After covering Swedish startups Maen and Nezumi, I’ve been patiently watching the rise of other Scandinavian brands. This week we focus our eye on another as we spotlight Siduna and its first production watch: the M3440 Professional Uni-Compax Chronograph.
The new piece is based upon a 1973 standard-issue military chronograph produced for the Swedish Air Force, or Svenska Flygvapnet (vintage model pictured above, via Sotheby’s). It used a case design by Ervin Piquerez SA that originated in 1968 and is commonly seen in military chronographs by Breguet, Heuer, Sinn, and most notably Lemania, among many others. It was this Lemania version, formally known by its reference number 817, which has long been connected to the Swedish military; through time it has taken on the nickname “Viggen,” after the Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet that its wearers flew. Today Siduna, a historical Swedish watch brand absent from the market for more than 60 years, has revived the public-domain design in the first watch from its modern incarnation.
The 817 re-creation is a steel 42-mm chronograph with rectangular lugs, a screw-down waffle crown, and pump pushers. A black rotating bezel outlines the domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial. On the Super-Luminova-accented face is a white outer minute track marked at each five-minute mark, with printed Arabic numerals for each of the hours. At the 3 o’clock position is a 30-mintue counter, with a running seconds subdial parallel to 9 o’clock, with standard sword pointers sweeping over both to show the time.
Powering the M3440 is the Caliber 13 Phi, with the option of either a standard version or an adjusted flyback chronograph mechanism. The movement is based on an ETA 7750 which has been modified and finished by Siduna. The piece is currently available for pre-order and expected to ship in Fall 2018, with the standard model marked at 1,860 euros and 2,340 euros (pre-VAT) for EU residents, or approximately $2,175 and $2,735 for the American market. Each version is limited to 100 numbered pieces, with the models bearing serial numbers 001, 010, 019, 080, 088, and 099 to be auctioned.
The M3440 is in most of its aspects a faithful reproduction of the vintage military-issue Lemania. With the same size at 42 mm, similar lugs, and a standard rotating bezel, the case of the modern watch is a nearly identical to the historical model’s except for a few distinguishing caseback markers common to the “Viggen.” Similarly, the dials of the 1973 and 2018 watches are also very similar, with the fonts, the sizing of the hour markers, the outer minute ring, and subdials all more or less identical The only differences are in the hour and minute hands, which are slightly thicker in the modern examples, and the placement of the subdials: on the vintage model they are closer to the center of the dial. Outside of this aesthetic change, the M3440 benefits from modern production techniques in movement technology and finishing— to be expected, as Siduna is marketing the new model as top-of-the-line rather than the utilitarian tool watch that Lemania produced.
Siduna is clearly looking to enter the market in style, and by choosing to recreate a popular vintage design tied to the brand’s home country of Sweden, it is positioning itself to do so successfully. Add to the interesting style a flyback chronograph mechanism and a two-year warranty, and the brand is presenting a high-quality timepiece few other startups have been able to manage in their initial releases. In the future, Siduna plans to release more watches, with the M3440 as both the pinnacle and starting point of the collection; the company is also currently working on sourcing new movements other than the modified ETA calibers it’s currently using.
For the most recent article in the “Vintage Eye” series, in which we compare the Cartier Santos to its historical counterparts, click here.
Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.