The S.U.F. Paroni celebrates a motorcycling great
Inspired by Finland’s motorcyling legend, Jarno “Paroni” Saarinen, S.U.F created its Paroni watch to honour the memory of the skilled daredevil – a childhood hero of the brand’s founding watchmaker, Stepan Sarpaneva.
Jarno had that same Finnish Sisu, we talk about. He was ready to put down the extra mile, did it mean to rebuild his engines before every race or to polish the spokes to gain that small amount of aerodynamic advantage. Jarno and Soili was always up for it. To reach Grand Prix title, they had to sacrifice a lot. Running the racing in Europe with very much same way as Independent watchmakers – low budget, but lots of soul and all focus on the doing side. We do feel close connection. He does remind us all that good things can happen if one is ready to work for it.
A qualified mechanical engineer, Saarinen was famous for tuning and maintaining his bikes himself – a great asset to Yamaha, whom he helped to develop one of the fastest machines of the time. Just one of his daring modifications, to enhance his signature "hang-off" style, Saarinen lowered the handle bars and angled them downwards at an extreme angle
But it was not all about daring style that got Jarno to the top. He was always very aware that racing fast did mean that everything had to be right. Keeping books of gear rations, checking the tyres, improving aerodynamics where they could and keep the racing fun. Jarno was a humble guy, did like to keep things fun but when it came down to business and racing. It was all down to knowledge that everything had be done. There is no shortcuts in racing as there sure is no in watchmaking.
Saarinen, fondly known as “The Flying Finn”, won the Grand Prix title back in 1972 and remains the only Finn to have ever done so. That following year, at the fourth Grand Prix of the season at Monza, Italy, he was well on to his way to securing a second title, but crashed into Renzo Pasolini who had lost control of his bike in front. Unfortunately the crash proved to be fatal for both racers, and 13 other racers were seriously injured in the pile-up.
The legend of the “Paroni” still lives strong, in both memory and S.U.F.’s long-time horological tribute: a solidly built wristwatch, driven by a Swiss mechanical movement, regulated at the SarpanevaUhrenFabrik workshop, crowned by a dial whose racy red and white design directly echoes The Flying Finn’s iconic helmet art.