If you're a relative newcomer to watchmaking, it helps if you come with a point of difference. For the enterprising duo behind Bravur Watches – Johan Sahlin and Magnes Äppelryd – that's a background in industrial design matched by a demonstrable passion for the sort of sleek, mid-century styling that makes watches of Fifties and Sixties so enticing.
Starting with a simple, three-hand-with-date quartz model back in 2013, their hunch that not everyone needs every last complication has paid off. In 2017 Bravur launched its first automatic model and earlier this year debuted two new pieces: the three-hand-with-date automatic Scandinavia model and the brand's Geography GMT, now available in a limited edition (of 25), which features a fetching forest-green dial as well as a gold- and titanium-plated Sanmac steel case.
Style-mongers will no doubt have clocked the vintage-style sector dial and domed sapphire crystal atop the nicely milled case decoration as offering a level of interest often missing in models at this price point. But while a lot of effort has clearly gone into the aesthetics, the boys from Bravur haven't stopped there.
As the two founders say, "We put down a lot of effort in creating well-built watches with the highest finish and quality and carefully choosing the materials and parts we work with. All the mechanical watches uses Swiss-made movements, but we have decided to have our own watchmaker to do the assembly and testing in Sweden to get a better control and flexibility in the production. All watches are built to order for every customer in low volumes."
This also goes well with Bravur's ambition to use as much local materials as possible. Sandvik, the company producing its steel, dates back to 1862 and the leather for the straps is also from Sweden: Tärnsjö Garveri is one of the few remaining tanneries in the world working with vegetable tanning, using only natural ingredients during the tanning process.
These are handsomely priced, easy-to-wear models that punch beyond their weight in terms of finishing and design legitimacy. And the fact its founders have chosen, wherever viable, to shop locally means their carbon footprint is relatively low too.