swedish watches

Swedish Watches: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Did you say, “Swedish?”

When you start a discussion about Swedish watches, be prepared for the participants to think you’ve said, “Swiss watches.” The reason behind this is mainly because Sweden has been a rather late entry to the international watch market.

However, they are rapidly building an excellent name for their strong line of watches that combine the legacy of Scandinavian design and innovation with dependable movements, often at surprisingly affordable prices.

There are now enough Swedish watches available to suit just about every need and every budget, from whimsical and fun fashion statements to elegant and unique formal accessories. Swedish watchmakers offer classical pieces for the watch collectors serious enough to call themselves “horologists” and watches with bespoke engineering worn by racing drivers, pilots, and astronauts.

Most watches are now built with standardized parts, mass-produced in Germany and Switzerland, Japan, and China. The differences to look for in watches are engineering and materials, as well as style and uniqueness.

Here’s a brief overview of what Sweden has to offer:

1. BOOM Watches

Reflecting the unique vision of Swedish fashion designer Niklas Dahlgren, BOOM was founded in 2016 through a successful crowdsourcing campaign. Dahlgren recognized a consumer trend toward customized and personalized design, including a wish for a unique style when it comes to accessorizing outfits with a matching watch.

BOOM watches are affordable and can be purchased fully assembled and pre-designed, or you can purchase by part, with an easily interchangeable strap, outer case, bezel, and dial. This modular design provides you with the opportunity to create the watch you want to wear and easily customize it to suit any occasion, style, or mood. Quickly change from casual to dressy by changing the parts without using tools!

Category: Fun and fashion

Availability: Company web site which features a “Create Your Watch” section

Warranty: 3 years

Price Range: Most are in the $100 to $200 range, including interchangeable parts.

2. Knut Gadd Watches

Knut Gadd entered the watch industry in 2014, but the brand traces its origins back to 1916, through three generations of the Gadd family. Therese and Carl-Johan Gadd are known for sophisticated vintage and unique designs. The company got its name after the most famous family member, Knut Gadd, an Olympic swimming and water polo medalist.

Knut Gadd timepieces feature slim and elegant cases, embossed dials, V-shaped hands, and facet-cut indices. The brand includes sophisticated waterproof sports chronographs, all masterfully designed in Stockholm, Sweden. They utilize Japanese quartz movement and a reasonable price point.

Category: Sports and sophisticated casual

Availability: Company web site

Warranty: 2 years

Price Range: Most are in the $225 to $275 range.

3. Larsson & Jennings Watches

Founded in 2012 by Andrew Jennings, Larsson & Jennings creates timepieces that emphasize style and fashion inspired by Swedish and British minimalist designs. Rather than follow the prevailing fashion industry practices of license agreements between huge companies and large-scale brands, Jennings set out to create a business with the values of constant innovation and creating classic, timeless products in a sustainable way and always striving to be better.

After a trip to Stockholm to visit his friend, Joakim Larsson, Andrew was inspired by the city’s minimal Scandinavian style, and the two decided to work together to create a watch striking a perfect balance between modern and classic.

Larsson & Jennings artisans create all watches in a state-of-the-art facility that emphasizes integrity and sustainability. Their watches have a sleek, sophisticated look that features slim cases and distinctive dials with a Roman numeral at 12 o’clock and indices for the rest of the hour markers. The movements are Japanese quartz.

Category: Fashion

Availability: Company web site and Amazon

Warranty: 2 years; optional lifetime extended warranty

Price Range: Most are in the $195 to $295 range.

4. Bravur Watches

Bravur is another Stockholm-based brand, founded by two friends, Magnus Äppelryd and Johan Sahlin, to create timepieces that could serve as an accessory to elegantly complete an everyday look. The idea was to communicate “an urban lifestyle, inspired by arts, design, music and other cultural movements.” They saw this at odds with the image of the macho jet-set lifestyle communicated by traditional brands.

Bravur features watches that are hand-built to order in Sweden in small quantities, individually numbered, with monogramming available. Before shipping, each individual watch is rigorously tested by a master watchmaker. Believing that great styling isn’t gender-specific, the designs are Scandinavian minimalist, giving them an elegant and somewhat retro look. Bravur uses the finest materials, such as rhodium-plated hands and sapphire crystals, with Swiss quartz movements.

Category: Luxury fashion

Availability: Company web site

Warranty: 2 years

Price Range: Most are in the $1195 to $1695 range.

5. TID Watches

TID was established in 2012 by Ola Bernestal and Petrus Palmer, in partnership with a Swedish design studio called Form Us With Love. The name Tid is the Swedish word meaning time. Their minimalist design watches are ideal for everyday wear with a touch of elegance. The look is clean, with the only noticeable branding punched into the side of the watch and on the wristband.

The collection includes a unique choice of materials, from a basic design with Japanese quartz movement to models featuring a domed sapphire glass and a waterproof Swiss movement. For those seeking a colorful watch, there’s a model that uses the Swiss produced material, TR90, a durable and lightweight plastic that comes in a range of colors with matching silicone wristbands.

Category: Luxury fashion

Availability: Company web site

Warranty: 2 years

Price Range: Most are in the $225 to $300 range.

6. Triwa Watches

Four young friends established Triwa with the idea that they would use their creative studio in Stockholm only to create products that they want to wear themselves. Marketing would be done through fashion and lifestyle stores, rather than traditional watch retailers. The name reflects the goal of the company founders to “TRansform the Industry of Watches.” They are achieving their goal by blending contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship. Their stated goal is to make “statement symbols with a story to tell” for your wrist.

Featuring a wide variety of models, Triwa offers uniquely colored sports watches through chronographs and classic three-hand watches with an emphasis on the simplicity, creativity, and quality that are the hallmarks of Scandinavian design. The movement is Japanese quartz. Recently, they’ve started to extend their product line, including sunglasses and bracelets.

Category: Fashion and sports

Availability: Company web site, fashion & lifestyle stores, Amazon

Warranty: 2 years

Price Range: Most are in the $60 to $175 range.

7. Halda Watches

Founded in 1887, Halda is the oldest watch company in Sweden. The name is a contraction of the founder’s surname, Hammarlund(a). Halda is also Sweden’s most innovative high-tech watchmaker, having created another kind of customizable timepiece.

Reflecting its slogan, “The future is interchangeable,” Halda developed its “Digi-Mech” watches, a bold move that features a watch casing with two easily interchangeable modules, digital and analog. They also developed the Race Pilot, which is designed with a racing instrument and tested by race engineers and Formula 1 Drivers.

Halda’s engineering excellence and beautiful design have made it the choice of Formula 1 drivers, pilots, and astronauts (Halda is NASA-certified). All movements are Swiss, and the combination of imaginative and bold design with meticulous bespoke engineering makes Halda truly unique in the world of watchmaking.

Category: High tech precision

Availability: Company web site

Warranty: 2 years

Price Range: Most are in the $10,000 to $16,000 range.

Conclusion

From this small sample of Swedish watchmakers, you can already see how varied and diverse their offerings are. Although Swedish brands are not as well known internationally as Rolex, Seiko, or Fossil, they stand up well in a comparison of style, quality, and value. Anyone interested in a watch with real innovation and unique design should consider the Swedish watch.

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