At Fratello, we regularly come across a lot of small independent microbrands. While we are privileged to experience some great watches through our work, seeing something truly unique is rare. In a world where new watch brands appear every day, doing something genuinely new is difficult, but the Norwegian brand Straum did just that. Over the past year, we have worked closely with the Straum team to produce the watch you see today. It’s a follow-up to the Opphav, the brand’s wildly successful debut model. I am pleased to introduce the Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition, a celebration of the wonder of the Beerenberg volcano in a visually arresting fashion.

You may have seen us talk about Straum’s Opphav here on Fratello. When Straum emerged during the pandemic, we all sat up and took note. Straum’s inaugural model was one of the more stunningly beautiful and aesthetically ambitious watches we’d ever seen from a true microbrand. Before we knew it, Straum was the talk of Fratello HQ. In our minds, the brand could fill a gap in the market calling for high-quality, independent alternatives to the €1K–2K price-bracket domination of Swatch Group brands like Hamilton, Longines, and Certina.

An adventure begins

We contacted Lasse and Øystein, the intrepid adventurers behind the brand. They were very receptive to our involvement in the total overhaul of the Opphav concept. Straum set out to design the new model, closely consulting with the Fratello team at the various stages of the design process. Together with Straum, we bounced ideas around for the best part of 12 months, finally resulting in the watches we proudly announce today. The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition is inspired by the Beerenberg, the volcano that dominates the skyline on the approach to the island of Jan Mayen.

The journey to Jan Mayen: Authenticity in inspiration

Those familiar with Straum’s Opphav collection will know how it is inspired by the natural rawness of Norway’s landscape. Lasse and Øystein wanted to harness that again for the follow-up collection, turning to inspiration from experience. A physically-demanding trip into the harsh, unknown landscapes of Jan Mayen defined the concept and completed the evolution.

It made sense for Straum’s team to undertake such a physically demanding exploration to create something genuine rather than a tenuous association that has become all too commonplace in this industry. Instead of inventing a story for a fully formed concept, Lasse and Øystein did it the other way around, forming the concept around a real expedition. This created an authentic story that gives real depth to the brand’s new collection. As such, their grueling two-week trip formed the background for the collection’s dial colors and textures.

So, what is Beerenberg?

Nestled between Greenland and mainland Norway in the Arctic Ocean, Beerenberg is the name of the volcano dominating the northeastern end of the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen. Sitting 2,277 meters above sea level, its name means “Bear Mountain” in Dutch and comes from the polar bears that Dutch whalers saw there in the early 17th century. Beerenberg’s most recent eruptions occurred in 1970 and 1985, but nowadays, the volcano is topped by a primarily ice-filled crater.

Despite not having erupted for 38 years, we took inspiration from the volcano’s fiery basaltic lava interior for our special edition’s color and texture pattern. While it may not seem like much, it took Straum several months and rounds of prototypes and manufacturing samples to achieve the final dial you see today. Starting with a stamped brass dial disc, the color application needed to complement the texture. Light play, despite the classic stereotype, was important here. Initial coating methods left too matte a finish. Thankfully, Straum’s dogged perseverance led to a breakthrough in achieving the beautiful combination of fumé color and glossy/metallic sheen. We couldn’t be happier with how this dial turned out, and we hope you like it too.

Ready to join your adventures

The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition is a watch designed to handle the rigors of Beerenberg in more than name alone. Fratello and Straum worked together to totally overhaul the Opphav concept while keeping the fundamental tool-watch characteristics, despite the visually arresting dials. It was important for both of us that the new collection could tackle the elements and the challenges faced on the trip.

Indeed, Straum’s team took early prototypes with them on the trip. I am happy to report that they performed admirably and exceeded all expectations. So, apart from the dials, what is new? We examined every minute aspect of the watch under a metaphorical microscope together. Nothing escaped the combined eyes of Fratello and the keen Norwegian designers.

The Jan Mayen features a newly sculpted case

Industrial designers by trade, Lasse and Øystein’s background in CAD design enabled them to map out everything very quickly — sometimes within hours of first discussing ideas and concepts. This fast prototyping allowed for such intensive scrutiny of the Opphav and ultimately allowed the creation of the Beerenberg/Jan Mayen watch. First and foremost, the case received numerous technical refinements to subtly alter the aesthetic. The bezel/case diameter shrank from 40.8mm to 39mm, creating a more modern sizing on the wrist. Additionally, the bezel width increased from 3mm to 3.75mm. While these numbers seem negligible, the effect is a watch that wears more like its on-paper specifications would suggest. For a modern steel sports watch, wearability is critical. The evolution from Opphav to Jan Mayen refines and improves wearability tenfold.

