The new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration Is The Balm For Sore (generic dive watch staring) Eyes
Editor’s note: This preview of the new Sarpaneva x Moomin limited edition timepiece has been brought courtesy The Hour Glass Sydney.
In a Nutshell
“Making a journey by night is more wonderful than anything in the world,” says Moomintroll (or Moomin, the lead character in the The Moomins series). The new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration best comes to life in the dark due to its impressive use of Technicolour Super-Luminova. Like the quote, if you own this 38.7 x 8.9mm timepiece, wearing it at night will make your other timepieces jealous – it’s got a lume that shines bright to bring joy in any moment of darkness. It’s usual and charming.
The watchmaking industry can sometimes be a monotonous one; after all, why fix something that ain’t broken. But then, like a cool welcome breeze on a hot summer day, certain timepieces are presented that break the monotony. Often by independents brave enough to venture into the unknown, these timepieces spark a feeling of surprise and excitement.
This is one of the things I admire about the watchmaking industry, its ability to make me sit up and stare at an object for hours on end, simply marvelling at their innate beauty.
The new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration is one such offering – it is a very impressive joint creative effort in inducing a bit of lightheartedness to the industry, and as far as I am concerned, it works too.
Just like the protagonist of The Moomins series who is always excited about things, the new collab offers a very limited edition of a timepiece that will being a certain sense of excitement to any watch collection.
Back up a sec, what’s a Moomin?
“Moomin is all over here in Finland. I never was a fan, I felt that it was too much for me at that time. Now, it is definitely much more of a ‘yes’ than before. The more you read the stories of Moomin, the more it gets to you!” says Stepan Sarpaneva.
For those of you who may be wondering what the heck a Moomin is, well, they are troll-like fictional cartoon characters that first saw light in 1945. Swedish-Finn writer Tove Jansson’s famous illustrated book series The Moomins have spawned into decades of cartoons, books, film and TV debuts, and merchandise. And now adding to this ever-growing list is the bread and butter of horophiles, a new timepiece.
We have seen these before, as this design made its debut last year. But this new version is exclusive to The Hour Glass, and what makes it different is the inclusion of a pink gold bezel and crown, elements that lend that extra bit of flair that makes all the difference.
A 75-piece (limited edition) variation of this theme with hand-painted eight different Swiss Superluminova colours that illuminate in the dark first appeared last year in August to mark the 75th anniversary of Moomin stories and was also chosen for the GPHG awards. This limited-edition release was further sub-divided into 3 x 25 based on the colour of the hands.
If you have been following the Auctions circuit, then you might have noticed a prototype version of this watch was auctioned off last year by Phillips at the Hong Kong Watch Auction XI. It had an estimate of HK$30’000 – 62’500 (~5’000 to 10’500 AUD) but ended up selling for a whopping HK$315’000 (50’000 AUD), 10 x more than the initial (lower) estimate.
The Hour Glass has a tradition of releasing uber-cool limited-edition timepieces in partnership with other brands, such as the TAG Heuer x The Hour Glass Commemorative Edition from 2019 (which I sadly missed out on). And now courtesy The Hour Glass, watch enthusiasts have a chance of owning something special, for what I can only assume to be a fraction of the price going by the initial estimates of that auction and the retail price of 5’380 CHF of the 75-pieces limited edition variation.
Who Is It For
American actor Sterling K. Brown once said: “Any great art is meant to illuminate the human condition”. The new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration is an art form that especially with its lume powered dial is meant to illuminate your watch box (condition).
This I believe is for two kinds of collectors – one, who are fans of the series, and two, who haven’t lost their sense of humour and the inner-child that can appreciate this for what it is: a handsomely made timepiece that’s got enough x-factor to stand out but also enough watchmaking cred to not be a gimmick. Honestly, if I had the space cash for me, this would have definitely made it to my wrist.
The new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration features the outsourced calibre Soprod A10 which is an automatic 25.6mm diameter and 3.6mm thick movement beating at the standard frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), feature 25 jewels and boasts of a 42-hour power reserve. It is somewhat of a replacement for the ETA2892-2 and is used by a fair few brands, including Sinn watches.
The movement is encased inside a 38.7 x 8.9mm stainless steel — SUPRA 316L/4435 — case that offers a 100m water-resistance. Instead of being completely housed in stainless steel, the new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration features a pink gold bezel and pink gold crown.
Framed by this case is the beautiful three-layered skeletonized dial with 8 hand-painted Swiss Super-Luminova® emission colours in varying order that create a myriad of interesting combinations.
How Does It Do
Maybe it is just me but I am personally getting a bit tired of the watch industry’s obsession with dive watches. Or the same gold, timeless dress watches. True, those are a staple in any collection, but there should always be more to a watch collection than the usual suspects. The new Sarpaneva x Moomin x The Hour Glass collaboration is definitely one of those timepieces that scratch that itch for me.
For someone with slimmer wrists, the less than 40mm case sounds perfect, especially given the lug-to-lug spacing of only 46.4 mm. The inclusion of interhorn spacing of 20mm means that it will also be easy to find replacement straps for. If I had this piece, I would get different straps matching the colour of the lume; I love that this is a quirky piece that would also be a great conversation starter. Add to these the beautiful 3 part stainless steel hand finished dial — that is based on Tove Jansson’s illustration of Moomintroll dreaming — with hand painted lume and what you get is a stunning watch that is sure to light up your day, one colourful illumination at a time.
“This watch is my honour to Moomins and Tove!” reveals Stepan Sarpaneva. And as far as I am concerned, it is a telling tribute to the mesmerising fairytale world of The Moomins series.
To find out more about Sarpaneva watches their other timepieces, please head to their website here or visit their authorised retailer The Hour Glass Sydney at 142 King St, Sydney (02 9221 2288).All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy The Hour Glass. © 2019 SARPANEVA WATCHES. Moomin Characters™ Moomin is a trademark of Moomin Characters Oy, Ltd. The watch is delivered in a treasure roll made by Finnish textile maker, Finlayson™.