Stepan Sarpaneva, the Finnish independent watchmaker behind the Sarpaneva Watches and S.U.F brands, has just introduced a new version of his killer Vetehinen dive watch. It boasts a staggering purple dial and a handsome bezel that was designed by London-based tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta.
We were fortunate to meet Stepan Sarpaneva (read this article about the man and his brands if you aren’t familiar with him) just ahead of Christmas 2017 in Dubai, which is when we had hands-on time with the new Vetehinen. (Thanks Stepan!)
This new watch is the result of a friendship that began at Salon QP back in 2012. According to Sarpaneva, Coppoletta is ‘a friend, tattooer, draughtsman and watch collector’, and the tattoo that Sarpaneva has on his left forearm is actually the work of Coppoletta. Since first meeting in 2012, the two have remained friends and the friendship ultimately resulted in the collaboration between S.U.F. and Mo Coppoletta Designs in 2017.
The result is what we believe is the most attractive Vetehinen reference to date. If you aren’t already familiar with this super-cool watch, check out our original review first by clicking here (and we recommend that you do).
This limited edition Vetehinen (limited to just 26 pieces) is much the same as the original, so you still get a well proportioned 42mm case, a grippy screw down crown, water resistance of 300m and a robust Eterna 3901A automatic calibre (65 hours power reserve) with a hacking function.
So, what does this model offer that’s different? Well, you get a special bezel, as well as a new dial color and leather NATO strap, so it’s more of an update rather than an all new watch but that’s to be expected given that this line of watches is still less than a year old. The unidirectional bezel sports a design conceived by Mo Coppoletta and is laser engraved and then hand finished. The engraving work is detailed and eye-catching but because it is laser engraved, the engraving doesn’t feel very deep to the touch. That said, it’s beautiful to look at in bright light or otherwise.
As with the previous Vetehinen models, the dial is the star of the show. In this case, you get a rich purple dial that – like previous models – comes from Finnish company Comblémine cadrans soignés. That company belongs to Kari Voutilainen and – as before – the execution is flawless. Exposed to light, the sunburst dial comes to life and is just breathtaking to look at; as light catches it from different angles, you’ll also notice slightly different shades of purple coming to light. It’s incredible and of all the time-only watches we’ve seen in the last 12 months for about $5,000, this is perhaps one of the most attractive and replaces the original copper-color dial as our favorite Vetehinen dial color.
This new Vetehinen model is also offered with two straps; leather NATO and rubber. The watch we looked at had the extremely soft leather NATO (deer skin) with a grey salmon skin strap (yes, actual salmon skin). Although the salmon leather NATO seemed an odd choice initially, we realised quickly that it suits the watch perfectly. The neutral color of the strap and steel case made the dial standout even more and we’re absolutely onboard with that.
The second choice – the black rubber strap – is probably the better choice if you want to go swimming with this watch but we reckon the leather NATO is the one we’d use the most because of how well it works with that beautiful dial.
All-in-all, S.U.F. has another awesome Vetehinen model on its hands. Sarpaneva told us that the Vetehinen was one of his most popular sellers in 2017 and it’s easy to see why – the watches are well built and finished, the dial color selection is stunning, the case is well proportioned and sits well on wrists and last but certainly not least, you get all this plus two straps for a little under $5,000 from a true independent.
This new collaboration piece boasts the same winning formula with little to no price premium over its predecessors, so I’ve no doubt that they will do well for the Finnish independent. Bottom line, if you’ve been eyeing a Vetehinen but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, we reckon this is the one to go for. Purple is our new favorite dial color because of this watch.
Check out Mo Coppoletta’s site by clicking here.