In conversation with Finnish Watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva

After quite a long while working in Switzerland, Stepan Sarpaneva got back to Finland to make his own image in 2003. From that point forward, the free Finnish watchmaker has formed a really close to home innovative universe. Stepan plans and specialties watches like no other. Since the current circumstance doesn’t permit us to travel to Helsinki and meet Stepan in his atelier inside an old link plant, we masterminded a telephone meeting to discuss his extraordinary way to deal with watchmaking…

Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – How did a youthful Finnish child wind up being a watchmaker and making his own watches?

Stepan Sarpaneva – I wound up in a watchmaking school unintentionally. I was not actually inspired by learns at secondary school… My mother revealed to me that perhaps I ought to emulate my father’s example and become a goldsmith. Along these lines, I applied to prepare as a goldsmith yet I needed to choose another choice and put down watchmaking. I experienced tests for the two schools and was chosen straightforwardly for the watchmaking school. For goldsmith, I was in the 6th situation on the holding up rundown. I imagined that I would go to the watchmaking school for one year and afterward apply again to the goldsmith apprenticeship.

I sorted out that watchmaking fit me better than anything I had done previously. I began at the Tapiola school in Finland in 1989 and completed in 1992. At that point, there was no work for watchmakers in Finland. Fortunately, I had applied to concentrate in Wostep in Switzerland, in Neuchatel. I began there toward the start of 1994 on their supplemental class. The Swiss watchmaking confirmation would be vital on the off chance that I needed to proceed to work anyplace. Following five months at Wostep, I graduated with the best results.

In summer 1994, I began to work with Piaget in the little town of La Côte-aux-Fées, in the after-outreach group. I remained there for over two years. Then, I returned to Wostep to follow their complicated watches and rebuilding course.

After the course, in 1997, I found a new line of work with Parmigiani. I was working in a little, two-man division with Kari Voutilainen. Two Finns in a similar atelier. Kari was my chief, I was his assistance and figured out how to function the conventional way. The name of the division was ‘Pièces uniques and private mark’. We were fundamentally responsible for uncommon undertakings, remarkable pieces, complications assembled the conventional way. It is critical to comprehend the manner in which we were working. I completed watches that necessary over 800 hours of handwork…

After that, I went to work with Vianney Halter in Sainte-Croix. At Parmigiani, I had figured out how to function the old fashioned way. With Vianney, I sorted out that there are decides however that you can likewise discard them, that you can consider new ideas. That was vital. I have labored for one 18 months with Vianney. We made the Trio, the Goldpfeil… It was an incredibly inventive work. Vianney was more a watchmaker than a money manager, yet it was really an educational time.

In the year 2000, I went to work with Christophe Claret. It was an approach to get a compensation consistently as arranged. I was producing winders and Westminster repeaters and I remained there until I returned to Finland. Claret had revealed to me that in the event that I returned to Finland he would give me some work. He did. That was something that encouraged me when I began my company here in Helsinki. I continued working for Claret for quite a while, in Finland and in Switzerland, until I had the option to live from my own work.

In 2003, you made Sarpaneva watches and in 2004 S.U.F Helsinki (SarpanevaUhrenFabrik, a more available sister-brand). What caused you to choose to make your own brand?

When I began to work at the Piaget aftersales administration, I needed to find out to an ever increasing extent. I was truly eager to learn and that gave me thoughts. I imparted my thoughts and insights however was informed that it was not my responsibility to configuration watches or movements.

My father was a gems architect, my uncle was a creator, my grandfather was a metalworker. I had that thought that we need to make something. The first watch I made was a pocket watch produced using my cruiser’s launch pinion. That resembled the beginning of the entire thing. All that I had done was for myself. Yet, at some point, while I was still at Parmigiani, a retailer saw that I was specially making a wristwatch and needed one. I thought ‘OK, that is cool, that may be something that I could do‘. I made a watch and I sold it. In any case, it required a couple of years before I began to take it seriously.

Unlike the majority of the brands available, your watches feel like really close to home creations.

