Magnetism is the ancient enemy of watchmaking, the invisible threat to all those whirring, turning moving parts. Sure, it’s what makes a compass work but if just one part of a watch gets magnetised, the whole thing needs to be taken apart or it just won’t run properly. It’s a threat that Swedish watchmaker E.C.Andersson has taken very seriously indeed in their elementary force-defying Göta-Lejon Kontra-Gauss GMT.
Gauss, in case you didn’t know, is the measurement of magnetic forces, ranging from the pull of North to the inside of an MRI machine. The former, as low as 0.25 gauss, doesn’t really affect us much, the latter, up to the nearly 100,000 mark, can kill you with a paperclip.
The Kontra-Gauss protective shield wrapped around the movement of E.C.Andersson’s new watch is the result of two year’s R&D and can effectively redirect 3,600 gauss of magnetic current away from the movement. This itself is tucked within four layers of steel that further absorb magnetism for a watch that can survive anything short of an MRI.
Of course, four layers of steel and one of anti-magnetism doesn’t necessarily make for a sleek watch. In fact, in other hands the result could be a bulky mess. Andersson however have used both 3D printing and milling techniques to not only lessen the amount of chunky material used in the case of the watch, but to create flawless finishing across the board.
Grinding, sanding, bead-blasting and polishing have resulted in mirror-like surfaces and dramatic angles to catch the light at different angles, while an enamelled oscillating weight is a gorgeously unnecessary finishing touch. With a shimmering blue dial and contrasting yellow GMT hand, the Göta-Lejon Kontra-Gauss GMT as handsome on the basic aesthetic level as it is in the finest details.
That’s all the more impressive when you realise each watch is made to order in Göteborg, Sweden and largely by founder Erik C Andersson himself. That means that, while there’s a lead time for each watch, you’re getting something entirely built for you by a master of the craft. If you enjoy the Swedish provenance, know that even the iron ore for the case is mined in country – mine to wrist rather than farm to mouth.
The only major part of the watch to come from the outside is the base movement, which is a Sellita SW300 GMT number. It’s still a reliable, accurate movement at it’s most basic level and once it becomes part of the Kontra Gauss, is given an overhaul including that new rotor, top decorating and additional shock protection.
Traveller’s watches like the perennial GMT are a classic horological staple; but the Göta-Lejon Kontra-Gauss GMT takes it further. Not only it is a stunning timepiece worthy of the jet-set, but it will avoid the daily peril of getting magnetised (which happens far more than you might think). After all, even a second time zone can’t tell you the hour back home if the entire watch has become a giant, self-attracting magnet.
Be quick though, the first black version sold out very fast on release and the blue version is limited to only 50 pieces. Purchase now and get delivery in June.
Price & Specs:
Model: Göta-Lejon Kontra-Gauss GMT
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 10mm height, polished stainless steel, blue or black sunray dial
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre ECA02GL1, automatic, 24 jewels
Power Reserve: 42h
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Functions: Central hours, minutes and hacking seconds, 24-hour GMT
Strap: Three in total: waxed integrated Kudu leather with deployment buckle, micro-adjustable, integrated steel bracelet and Italian rubber
Price: 2,100 USD / 1,900 EUR (excl. VAT)
More details at E.C.Andersson.