Mystery grows in obsolescence. And so it is with Damascus steel: no one is exactly sure how it was made during its heyday in the 3rdâ€“4th centuries. GoS uses that mysterious metal here in perfect symmetry with another obsolete technologyâ€”the one we usually discuss on these pages. Powered by a customized Soprod A10 mechanical movement, the GoS Sarek Akka is showpiece of obsolete technologies once prized for their strength and precision, now highly regarded for their beauty and complexity.
Very appropriately for an unrepentantly Swedish watch, the dial here isn’t technically Damascus, since it uses pattern-welded steel created by folding and welding metal into an ingot that is left with a swirling pattern once it is cooled. It is a technique that Nordic blacksmiths have been using for centuries. Ancient Damascus steel gets its swirling design from India-sourced wootz steel, which entered the West by way of the eastern trade routes culminating in, obviously, Damascus. Wootz steel remains a mystery, although metallurgists have made strides toward unlocking its secrets. By either technique, the swirling metal is harder and more flexible than traditional wrought iron, making it a fine weapon metal. Or watch dial.
Perhaps that’s why the hands of the Sarek Akka are fierce lances, inspired by Viking arrow and spear heads. The chapter ring, too, is Viking-inspired, although by more peacefulÂ bracelets and brooches. The new crown design, intended to mimic the pommel of a sword, brings things back to the battlefield. (Although more than a sword hilt, I see inspiration from the crown of theÂ Lundis BleusÂ Ref. 1100.)Â Editor’s note: Â In discussions with GoS, we got to see a patent application that shows their crown beingÂ developed prior to Lundis Bleus’.Â
The bezel is engraved made by master engraver Stanley Stoltz to evoke the woodlands of theÂ Swedish Lapland.Â The Soprod A10 movement, too, gets nordic influences, with a reworked rotor made of satinized ale horns and a pattern-welded steel counter weight. The A10 is a competitor to the ETA 2892, and shares many design similarities with the Seiko 4L.
A chocolate brown moose leather strap is standard, but a wide range of colorsâ€”from beige all the way to brownâ€”are also available.Â Whatever strap you pick, it will be lost in the background to the bold but muted metalwork that makes each Sarek Akka a one-of-a-kind work of art.Â goswatches.com
GoS Sarek Akka
- Price: $10,800USD
- Who’s it for? Viking blacksmiths.
- Would I wear it? I’d love to, but not for five figures.
- What Iâ€™d change? It would make a great dress watch at <39mm.
- Standout feature? Weaponized dial.
Tech Specs from GoS
- Case Material: Stainless steel, worked and finished with inspiration from viking bracelets.
- Case Dimensions: 43 mm x 10.5 mm
- Lug Width: 22 mm
- Movement: Swiss Soprod A10 with GoS triskele rotor, dark satinized and additional counter weight in
- Crystal: Domed sapphire glass with double sided AR coating, extra hard on outside
- Strap: Handcrafted chocolate brown or black moose leather, fitted with stainless steel GoS buckle