How does one celebrate an airport having been in existence for 70 years? By releasing a pilot watch, of course! Here in the States, having a watch to honor, say, O’Hare or JFK International might seem a bit odd. For Iceland, though, the Reykjavik airport has played an important role in the country. Given that, it only makes sense that JS Watch (also based in Iceland) would take this step.
The 70th anniversary was actually back in 2011; a little quick math shows that 70 years prior to that would put us smack in the midst of World War II. The airport got its start on the Reykjavik peninsula when the British Army built the airfield, starting in 1940. The first runway opened in 1941; by 1946, control of the airport was handed over to the government of Iceland.
That, in a nutshell, is the history of the airport that watched a city grow up around it. In it’s honor, JS Watch has created the Frisland 1941, with two different dials. The first follows a more familiar aviator style, with the black sunburst dial, white indices and numerals, and the “normal” pilot handset (though, they seem perhaps a touch narrow). The other model in the family trades the black dial for a silver one, and swaps out the white luminous paint for a vintagey green. Of the two, the black dial is more to my liking; the silver dial seems like it’s an attempt to create a modern retro take on the style, perhaps.
Regardless of the dial you’d opt for, the watch has a Swiss-made automatic movement (top grade; I can’t tell if this is a 2824, 2836, or 7750) which has been adjusted to five positions, which sounds (from the product information) like it’s attained chronometer certification. This is housed in a polished 42mm stainless steel case (12mm thick) that is topped by a curved sapphire crystal (AR coating on the underside), and backed by an exhibition caseback which has a sapphire crystal of it’s own. As to the strap that holds on your wrist, that’s a 20mm one, in your choice of buffalo, alligator, ostrich, or calf skin; you’ll also be able to select a standard buckle or deployant clasp.