S.U.F or SarpanevaUhrenFabrik is the sister brand of Stepan Sarpaneva’s eponymous independent watch company based in Finland. Stepan is a talented designer and a watchmaker with an eclectic taste. He very openly proclaims that his watches are not for everyone, but the moment you begin to examine his technique and design, you are convinced that he is a mad genius. Son of jewelry designer Pentti Sarpaneva, Stepan was brought up to be a talented designer and craftsman. Like many of the successful independent watchmakers, Stepan graduated from the WOSTEP watchmaking school in Geneva and then worked with various Swiss watch companies like Piaget, Parmigiani, Vianney Halter, and Christophe Claret. In 2004, he returned to Helsinki and started his own watch company with two brands.
S.U.F is a restraint alternative to Stepan’s finely crafted, nouveau-Gothic Sarpaneva watches. Its limited edition, mechanical timepieces are designed and assembled in the heart of Helsinki by the Baltic Sea, with a style and build quality of distinctly Scandinavian pedigree. But it goes further than that – S.U.F is horology’s embodiment of a certain “Finnishness”, grit and determination known as Sisu.
It’s impossible to translate literally but the stoicism and sheer guts that Sisu describes are born of Finland’s remoteness, and long, bleak winters. With limited resources, the elements always against them, the country’s people have nonetheless risen to the challenge in every field, from the sea, to the land and into the air. And it is there that S.U.F. thrives, inspired by Finnish pioneers of engineering, speed and design – every one of them with Sisu in spades.
S.U.F watches are made in limited runs and sold directly to watch enthusiasts. Even though 180 is intended to be a field watch, the large triangle and central seconds makes it a perfect candidate for a pilot watch. Sarpaneva has a philosophical angle to everything, hence the name 180 stands for turning 180 degrees and realizing how far along his brand has come, and to remind him of where it is headed. At S.U.F, a watchmaker is driven by the Finnish people’s stoic, honest-to-goodness determination, but sometimes he also needs some perspective.
The 180 watch has echoes of Komentaja, a watch from early days of the brand. But true to form, 180 goes back while moving things forward, reimagining classic features with a contemporary vibe. The ‘railway’ minute track has circling numerals whose Scandi-noir type form is unique to Sarpaneva’s Finnish design. The traditional ‘lollipop’ seconds hand comes in four colorways – Cranberry-red “Karpalo”, Liquorice-black “Salmiakki”, Cobalt-blue “Taivas” and “Kuura”, in a crisp frosty white that Helsinki residents know all too well.
Technically, watches are powered by reliable Soprod A10 Swiss automatic movement, seen through a sapphire case back. Its 38.7mm, high-grade, stainless-steel case is machined from domestically forged metal, infused with chrome mined near the coast. There are four dial variations – Red, White, Black, and Blue. Blue has sunray finish, and the rest have a matte finish. All of them have indexes painted with Superluminova. The steel hands are also painted with Superluminova. The straps’ leather comes from Nordic Elk.
This possibly the most Finnish S.U.F made by Sarpeneva in his Helsinki workshop, whose postal code happens to be 180. Each dial variation is limited to 50 pieces. The price is 2,200 Euros without the VAT.
Picture Credit @harrythecool