Well-known to the most passionate watch aficionados thanks to their experiments with Damascus steel, the Swedish craftsmen Johan Gustafsson and Patrik Sjögren have just presented their new baby: the Ice GoS 007 timepiece. Limiting the use of the legendary alloy to the timekeeper’s dial, they somehow managed to give the ‘ordinary’ two-hander a striking, even somewhat mean appearance that makes your average ‘tactical’ watch look like a child’s toy.
As you can see on the pictures, the new Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice GoS 007 Damascus steel wristwatch looks even more impressive than their previous offerings -they are called the Predator, Fire, Dragon, Lava and Explosion- that sported dials and rotors made of Damascus steel with different colorful accents added by the use of other metals.
The complex and time-consuming process of making the steel was quite popular among Medieval swordsmiths because it allowed them to create weapons that were both light and durable. Since modern watches are not usually subject to stresses that were normally experienced by Medieval weapons (and their owners,) guys at Gustafsson & Sjögren had a lot more color metals to choose from since they were mostly concerned about visual accents, not their ability to cut flesh and bones.
This particular model, however, comes in complete monochrome looking like there is a piece of a real blade installed behind the sapphire glass. The impression is further enhanced with a shuriken-style subsidiary seconds indicator placed at 6 o’clock.
What disappoints me a little, though, is that the gold-wrapped diamonds that serve as hour indices somehow make the watch look too, well, soft. To my taste, a set of twelve screws with polished heads would have done a better job.
On the other hand, a lot of swords, daggers, rapiers and other types of cutting and piercing weapons were produced with their hilts, guards and even blades adorned with all sorts of precious stones and metals in order to highlight a privileged status of their owner.
I am also not sure about the timepiece’s legibility (especially, nighttime legibility I would add) because the matte-finished hour and minute hands may lack the needed contrast against the grayish dial.
However, I REALLY like the watch. If it would be possible to remove the diamonds and if it wasn’t priced at around $8000, I would be standing first in line to get a copy of my own.
As to the movement, everything is kept deliberately simple here. The Ice GoS 007 is powered by a time-proven ETA Unitas 6498-1 hand-wound caliber, which is both reliable and accurate, with some minor modifications done by Soprod.
A similar mechanism also powers the a.b.art MM series of watches, which is about eight times less expensive, but also clearly misses in the balls department.
See also: Daniel Roth Papillon Chronograph watch
Photos: GoS Watches
Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice GoS 007 watch’s specification:
Price range: No official information at the time of writing this brief review, but we expect it to be about $8000 USD
Movement: Caliber ETA Unitas 6498-1, hand-wound (manual,) Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 56 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Grayish Damascus steel
Water resistance: No data
Strap: Polished stainless steel mesh bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, flat