Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial

Stepan Sarpaneva rewrites branding theory with his latest timepiece, the Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial.

This detailed review of the Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial includes live images. 

Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial

A facet of modern life is the profuse use of logos and branding. The marketeers’ weapons are omnipresent, poised to tempt the unsuspecting to part with their cash. Luxury labels will often persuade the public to purchase items merely on the basis of a nomen proclaimed on the shirt sleeve, breast pocket or belt buckle.

Branding can sometimes affirm quality based on past reputation and has tempted the unscrupulous to illicitly copy and pass off inferior, counterfeit goods as the genuine article.

For some, greater importance is attached to the label than the merits of the item it adorns. Indeed, some individuals appear to be “brand junkies”, craving logos and names merely for the kudos they assume will bring.

Those reading this may presum, I do not like branded goods. This is not true. There are many well known brands which have become firm personal favourites over the years. When making a purchase, those names familiar to me provide assurance of the experience I can expect to receive. However, sometimes the presence of a name or logo can corrupt the purity of an elegant design.

Minimalist branding

Last week, I saw a timepiece, from Sarpaneva, which had minimalist branding on its felicitous form and the result was stunning. I have previously reviewed the Korona K1 Second Edition made by the Finnish watchmaker here on ESCAPEMENT, however, this new variant justifies further discussion.

Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial

The Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial, is limited to only eight pieces and although it shares much in common with the Korona K1 Second Edition, the differences in my opinion, elevate this latest model to an even higher echelon.

Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial

The date aperture, located at 6 o’clock, has been omitted on the fire enamel dial version. Hours, minutes and central seconds are the only functions presented against the new dial canvas.

A stainless steel index ring features on the dial, enhancing the interpretation of the time. But, other than this detail, the face of the watch is unadorned. The absence of logos or text stating model reference, manufacturer’s name and place of origin is a departure from the norm. The resultant landscape of the dial resembles freshly fallen, untouched snow, as if no human intervention has corrupted its pristine appearance.

The fired enamel dial, appeared slightly translucent beneath the exhibition lights. It has the purity of a chaste maiden with impeccable virtues.

Sarpaneva K1 with fire enamel dial

Sarpaneva has not completely avoided mention of his name, employing subtle engraving of his soubriquet on the sapphire crystal adjacent 1 o’clock. Nevertheless it is discreet and unobtrusive.

It seems ironic that in disregarding the well-used marketing tools of overt branding and logos, Sarpaneva has created a watch which will probably become a resounding commercial success.

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