Available Now: The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition
Last week, we introduced our latest watch collaboration. For me, it’s one of the most exciting as it’s been such a long time coming. As we’ve said before, such projects take time to come together. Still, this one has been in the pipeline for quite a while, and I’m immensely proud to introduce the Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition, available to pre-order now in the Fratello Shop! Over 12 months in the making, this watch is a labor of love and passion for the intrepid adventurers at Straum and the Fratello team.
After we were big fans and supporters of their initial release in 2021, Lasse and Øystein were receptive to working with Fratello on their follow-up release. The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition is part of Straum’s Jan Mayen collection, resulting from many months of hard work and, for Straum, a grueling adventure in the harsh wilderness of Norway’s Jan Mayen island. Straum draws its creative inspiration from the natural rawness of the Norwegian landscapes. Lasse and Øystein wanted to take things up a notch by living that inspiration firsthand for the Jan Mayen collection. To really experience the brutal beauty of Jan Mayen up close and personal, Straum undertook an arduous two-week expedition culminating in an ascent of the Beerenberg volcano, which dominates the Jan Mayen skyline. This adventure went on to form the background for the new collection’s dial colors and textures.
It’s the little details that make all the difference
All watch collaboration projects we work on here at Fratello are exciting. Of course, they are, or we wouldn’t do them. With this particular project with Straum, we worked in close consultation with Lasse and Øystein on the evolution from Opphav to Jan Mayen. The case diameter saw a slight reduction from 40.8mm to 39mm, resulting in a more modern appearance on the wrist. Furthermore, the bezel width increased from 3mm to 3.75mm. The wider bezel means a slightly smaller dial aperture, which focuses your attention on the stunningly vivid red backdrop. At just 11.3mm thick, including the domed sapphire crystal, this watch will have a sleek fit, ideal for everyday life.
Even though these fractional modifications may sound insignificant, they have profoundly impacted the watch’s overall wearability and visual impact. After all, it’s the little details that often have the most profound effect. Additionally, 0.75mm may not sound like much, but as a percentage increase, it’s actually somewhat rather significant! Wearability is a crucial factor to consider in modern steel sports watches. Straum listened carefully to the feedback from its community and made sure it met those expectations. The evolution of the Jan Mayen has resulted in a timepiece that is, in my humble opinion, many times more refined and wearable than many other watches occupying this sector.
The Jan Mayen bracelet is a thing of beauty and class
Moving on to the bracelet, the basic design remains unaltered from the one introduced for the Opphav last year. Straum decided to move to a fully integrated fit with the case for the Jan Mayen collection. The traditional “end link” attachment has been replaced with a genuinely integrated fit, providing a cohesive aesthetic with a more seamless and luxurious appearance. There’s a lot to be said for the visually pleasing flow of a bracelet into the case; if it was good enough for Genta, that speaks volumes.
You operate the bracelet via the custom, signed butterfly clasp. While this style of clasp is slim and subtle, it often comes at the cost of micro-adjustment. To address this concern, Straum has included two links at 130% size so you can find a perfect fit. No more being stuck in between link sizes. I sometimes fell foul of this issue with other watches but found precisely the perfect fit while sizing the Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen for my wrist. I just wish I had noted the sizing for when I get my own piece; you know damn well I am buying one for my collection!
The lava-like dial brings Beerenberg to life on your wrist
The star of the show here is undoubtedly the stunning “lava red” fumé dial. Expertly framed by the elegant case, the dial can express itself, taking inspiration from the basaltic lava core of the mighty Beerenberg volcano of Jan Mayen. To produce the dials, first, the texture is stamped into a brass dial disc. Then, the striking red gradient is achieved via several complex steps of paint and other surface treatments. It’s an involved process which, of course, means the dial is not cheap to produce. That said, I hope you’ll agree the finished effect is most definitely worth it. In early prototyping, Straum tried various finishes and experimented with different texture depths. I was impressed with the lengths that Straum went to achieve “the perfect” result. The dedication to excellence really shines through with the finished dial.
The final stage of dial production is a coat of clear glossy lacquer. This amplifies the interaction with light, creating shadows and depth on the dial. When I visited Fratello HQ last month and first saw the watch in hand for the first time, I found myself standing by the window, losing track of time while taking wrist shots. As classic watch review lingo goes, the light play with this watch is just superb. Try to ignore the awful cliché as this thing is just mesmerizing. Just wait, your phone’s photo library will quickly fill with hundreds of wrist shots, and then we’ll see who’s laughing!
Dial-side harmony for the Jan Mayen collection
With excellent watch design, the little details make all the difference. For example, the relationship between the indices and the hands often gets neglected. These are two stalwarts of nearly every watch dial, but how often do we take a moment to truly appreciate them together as a single entity? Given their continuous interaction, it’s essential to consider them as one harmonious unit. If you examine the Jan Mayen collection closely, you’ll see that the hand shape is a seamless extension of the indices. All three hands and indices exhibit a harmonious design with the same contour and profile.
With the folded facets of the Opphav’s handset now gone, the Jan Mayen boasts a sleek and luxurious singular curve. This curve is much harder to produce, and it is a testament to the high-end construction of the watch. Furthermore, the curve accentuates the hands, resulting in smoother reflections and better interaction with the light. Additionally, the seconds hand’s counterweight matches the smaller lumed section on the minute hand, adding an extra flair of elegance. When these two hands overlay each other, the perfect alignment creates a pleasing aesthetic and showcases the attention given to every detail in this watch.
The LJP G101 is a worthy movement upgrade
Fratello’s recommendation played a crucial part in Straum’s selection of La Joux-Perret G101 as the movement for the Jan Mayen collection. Designed as a drop-in replacement for the ETA 2824-2/Sellita SW200-1, the LJP G101 has some notable upgrades over its counterparts. It features no date position (critical given the lack of date aperture on the dial) and has a power reserve of approximately 70 hours, significantly higher than the 38–42 hours offered by ETA/Sellita.
The G101 also boasts a tungsten rotor held in place with a three-screw setup. You’d usually find this in more premium movements like ETA’s 2892-A2 or Sellita’s SW300-1. Furthermore, the G101 has an exceptional finish with exposed, skeletonized wheels and a nicely beveled outer edge. The enhanced power reserve of the G101 made it the perfect fit for the Jan Mayen collection. Additionally, the superior finishing is highly appreciated and ultimately why Straum chose to display the movement through an open case back with sapphire crystal.
The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition is available now!
The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition is available to pre-order right now, for one week only, ending next week on April 20th at 4:00 PM CEST. The price is just €1,600 (excluding VAT). Anyone who wants one can get one as it’s not limited by quantity, only by the pre-order time window. So, while you have some time to think about it, please don’t delay, as we will not produce this model again once the order period closes.
Straum anticipates delivery time to be about six months from the closure of the pre-order window. If we experience an exceptionally high volume of orders, we will communicate any change from the projected delivery dates directly. Let us know what you think of this fantastic collaboration. I may be biased, but it’s one of my favorites yet. Happy adventuring, Fratelli!