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Meet Bravur Watches

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles Sponsored Post written for aBlogtoWatch by Bravur & Dan Bengtsson

Bravur is known for well-designed mechanical watches in the affordable-luxury segment. Less known is that they build their watches in-house in Sweden. Learn more about this and the background behind the brand in an interview with Johan Sahlin — one of the two founders — conducted by writer Dan Bengtsson.

Dan: For those not familiar with the brand Bravur, give a short description of what it’s all about.

Bravur is a Swedish design-driven watch brand offering high-quality timepieces at an accessible price-point. All our mechanical watches are hand-built in Sweden by our own watchmakers. We want to offer the perfect companion that’s relevant to your everyday life, rather than something you can wear in outer space.

The different collections have different sources of inspiration and purpose with each design, but common to all is a clean appearance balanced with interesting details to discover over time. It’s important for us to give the watches character and a clear Bravur DNA.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Model BW003 with a black dial and a 39 mm case.

Dan: When and how did everything start for you?

After being rivals as mountain-bike racing cyclists in our younger years, Magnus Äppelryd and I eventually ended up in the same university class, and that’s where our friendship started. We both have backgrounds as industrial designers, mainly working with sports/outdoor products and within med-tech.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Model BW003 with a silver dial.

We discussed for a long time that we wanted to create our own brand someday and, in 2011, it finally became a reality when Bravur was founded. It took about two years to launch our first collection of Swiss-made quartz watches. Finding the right suppliers was one of the biggest challenges back then, which is why it took time to launch.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

A close-up of the beautiful midnight blue dial of the Scandinavia model.

Dan: Why did you decide to start a watch brand? Was it an obvious decision to move into watches?

None of us had any background within the watch industry or collecting watches, so it was not obvious at all that it should be watches. We discussed a lot of different alternatives, and it was not until Magnus was about to buy a new watch that we started discussing watches.

What initially caught our interest in working with watches is the mix between fine mechanics, industrial design, and fashion — all combined for something you actually wear every day. This was a perfect mix for us, given that we both have a big interest in men’s fashion. We also saw opportunities in creating a contemporary brand, not justifying its existence by an old heritage but actually contributing by adding relevance for the customers.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

The beautifully decorated and rhodium-plated Sellita SW300 movement.

Dan: You were actually quite early with starting a microbrand. What has changed since then?

Yes, I definitely think we were quite early back in 2011. One major thing that is different nowadays is finding suppliers. When we started, there were not that many companies that wanted to work with a small, fresh brand which, moreover, asked for complex requirements, so we had a very tough time finding the right suppliers. Now it’s much more common with microbrands and the manufacturers see value there.

The interest in and the market for microbrands has definitely grown since we started, but so has the competition, as well!

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Assembling a BW003 in the workshop in Båstad, Sweden.

Dan: You started out with quartz movements before going into mechanical in your more recent models. It seems like your focus has changed a bit since the start?

From the start, the brand was mainly design-focused and quartz movements were a natural choice. We sourced the production to a partner in Switzerland and received really high-quality timepieces. But gradually our passion for and interest in mechanical watches grew, and we started dreaming of having our own assembly site in Sweden.

Said and done — in 2017 we launched our first automatic collection, BW003, which was built in Sweden. Since then, our sales have shifted from only quartz to almost exclusively mechanical watches.

We still have a strong design focus, but it’s really important for us to create watches made of the finest materials and with high-quality movements. I guess you would position us in the affordable-luxury category, and we want to offer good value, which doesn’t mean being cheap, though.

We have high ambitions when it comes to quality and the movements and materials we use, which of course is costly.

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The Geography model has a case machined from Swedish stainless steel.

Dan: The Swiss-made label is seen as a guarantee of quality and precision, so why did you decide to start your own assembling in Sweden?

It’s quite convenient to let someone else take care of the difficult stuff, but we are triggered by gaining the knowledge ourselves. By performing the assembly in-house, we also have full control of the production process, and we get the know-how and expertise in-house, too.

Having our own watchmaker also makes things much more personal. The mechanical watches are built on order, so every watch is specifically built for each customer. The same watchmaker follows the watch from start to finish and performs all the testing before it’s sent to the customer. We also regulate the movements in order to meet our accuracy demands. Inside the case, the watchmaker engraves his signature and date as a sign of pride to the craftsmanship.

