Having built a reputation with original timepieces characterised by Neo-Gothic flair, Stepan Sarpaneva celebrates his 20th year in watchmaking with a pair in typical Sarpaneva style – Stardust and Stardust “Nostromo”. Limited to twenty pieces each, the duo embody Sarpaneva’s trademark aesthetic styling in their hand-finished, open-worked dials and Korona case.
I have long admired Sarpaneva for being different. The man has a unique and often quirky vision of watchmaking that is evident in his timepieces, which are also finished well in terms of cases and dials. While Sarpaneva has not done much in terms of movements, his original approach is very much independent watchmaking.
While different from its past offerings, both Stardust variants are still recognisably Sarpaneva with their radial dial motif and sculpted case.
The iridescent colours of the Stardust are not exactly novel, but it is a different take on the fashionable “rainbow” watch and it is certainly executed well since Sarpaneva does impressive dial work in its price segment.
On the other hand, the dark colours of the Stardust “Nostromo” give it a more sci-fi feel that goes well with Sarpaneva’s house style.
Both Stardust model are priced at €16,500 each, making them slightly affordable than the comparably spec’ed Valterri Bottas “Kilpisjärvi” released last year. While hefty on its face, the price tag is easily justified considering Sarpaneva’s small output and hand finishing of the dial and case.
The Stardust pair was inspired by sisu, a Finnish philosophy of overcoming adversity with resilience. According to Sarpaneva, the brand’s 20-year pursuit of creating original timepieces is all about sisu.
Executed in the typical Sarpaneva style, the limited edition pair both feature open-worked dials with stencilled numerals inspired by the numerals on space rockets and fighter jets. A rocket-shaped seconds is located eccentrically at ten o’clock, giving the dial an interesting asymmetry.
The new pair is available in two distinct dial configurations. First is Stardust, which has a titanium dial that has been heated by hand to produce a rainbow-like oxide finish inspired by the deep-space landscapes visible from observatory telescopes.
“Nostromo”, on the other hand, is almost monochromatic. It has a DLC-coated dial and its hands, stencilled numerals, compass-like markings on the seconds dial, and its black polished seconds hand are coated with Super-Luminova for legibility in the dark.
Both versions share the same signature case measuring 42 mm in diameter and 10 mm high. It’s brushed and polished with a heavily notched outline that is the brand’s defining case design. Like all Sarpnaeva cases, the case is crafted from high-grade stainless steel smelted in Finland.
The Stardust models are powered by the P1003 made by complications specialist Chronode. Featuring a power reserve of 60 hours, the P1003 has been customised by Sarpaneva to feature a bespoke rotor bearing the brand’s trademark moon “face”.
Key Facts and Price
Sarpaneva Stardust and Stardust “Nostromo”
Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 10 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: Modified Chronode P1003
Functions: Hours, minutes, and small seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle, additional rubber strap
Limited edition: 40 pieces, with 20 per model
Availability: Direct from Sarpaneva
Price: €16,500 before taxes
For more, visit Sarpanevawatches.com.
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