You can be an excellent watchmaker however it doesn’t imply that you can make incredible watches. You can be an incredible creator yet envision watches that are difficult to make. That is rarely simple. It is hard to locate your own way, your own DNA that stays there. There’s continually something that you discover cool… I attempt to keep it my own particular manner, that it looks my style. I have been inclining spans for many hours during my vocation, yet I don’t really have to do that on my watches. I attempt to make incredible watches that are still sensibly valued. It’s anything but a lucrative machine. I need frankly and I would prefer not to attempt to become something that I would prefer not to be. I attempt to evade retailers, the press. Furthermore, I like it. I’m fortunate in light of the fact that I can manage my job from here in Finland. It gives me the opportunity to be different.

At a similar time, I follow intently what’s going on in the watch business. Yet, I attempt to avoid everything.

Where does your interest with the Moon come from? 

One day I trust you find the opportunity to visit me in Finland and you’ll comprehend. In wintertime we have that exceptional sunlight, the Moon is truly uncommon on the grounds that it is so dim here. It has been with me for my entire life. I can recall when I was a child skiing around evening time however you could see consummately due to the twilight. The Moon was there before we were here. The Moon is something worth being thankful for. On the off chance that you can show it in a watch…

From a watchmaking viewpoint, the Moon is truly sentimental. You can’t see that it is moving, yet it does and it is still there. It’s moving however you can’t see that it is moving.

How was the Sarpaneva Moon born?

At the 2007 Basel reasonable, I had no corner, I was going with my watches in a rucksack, showing them, for example, in a cafeteria on the off chance that somebody was intrigued. I was only a watchmaker showing my manifestations. However, toward the finish of 2007, Vianney called me and inquired as to whether I needed to come to their corner for 2008 that was at a similar spot as the AHCI. He advised me, ‘Philippe Dufour is done coming, he didn’t get anything’s to show, we have space, would you like to join us?

I said yes obviously. My first concern was the manner by which to pay for this and I applied for a new line of credit. Then I needed to make another model and wound up making three. That was the start of the Korona: the K1, the K2 and the K3 with moon stages. I had just planned the K3 complication coordinated into a Soprod type. It was anything but a module however a coordinated complication, that is the reason I utilized Soprod. It gave me the opportunity to do as such. For the moon, I had that yellow circle, it looked exhausting. Taking a gander at watchmaking history books, specifically, that of Breguet, I saw watches with a hand-painted face for the moon. That was the beginning.

I didn’t need a painted or engraved moon since I needed more profundity and volume. I needed it to be truly tridimensional. I planned something, made some stamp apparatuses, and an etcher’s hand to complete the lips, the eyes and that is what the look like of the face was conceived. Since 2008, a similar face is on my watches. It is a brand name. I like the possibility that it is unique and fun. I dislike a multiplication of the outside of the Moon.

In 2008 when I dispatched it, no other brand had faces on their moons. Two or after three years, it was everywhere.

Then a couple of months prior, there was the making of the Lunations.

Well, a many individuals didn’t comprehend my watches or pay attention to me as a watchmaker. It is only that I don’t care to talk so a lot and hotshot. I have dealt with the most excellent watches toward the finish of the 1990s, however it isn’t significant for me.

A parcel of individuals were asking me ‘are you going to make your own type?’. I generally imagined that I would do it sometime in the not so distant future, yet it required a great deal of cash. It was significant for me to continue doing what I was doing and began to do it gradually. I began dealing with the plan back in 2011, on the instrument that was utilized in the Lunations moonment. It was amusing to make and I required it for my own inspiration. I truly need to deal with projects this way, to assemble something without any preparation, from each wheel to each pinion. Returning to watchmaking like I was accomplishing for Parmigiani, Vianney Halter or Claret. I have orders for a few watches however it takes such a long time to make. I’m the solitary person that chips away at them, creating them one by one.

Business-wise, I should deal with these quicker however I simply make these for individuals. I’m not offering them to retailers. There must be a client. I attempt to keep the work that I do at a level that makes sense.

Last year, we made 25 watches for Sarpaneva and around 250 for S.U.F. It is an equilibrium. The S.U.F watches give me the opportunity to do what I need and to offer my watches to whom I want.

What’s next?

We have an uncommon undertaking coming, with good vibes, sentiments. It is a coordinated effort with another brand, not a watch brand. We’ll do a ton of things for that project in our workshop. I have sent one of my watchmakers to Switzerland to do an instructional class, to go to a Super-LumiNova course. We have purchased the machine and can make our own lume here. It will be intriguing…

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