Bravur is a brand based in Stockholm, Sweden, with a manufacturing unit in Båstad. It was founded in 2011 by industrial designers Magnus Äppelryd and Johan Sahlin. Up until now they had made quartz watches with a distinctive minimalist design. They have now introduced BW003, their first mechanical watch, with a Swiss-made movement. At the bottom of the dial there are the words “Swedish soul – Swiss heart.”
Swedish steel case, minimalist dial
The Bravur BW003 has a “Solitär” case in Swedish stainless steel, 39 mm in diameter. Swedish steel has a reputation for being the highest quality in the world, and the steel used by Bravur is made by Sandvik, a company dating back to 1862. The same supplier as used by Rolex. The distinctive features of the case are the fluted bezel side, and another ring of fluting on the caseback, around the sapphire glass window. It is available in versions with black or silver-toned dial, and with solid steel or display caseback. Hour indices are applied, with SuperLuminova; hour and minute hands are skeletonized and have SuperLuminova at the tips. Other nice touches are the circular date window, which coordinates with the recessed crown. Bravur’s watchmaker engraves a signature inside the case as a mark of pride in his craftsmanship.
The case thickness is 10.5 mm in the version with display caseback, but the perceived thickness is slim, because a lot of the physical thickness is the domed sapphire watchglass and the curved profile of the caseback. As a result, the watch is truly multi-purpose, an everyday watch with a smart casual look, but with sufficient minimalism to be worn as a dress watch. The 39 mm size also makes it unisex.
The watch has a vegetable-tanned leather strap in black or brown, using leather made by Swedish tannery Tärnsjö Garveri. Other strap options are available, in addition to a stainless steel Milanese bracelet.
The watch is powered by a Swiss-made Sellita SW300 automatic movement, with 25 jewels, about 42 hours power reserve, perlage, decorated bridges and engraved rotor. The triangular pattern that appears on the rotor, and on the steel caseback of the watches with solid caseback, is Bravur’s brand pattern, based on the two triangles formed by the letters”AV.” Those two letters also appear on the crown.
Bravur BW003 prices
Prices start at $1,350 (excluding VAT) for the versions with steel caseback (SB), and $1,465 (excluding VAT) for the versions with sapphire display caseback (DB).
Interview with Bravur co-founder Johan Sahlin
What are the features that set your watches apart from others?
“In general we put a lot of effort into having a consistency in the design so one can identify the watch as being a Bravur without seeing the logotype. Some design elements I can mention, besides the AV pattern on the rotor, caseback and crown, are the knurling texture on side of the case, the hollow crown, the ‘see-through hands’ and of course the minimalistic and well-balanced graphics of the dial. The watch design is quite unique with its combination of retro inspiration and contemporary minimalism. Our overall aim is to offer accessible luxury and a personal experience. Obviously the watch pricing is competitive if you consider movement/decoration level, materials, extremely thick convex sapphire, vegetable tanned leather and so forth. But also the fact that each watch is built to the customer’s order, in low volumes (the first batch was only 50 pieces) by our own watch maker in Sweden.”
So you are in direct contact with customers?
“Yes, we have a tight communication with customers to enhance the personal relationship. Each watch comes with a hand-signed certificate, and the watch maker engraves his signature inside the case. All these small factors enhance the feeling of a personal connection to the watch.”
In your press release, you said that “you realised that the watches you wanted had not yet been created.” What were you looking for?
“In general watch brands tend to have a very diverse design language making it hard to identify a specific brand without seeing the logotype. Of course there are a few brands that do a good job, but we wanted to create a strong and consistent design language as a basis. The communications around watches and brands often present a macho lifestyle connected to fighter aircraft, space or deep-sea diving. We wanted to create a contemporary brand communicating modern values and to offer watches that work as your everyday companion.”
What is your vision for the future of your company? Would you like to move towards making your own movements?
“Our vision for the future is to keep on going in this direction; to produce as much as possible locally in Sweden, for two reasons: to have full control over the whole production chain but also to minimize our environmental footprint. We want to create an overall experience when purchasing the watch, not just a one-time purchase. Giving a customers the possibility of coming to our studio while his or her watch is being built. Still keeping the accessible luxury pricing. At the moment we don’t see ourselves developing in-house movements, but complications could absolutely be interesting to look into.”
In the photo below, Bravur founders Johan Sahlin and Magnus Äppelryd.