For the Jan Mayen Limited Edition, we see a more traditionally domed sapphire crystal. The Opphav’s crystal, due to its box shape, created a small amount of distortion around the dial’s edge. The softer curve of the new domed crystal results in much less distortion and easier viewing of the gorgeous fiery dial inside.

Another element that was altered was the case back. Upon Fratello’s recommendation, Straum chose to simplify things from the asymmetrically shaped Opphav case back. Instead, we now see a more traditional circular screw-down display back with a single-piece sapphire crystal. The finished case back is more straightforward but more effective (at least in my opinion!).

Hands down, the best bracelet at this price point

Next up is the bracelet. While the design remains unchanged from the version the brand introduced during the Opphav’s lifecycle, the integration to the case is much improved. The decision was made to forgo traditional attachment in favor of a genuinely integrated fit, giving a more cohesive and premium appearance. Butterfly clasps, while unobtrusive, don’t typically allow for any level of micro-adjustment. To combat this, Straum includes two longer links (130% size) to allow wearers to find the perfect fit. Those waiting for the bracelet for their Opphav, I can assure you this is worth the wait.

Straum’s masterclass in attention to detail

The interaction between the hands and the indices is often overlooked in watch design. Be honest; how often do you pay much attention to the shape of the hands and their harmonization with the broader design? If you look at the Jan Mayen hands, you’ll notice that they are an extension of the indices in shape. All three hands and the indices share the same shaping and profile. The Opphav’s fold makes way for a smooth and luxurious singular curve. This accentuates the hands, creating smoother reflections and interaction with the light. And as a little bonus, the counterweight of the seconds hand is the same shape as the smaller lumed section on the minute hand. As it passes, the perfect overlay of the two hands is incredibly satisfying and a highlight of the attention to detail in every aspect of this watch.

An impressive power reserve

Last but not least is the movement. This was yet another aspect of this watch that we wanted to improve upon compared to the Opphav. Based on Fratello’s recommendation, Straum adopted the La Joux-Perret G101 for the movement of the Jan Mayen collection. This movement, a no-date version of the G100, is a replacement option for the ETA 2824-2/Sellita SW200-1 but with several notable improvements. First, the G101 has a ~70-hour power reserve compared to 38–42 hours of the ETA/Sellita. I’ve long whinged about how a ~40-hour power reserve isn’t good enough today. However, La Joux-Perret is showing some serious balls with the nearly three-day power reserve here, which we wanted to take advantage of with the Jan Mayen Limited Edition.

The G101 also uses a tungsten rotor held on a ball race with three screws securing it in place. These are features usually reserved for more premium movements, such as ETA’s 2892-A2 or Sellita’s SW300-1. Additionally, the G101 has a superior finish with skeletonized, exposed wheels and a nicely beveled outer edge. While this is not high-end hand finishing, it’s nice to see some additional effort to make the workhorse caliber look nice. The upgraded finishing and technical capability of the G101 made it the logical choice for the Jan Mayen collection. The movement is visible through a screw-down case back with a special Fratello engraving.

The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition price and availability

We are very proud of this watch as it represents a true collaboration between Fratello and Straum. It’s not often that brands allow us to be quite so involved with developing a brand-new model, and we hope that you, the Fratelli, like the finished article here today. The bold “lava red” fumé dial is very special, and it turned out better than we ever expected. Paired with the refined and upgraded watch it sits within, the Jan Mayen Limited Edition is just that — special.

The Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition will be available for pre-order for one week, beginning April 13th at 4:00 PM CEST and ending on April 20th at 4:00 PM CEST. It will cost €1,600 (excluding VAT). This watch is limited by time, not by number, so anyone who wants one can get one. However, we will not produce this model again once the order period closes. Straum anticipates delivery time to be 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. Make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list to be notified as soon as the pre-order opens!

What do you think of our new collaboration? Let me know in the comments!

Follow me on Instagram: @davesergeant | @fratellowatches

Watch specifications

Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition
Stamped "lava red" dial with fumé effect
Case Material
316L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 45.82mm (lug-to-lug) × 11.3mm (thickness, including crystal)
Double-domed sapphire crystal with five layers of internal antireflective coating
Case Back
Screw-down display caseback with sapphire crystal and Fratello engraving
La Joux-Perret G101 — 24 jewels, 28,800vph (4Hz) frequency, ~70-hour power reserve, hacking seconds, no date position, engraved rotor
Water Resistance
10ATM (100m)
Fully integrated stainless steel bracelet with custom push-button butterfly clasp
Time only (hours, minutes, central seconds)
€1,600 excluding VAT (for residents within the EU, local VAT rate will be applied)
Two-year international warranty