From The Community: A Closer Look At The Northern Lights Inspired GoS x Black Badger Norrsken
GoS Watches partners with James Thompson (a.k.a. the Black Badger) to create a stunning aurora borealis-inspired timepiece.
Born from the collaboration between watchmaker Patrik Sjögren and bladesmith Johan Gustafsson, GoS Watches is a small Swedish watch company that stays faithful to the Scandinavian craft traditions. Hand-forged in their signature Damascus steel and powered by Swiss movements, no two GoS Watches are alike, and it’s one of the things that make this independent brand so unique and appealing.
Let’s be honest; the Scandinavian Peninsula has the best-looking land and skyscapes in the world. The winters might be long, but its stunning summers more than make up for them. I, for one, have “See the northern lights” as an absolute must-do in my lifetime. And with such impressive natural phenomena all around them, it is only natural that Patrik Sjögren and Johan Gustafsson wanted to replicate it on their watches. To that end, GoS Watches’ first edition dedicated to the norther lights was called the Aurora.
This time around – thanks to an incredible collaboration with friend-of-Watchonista James Thompson a.k.a. the Black Badger – the GoS Norrsken (which is Swedish for “northern lights”) is like having the swirling green lights of the northern skies dance across your wrist. For his part of the collaboration, Thompson provided an insert ring cast from solid Badgerite positioned behind the glass index ring. It was an idea that had been on Sjögren’s mind since he met James Thompson at Baselworld five years ago and then collaborated in his workshop.
“Northern lights have an expression that is both bold and elegant simultaneously, and we have had a couple of unique pieces with northern lights theme before. The most elaborate one was Aurora, which had a Damascus steel movement. However, we have not been able to achieve the most common color of northern lights until now,” Sjögren told Watchonista. He continued, “It was the collaboration with James with the green glow and a new finishing method that I developed which made it possible to finally create something that truly gives you the experience of the northern lights - in a wrist-worn format.”
To increase the luminescence, GoS Watches called Swedish glass artisan Mikael Kenlind of Vas Vitreum to create a handblown index ring made of Swedish crystal. It allows an unprecedented degree of luminescence to pass through its (literally) crystal-clear surface, making the dial shine with vivid green tones. But this is not as simple as it all sounds: “One of the biggest challenges was to develop a method to create index rings from handblown Swedish crystal. Swedish glass artisan Mikael Kenlind developed this process over six months while I designed the ring's dial and fitting to ensure that it is safely mounted. That was a complex process with many problems to solve, especially for Mikael,” commented Sjögren.
The result, however, is stunning, as you can see from these pictures. The Norrsken is a true nod to the northern lights. But how does the luminescent material adapt to the Damascus steel? “Another big challenge was to get the finishing of the dials right. In the end, I use the same method to apply the green finishing to both the guilloche dials and the Damascus steel dials,” said Sjögren. “Johan created a new pattern to create snapshots of northern lights, and I do the finishing in the GoS workshop. My finishing process is elaborate and involves multiple acid etching and polishing steps before the color is finally applied and cured in an oven.”
A Swiss Heart
Like any true independent, GoS Watches always tries to find the best independent artisans to help create its unique timepieces. For the GoS Norrsken, GoS Watches called renowned watchmaker Schwarz Etienne to create the GoS03 movement that GoS then customized, including an on-theme micro-rotor hand-forged in Damascus Steel. Moreover, the GoS Norrsken has an impressive power reserve of 86 hours.
Pricing And Availability
Housed in a 41.50mm wide and 12.10mm thick stainless steel case, the GoS Norrsken is available either with the signature Damascus steel dial or a hand-guilloché dial. Both dials have the stunning northern lights-green hue. And should you want your timepiece in a precious metal, GoS Watches can manufacture it for you.
With a price ranging from $19,500 to $24,500, five pieces of the GoS Norrsken will be available from May-June, then ten more will be available from August-December.
For more details and to order, head to GoS Watches' website.