Inspired by the northern lights, the Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas “Kilpisjärvi” continues the Finnish’s brands tradition of artfully applied Super-Luminova. This 17-piece limited edition Stepan Sarpaneva’s third model dedicated to Valteri Bottas, a fellow Finn who competes for the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team.
Unlike the first pair of Bottas editions that made by Mr Sarpaneva’s more affordable S.U.F. brand, the Kilpisjärvi is a full-fledged Sarpaneva watch so it has an elaborately open-worked dial, unusually shaped case, and in a first for the brand, the Chronode P1003 automatic movement inside.
Born into a family of designers and artists, Stepan Sarpenava unsurprisingly has a strikingly distinct aesthetic. This comes through in all of his work, despite the diversity of his offerings.
With its open-worked dial and multi-coloured lume, the Kilpisjärvi might seem similar to his recent releases, but it is notably different. In contrast to the earlier editions that were heavily figurative, the Kilpisjärvi is abstract, especially during the day. In fact, the dial pattern is almost graceful, though the aggressive Sarpaneva styling is still obvious in the hands and case. Only at night when the Super-Luminova glows is the northern lights motif easily apparent.
For anyone who enjoys Mr Sarpaneva’s unusual aesthetic, the Kilpisjärvi is easily appealing – with two caveats. One is the size, which at 46 mm is large and places it amongst the biggest Sarpaneva watches. Another is the price of €17,500 that’s fair for the quality and Sarpaneva brand name, but still almost four times the S.U.F. Bottas edition.
The watch is named after Kilpisjärvi, a small village located in the far north of Finland where Mr Bottas has a getaway home. According to Sarpaneva, it is there that Mr Bottas goes to unwind, and also where the aurora borealis lights up the sky.
Done in the typical Sarpaneva style, the open-worked dial reveals a motif inspired by the northern lights rendered in five colours of Super-Luminova. Because the Super-Luminova is applied randomly on each example, all of the 17 pieces of the edition will have different dials.
Made of three parts, the dial is produced in a similar fashion to the open-worked dials found in the Moomin watches. The dial components are cut by laser and then finished by hand, including the chapter ring that carries the hour markers. All of the Super-Luminova on the dial is similarly applied by hand.
Finished entirely with a matte frosting, the case is instantly recognisable with its heavily notched outline and as always made of high-grade stainless steel that’s smelted in Finland. It’s 46 mm in diameter but a relatively thin 11.5 mm high.
Visible through the back is a Chronode P1003, a large calibre with a longish power reserve of 60 hours. Being used for the first time by Sarpaneva, the P1003 has been customised with a rotor bearing the brand’s trademark moon “face” that takes the form of an open-worked medallion.
Key Facts and Price
Sarpaneva x Valtteri Bottas “Kilpisjärvi”
Diameter: 46 mm
Thickness: 11.5 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 200 m
Movement: Chronode P1003
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle, additional rubber strap
Limited edition: 17 pieces
Availability: Direct from Sarpaneva
Price: €17,500 before taxes
For more, visit Studiosarpaneva.com.
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