Sarpaneva x Moomin: Stepan Sarpaneva Celebrates 75 Years Of Moomin With This Scandinavian Fantasy For The Wrist
by Anders Modig
Stepan Sarpaneva has launched Sarpaneva x Moomin for the 75th anniversary of Moomin. As I grew up in Scandinavia, please allow me to take a quick trip down memory lane with regard to this interesting watch, which has been shortlisted in the Petite Aiguille category of November 2020’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Moomin Valley is a place where melancholy reigns. It is a place where things are fair, but sprinkled with charismatic, uncontrollable, and at times annoying characters.
The Moomin™ universe was created 75 years ago by the late Swedish-speaking Finn Tove Jansson. It’s a microcosm comprising Jansson’s fairytale version of Scandinavia thrown in a blender with Roald Dahl and a sprinkling of J.R.R. Tolkien.
And that’s all present in the Sarpaneva x Moomin watches honoring the 75th anniversary of Jansson’s highly successful book, The Moomins and the Great Flood. Soon after its release in 1945, the Moomin characters enjoyed the adoration of millions of readers around the world.
Growing up in Sweden and spending part of my summers in Finland in the 1970s and 1980s, Moomin was ever present: at least one of Jansson’s 12 books could be found on every kid’s bookshelf. An airing of the animated series was sacred time on one of the only two television channels available at that time. And there were also theater plays, TV shows, animations, cartoons, and theme parks. My first piggy bank was shaped like Moominpappa, with the slot for the coins in the top of his opera hat. You get the picture.
Having now lived in Switzerland for eight years, I have lost touch with Moomin, but according to Sarpaneva Moomin is as present as ever. “In Finland Moomins surround us in everyday life . . . I have never really been a huge fan. But now . . . I have started to dig it more!”
According to Wikipedia, the Moomin phenomenon is growing despite the fact that Jansson passed away in 2001. In 2017, the Moomin brand was estimated to generate around €700 million a year.
With such a grand business empire, Moomin watches have already been made (including by Sapaneva) – but never before in this quality and with such artistic value. In 2017, Sarpaneva’s more affordable S.U.F. sub-brand offered a Moomin 50-piece limited edition that sold out in a record one minute and 36 seconds.
Sarpaneva explained, “In 2017 it was a watch made for a group of collectors with the Moomin character The Groke on the back. The new watch is a more serious collaboration with Moomin characters to celebrate 75 years of Moomins.”
Sarpaneva x Moomin
Sarpaneva x Moomin is sensibly sized at 38.7 mm, powered by a stainless steel case and automatic Soprod A10 movement, and comes in a limited edition of 75 pieces (3 x 25). The three versions have either blue, steel, or gold hands. The big showstopper is the triple-layer skeletonized dial with eight hand-painted Super-LumiNova colors creating unique combinations.
The dial is based on Jansson’s illustration of Moomintroll dreaming, which she made for her book Moominsummer Madness published in 1954. Although Jansson’s original was in black and white, Sarpaneva set out to create something in color while still respecting the original illustration, using, in his own words, the “Moomin magic . . . so when the night comes your dreams will be different to someone else’s, and come alive!”
The lume work on the skeletonized dial is made by Sarpaneva Watches’ Teemu Timperi, who paints the dials with Super-LumiNova, which solidifies after application. The dial also has a lower layer and a third peripheral grid with a typical Sarpaneva pattern.
Sarpaneva x Moomin is powered by an automatic Swiss Soprod Caliber A10 decorated in Sarpaneva’s Helsinki studio with perlage. It has a power reserve of 42 hours.
I asked Sarpaneva how he describes the Moomin universe and he answered in his typically concise manner, “#notforeveryone.”
One Sarpaneva x Moomin watch will be auctioned by Phillips, with the proceeds going directly to the #OURSEA campaign run by Moomin and the John Nurminen Foundation. #OURSEA collects funds to clean and protect the Baltic Sea.
For more information, please visit www.sufhelsinki.com/products/sarpanevaxmoomin.
Quick Facts Sarpaneva x Moomin
Case: SUPRA 316L/4435 stainless steel, 38.7 x 8.9 mm
Dial: three-part stainless steel, hand-finished, middle dial skeletonized and hand-painted with 8 different Super-LumiNova colors
Movement: automatic Caliber Soprod A10, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency, 42-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 75 pieces, 25 pieces each in 3 color combinations
Price: €6,200 (VAT 24%); outside EU: €5,000 plus applicable taxes
© Moomin Characters™ Moomin is a trademark of Moomin Characters Oy, Ltd.