Assembling in Sweden also goes well with our ambition to produce as much as possible locally, but we have not abandoned the Swiss totally — all movements are manufactured there.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Model BW003 with a heavily domed sapphire crystal.

Dan: You mentioned your watches are built on order. Do you offer personal customization, as well?

Yes, we build all our mechanical watches on order, and it is possible to do some customization, like case finishing, special colors, etc. This offering will be further developed in the future.

Dan: Can you tell me more about the Swedish steel you use?

Sweden has a long reputation for making some of the finest steel in the world, and we want to use as many Swedish materials as possible. That’s why we decided to source the steel directly from Sandvik, a Swedish steel producer. Maybe it doesn’t make a big difference in performance, but it’s surely a nice thing to wear Swedish steel around your wrist. And it also speaks to our ambition and care for what we’re doing.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Dan: Your Swedish heritage seems important for you. Would you say you have a typical Scandinavian design philosophy?

Yes and no. We do have a simple and clean design and a functional approach but we are not pure minimalists. We always try to find a balance between clean design and interesting details. In trying to remove as many elements as possible, you also risk making the design boring. Unique and unitary design elements are part of our design DNA, so it’s important for us to create a Bravur style, making our watches recognizable.

Dan: What is most important for you when creating a new model?

A new watch must be one we would proudly put on our own wrists! It’s also important that it fits in with the brand and what Bravur stands for, which include impeccable finish and high quality.

It’s important for us to create our own style and not copy others. There are surprisingly many brands doing this without any of their own ideas. That’s not the way we want to go.

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Dan: Could you tell me more about the leather straps? 

The strap is an important part of the watch, both because it changes the look of the watch dramatically and also because it’s the main interface with the wrist.

We only use vegetable-tanned leather, which is kinder to the environment and the skin. In addition, it ages more beautifully than the more industry-standard chrome-tanned leather. Vegetable tanning is a traditional method of tanning, using organic vegetable tannins from bark. The leather is sourced from small tanneries in Sweden and Italy.

Dan: Finally, last year saw the introduction of the Scandinavia model, and your first GMT watch, the Geography series. Do you have any news this year?

Yes, we do! Without revealing too much, we have some exciting limited-edition models coming up, as well as some new colorways for existing models.

The Current Watch Lineup

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

Scandinavia

Case: Solitär, 39 mm, Sandvik stainless steel, produced in Sweden
Caseback: Stainless steel
Movement: Sellita SW300-1, Swiss Made automatic 25 Jewels
Frequency: 28 800 A/h (4 Hz, 8 beats per second)
Power Reserve: 42h
Dial: Curved with applied hour indexes and printed inner minute ring. Date at 6 H.
Hands: Hour, minute, and second
Lug Width: 20 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire with internal anti-reflective coating
Strap: A variety of vegetable tanned leather straps
Water Resistance: 5 ATM
Price:  $995

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

BW003

Case: Solitär, 39 mm, Sandvik stainless steel, produced in Sweden
Caseback: Stainless steel or sapphire crystal
Movement: Sellita SW300-1, Swiss Made automatic, Rhodium plated, decorated bridges
Frequency: 28 800 A/h (4 Hz, 8 beats per second)
Power Reserve: 42h
Dial: Curved bi-colored with chromed applied hour indexes, filled with Luminova C1
Hands: Hour, minute, and second
Lug width: 20 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire with internal anti-reflective coating
Strap: A variety of vegetable tanned leather straps
Water Resistance: 5 ATM
Price: From $1,320

Meet Bravur Watches Featured Articles

GEOGRAPHY

Case: Solitär, 39 mm, Sandvik stainless steel, produced in Sweden
Caseback: Sapphire crystal
Movement: Sellita SW330-1, Swiss Made automatic, Rhodium plated, decorated bridges
Frequency: 28 800 A/h (4 Hz, 8 beats per second)
Power Reserve: 42h
Dial: Curved with applied hour indexes/numerals
Hands: Hour, minute, second and GMT
Lug width: 20 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire with internal anti-reflective coating
Strap: A variety of vegetable tanned leather straps
Water Resistance: 5 ATM
Price:  From $1,650

You can learn more about Bravur watches at bravurwatches.com

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  • Yanko

    Like today’s newsreels – banal.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    You sure love them crowns huh?

  • Independent_George

    These aren’t that bad. I kinda like them.

  • Larry Holmack

    To bad they’re so small…. I kind of like the Geography model. In a 46 – 47 mm version… I’d be interested.