Although the new JS Watch Co. Frisland Classic automatic timekeeper doesn’t open new horizons in terms of industrial design, it still delivers a very nice combination of timeless elegance, attention to details and high build quality.
In fact, looking at it, I see a very attractive blend of Swiss and German approaches to design that resulted in a dial layout, which is very clean, but still quite informative. It somehow manages to stay classic, while not being archaic: something that you rarely see when it comes to vintage-styled wristwatches.
As you can see on the photos, the watch speaks a design language, which is very similar to their 2010 Islandus Chronograph model. There are twelve nicely proportioned Roman numerals printed on an antique white dial accompanied by three very elegant hands.
The railway-track minutes ring, however, was replaced for an even more graceful, stopwatch-style scale that allows you to measure time intervals with accuracy up to 1/6th of a second. I am not sure whether there is any practical use for this, but it still looks very stylish.
The stainless steel case that measures 42 millimeters in diameter and is 12 millimeters high is a bit too massive for my taste (and for a classic-styled dress watch), but is still compact enough to be worn with formal attire.
What I especially like is the color of the hands. I am not sure whether the indicators are painted or heat-blued, but they look very sexy on these photos and are nicely matched by blue minute marks, while the red Arabic numerals on the calendar wheel that are visible through a rectangular aperture at 6 o’clock provide a very stark contrast (they also match the color scheme of Island national flag, so that was possibly the idea behind the choice of paints).
According to information on their Facebook page, the watch is animated by a Soprod A10-2 automatic caliber, which is often used by smaller watchmakers like Stowa, MkII and Nivrel and is sometimes praised as the best non-ETA automatic caliber on the market.
JS Watch Co. buys this movement in a “Top execution” grade, so the movement is nicely decorated with Geneva stripes, rhodium-plating, blued screws and this sort of things. No wonder they equip the watch with a sapphire case back.
There is still no information regarding the timekeeper’s price, but I hope that the company’s representative will soon reply to my email and I will be able to update this article.
See also: Limes Pharo Cartouche Automatic
UPDATE: Okay, here is the promised update on pricing. According to their price list, the watch is offered at €2460. The price includes Icelandic VAT of 20%, so the international pricing will be closer to €2050 or around $2800 USD. The list options includes a stainless steel multi-link bracelet available at €250, as well as a hand-made genuine Alligator leather strap at the same price (just bear in mind that the item requires CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) permit. An engraved JS Watch co. Reykjavik deployment clasp will set you back for additional €110. All prices, too, include the 20% VAT.
Photos: JS Watch Co.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
JS Watch Co. Frisland Classic watch specification
Price: €2460 (including 20% Icelandic VAT)
Movement: Automatic, Soprod A10-2, Top execution, adjusted to five positions, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Rhodium-plated, blued screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Dial: Antique white
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Hand-made brown ostrich leather strap with a stainless steel deployant clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire