The 2013 JS Watch Co. Frisland Classic doesn’t open new horizons in terms of industrial design, yet it delivers a nice combination of timeless elegance, attention to detail, and high build quality. Still, some enthusiasts may find it considerably overpriced.
In fact, looking at it, I see an attractive blend of Swiss and German approaches to design that resulted in a dial layout, which is clean and 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 similar to their 2010 Islandus Chronograph model. There are twelve nicely proportioned Roman numerals printed on an antique white dial accompanied by three elegant hands.
The railway-track minutes ring, however, was replaced with 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 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 sexy in 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 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 thing. 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
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 include 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 a 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.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
JS Watch Co. Frisland Classic specification
Price: €2460 (Retail, includes 20% Icelandic VAT)
Movement: Automatic, caliber 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: Stainless steel
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