You can’t just run right out and buy one of these stunning GoS Northern Lights watches. Each is made to order and each is unique — but each lets you own a little remembrance of the nighttime sky phenomena know as the Nortern Lights. Thanks to gaseous particles joining together in the cold and clear night air in certain parts of the world, vivid greens, blues and even violets can be witnessed with the naked eye — offering an unparralleled experience. Now, Swedish brand GoS tries to bring that beauty to the wrist with its Norrsken (Northern Lights) collection.
I remember being in Iceland up in the mountains one year not too long ago on a trip with a watch brand — not GoS. It was in the very wee morning hours when my colleagues had all gone to bed that I went outside to the deck in the solemn quiet hoping to catch a glimpse of what would be a forever moment. The skies seemed to swirl a little and the odd patterns looked like they were taking on their own shape. But only bright white appeared. None of the other vivid colors that are so famous. As I was settling into a very cold chair to see if the colors would come, I was startled out of my sky gazing by reality. The hotel manager warned me of bears and asked me to come back inside. My opportunity lost, but not forgotten.
One day, I plan to chase those Northern lights again. But in the meantime, if I had the monetary means, I can indulge in the Northern Lights collection of watches by Swedish brand GoS. Without the wallet (they retails from about $19,500 to $24,500 depending on your choices when ordering), I just have to indulge in the time I wore these watches on my wrist (during the recent Dubai Watch Week) to try them out.
I consider myself fortunate to be one of the first journalists to meet Patrik Sjögren, co-founder of the brand, back in 2008 when it made its appearance at Baselworld in a small booth that one had to want to visit to find. The brand made its initial mark on the world as one of the first ever to not only use Damascus steel for watch cases and dials, but to use it prevalently throughout its entire collection. I was mesmerized.
It was intriguing to me that this Swedish brand was inspired by its Scandanavian roots for specially made watches that boasted so many details one didn’t know where to look next. In the ensuing decade-plus, I have faithfully followed the brand. The new Norrsken watches, though, just seemed to bring me to another time, another moment, another wish that I was wealthy.
Each Northern Lights watch is a one of a kind thanks to the processes used to create the timepieces. They are inspired by the colors of the famed lights found in some of the coldest regions of the world, including Sweden. Thanks to gaseous particles, the sky lights up yellow-green, blue, and sometimes other hues of violet.
The first Norrsken (the Swedish world for Northern Lights) watch was unveiled early last year with a striking green dial with a swirl motif that emulates the lights. Then, in late 2021, the brand released the beloved blue version – with the same stunning and alluring dial. In fact, each dial is created via a hand-guilloche pattern that is then carefully painted.
Under the vigilant eye of Sjögren, unparalleled hand-craftsmanship and quality defines each GoS Northern Lights watch. For these creations, GoS turns to a host of industry artisans to lend their master craftmanship to these pieces.
The hand-forged Damascus steel dials are created by Johan Gustafsson and then machined and finished by hand by Sjogren. .James Thompson of Black Badger, who has partnered with a host of watch brands to create bold luminescence, works his magic with the hues that light up in the dark. He provides “Badgerite” that includes Tritec lume for the indexes and markers, and via a clear glass ring that refracts the light. Guilloché specialist, Jochen Benzinger creates the swirling guilloche dials using a hand-guilloche method on solid silver. Sjögren himself hand finishes a myriad of the watch parts, including the dials, crowns, hands and movement components.
The 41.5mm Damascus steel watches can be purchased with a choice of case ring, dials or bezels, but each is powered by the 199-part GOS03 caliber made by Swiss movement specialist Schwarz Etienne and customized by GoS. It boasts a customize micro-rotor made of hand-forged Damascus steel. Its surface is infused with the corresponding dial color and black to match the green or blue of the watches. All pieces are finished with a handmade salmon-leather strap created in Stockholm. In short, the watches are real team effort – much like the different gases that come together to light up the sky. This effort, though, lights up the wrist.
Juist 50 pieces of each color will be made on order, and each is unique due to the hand artisanry. The prices range from $19,500 to $24,500 depending on the selected options, case materials and finishes.