidently proud of their Norse heritage, as so they should be.
Mother-of-pearl is mostly associated with women’s watches, but the Sarek is available in both the smaller 32 x 40mm size you’d expect and a larger, 43mm version. Technically the latter is a men’s watch, but if you’re a guy that can pull off pearls, go for it.
Still, with all the signature flourishes, the customised Soprod A10 movement inside and the nicely larger case, it’s all about those dials. Whether you like the glowing warmth of Sweden’s midnight sun or the blue ice of a glacier, you have to admit they’re pretty damn beautiful.