Hands-On The S.U.F. 180 Field Watch From Stepan Sarpaneva
The simple exposure impact puts forward the thought that rehashed exposure to something, be it a design, mathematical figure, or sound, leads to higher perceptual familiarity of that thing. This, thusly, leads a person to build up an inclination for whatever is now recognizable to them. Watch dials are an ideal subject through which to investigate this wonder. Picture a field watch, and now change the design in your psyche so that it’s just unique enough based on what you’re acquainted with as of now, however not all that extreme that it becomes visually unappealing.
That’s actually what befallen me with the S.U.F. 180. It’s a Finnish riff on the classic field watch by SarpanevaUhrenFabrik, an undertaking by free Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva. Regardless of whether you’re not effectively acquainted with S.U.F, at that point you’ve likely known about Sarpaneva watches, whose stock-in-exchange is an entrancing moonphase complication highlighting a distinctive face. His designs frequently play with new materials and concepts, similar to the use of fiber optics . Stepan’s extreme perspective, perhaps stemming from the rich Finnish culture, produces designs that are genuinely not normal for whatever else occurring in horology – free or mainstream – right now.
But the S.U.F. 180 isn’t intended to be revolutionary. Instead, it focuses on taking an existing esthetic class and rethinking it with small nods to contemporary structure, similar to the Scandi-noir typeface of the numerals, designed by Stepan.
The S.U.F. brand was initially made just for the Finnish market in 2003 however has since discovered an after all around the world. In Finland, Stepan is somewhat of a horological god among men, with an extraordinarily strong nearby after. There’s a nearby fan base for not just his Sarpaneva models that play with high horology, yet in addition the S.U.F. models, which are accessible by a bigger segment because of their incentive. Stepan makes sure that S.U.F models don’t come up short on the Sarpaneva “spice” that is acquired such a devoted base.
The first round of the 180 comes in four dial variations: A dark red “Karpalo,” a frosty dark “Salmiakki,” a slate-blue “Taivas,” and a monochromatic white dial called “Kuura.” I found the frosted silvery-white dial execution (Kuura) to be most clear and engaging, yet returning to the simple exposure impact, it very well may be because field watches are supposed to be white or dark. In any case, this watch is so brimming with details that aren’t necessarily expected on a field watch, similar to the polished sharp angle where the crystal is seated, making an unusual contrast. And afterward there’s the flatness of the sapphire crystal that helps it disappear. There’s not a huge load of distance between the dial and the crystal – the case is thin and this drastically helps with legibility.
It’s presumably a stretch to say that Finnish sensibility has directed these design decisions, and it very well may be an over-romanticized perspective on Northern European design that suggests the idea, however the watch does without a doubt feel like it’s been so thoroughly examined. As far as I might be concerned, it featured that despite the fact that field watches all appear to be identical, the inclination on the wrist can change significantly. The 180 feels more at home on my wrist than field watches that are mass created and uncontrollably mainstream. As the youthful folks would say, there’s a sure “flex” to wearing a field watch (a generally reserved class of watchmaking) that is designed by one of the main free watchmakers. It’s sort of like wearing a T-shirt from a bespoke tailor. It just fits in a way that is better than one immediately available, yet they’re both T-shirts. They’re intended to be worn. One just does it with a bit of something extra.
A parcel of this stems from the case that is just 8.9mm tall. It’s machined from Finnish stainless steel that has been impregnated with chrome that is also been mined in the country. It sits flush against the wrist because of the short lugs with a slight decline. I’ve had issues in the past with the long lugs of mainstream field watches diving into my wrist. The 38.7mm case of the 180 has none of these problems. “180” is also the postal division of Stepan’s workshop, as well as a gesture to the possibility that folks need to stop, do a 180, and look how far they’ve come prior to returning to walking forward to where they’re going. An overall philosophy that I believe is absolutely relevant to a field watch.
Inside the case is the Soprod A10 programmed development. It’s the sort of development that is built up a positive standing among the community for its dependability and unfussy nature. Once more, extremely fitting for a field watch. There’s a date, which I’m universally opposed to, however what you will not discover is excessive marking or a novella at six o’clock describing the specs of the watch. You will not locate that on the caseback, all things considered. Stepan knows that the buyers of this watch trust him enough to realize that the watch is undoubtedly water resistant to 100m (it is), and that it uses a programmed development without saying it on the watch. The result is a spotless design that is simply wonderful in how neat and cleaned up it is. There’s the S.U.F. logo, a small line with “Helsinki” and a small “180” on the dial. The caseback exclusively notes which dial variety it is. That is it. You’ll most likely notification the surface and dimensionality of the lume plots before the marking. That’s when you “get” this watch. It’s just so wearable thus blustery. It comes with a Marine National-style elastic nylon webbing strap as well as a cowhide strap produced using Nordic Elk. Once more, details.
A field watch from someone who normally makes bespoke pieces focusing on pushing the boundaries of high horology doesn’t completely bode well on paper, however on the wrist it’s an entire ‘nother story. In the wake of wearing Stepan’s interpretation of a field watch, I’ve done a 180 on the possibility that utilizing economies of scale produces better device watches.
For more on Stepan’s S.U.F. line of watches, click here.