MICRO MONDAYS: The Bravur x Wingårdh delivers Nordic modernism at its most clean and sereneThor Svaboe
In Scandinavia, our long dark winters should be a fertile breeding ground for horology. Just as the oppressive gloom sent the Swiss inside to tinker about with watchmaking tools and lathes, you might expect a similar tradition to have developed in these parts – Scandinavian design and Nordic minimalism are, after all, deeply engrained in our regional psyche. Alas, however, there are just a few watchmakers out here. Yet one that has gained traction is the Swedish brand Bravur Watches, whose clean-cut designs set it apart from the barrage of microbrands. Their latest offering, the Bravur x Wingårdh Limited Edition, epitomises the brand’s mid-century modernist style in the form of a quietly spoken dress watch that oozes understated Nordic elegance.
Bravur specialises in refined dress watches with a minimalist vibe that encompass an array of Swiss-made quartz and automatic watches in the Goldilocks sizes of 38 and 39mm. You’ll find the watches usually fitted on soft leather two-stitch straps with a tempting monogram option and a dial with an inner minute track.
This time, Bravur has collaborated with famed architect Gert Wingårdh and his son, the award-winning designer Rasmus Wingårdh, for a fresh take on the dress watch. The Bravur x Wingårdh Limited Edition is based on the brand’s automatic Scandinavia model but comes with an elegant twist.
The case has intricate detail work reminiscent of classic Japanese case design – a sharp compliment indeed. What this translates to is a dynamic tension between brushed and polished elements in a confident design, with a diameter that hits the 37mm sweet spot. The sides are brushed horizontally, while a distinct bevel on the lower part of the case ensures a slim ergonomic silhouette. Lugs flow simply with a pronounced curvature, a polished top section matching the rounded bezel in formal elegance, with the vintage touch of a box-shaped sapphire.
The Bravur x Wingårdh is limited to 50 examples in each colour, and the dials are where the watches punch seriously above their weight, in both the crisp white and dark midnight blue version. As it says at the base of the dial, these watches have a “Swedish Soul” and a “Swiss Heart” and it all comes together under the crystal. The minimalist aesthetic is conveyed through the contemporary Bauhaus vibe of the delineated minute track, while the dial centre is recessed in a delightful fish-scale pattern that nods to the Scandinavian coastline and maritime traditions. This design element is echoed in the hand-stitched leather strap, offering the same embossed pattern and dark green lining. Yes, us Scandis are extremely detail-oriented and it really shows here.
The white dial has a fresh pop of blue in the skeletonised syringe hands, while the dark blue version has lume-filled hands in polished steel. It is thoroughly refreshing to see small manufacturers like Bravur focusing on the importance of such intrinsic details, with two of my favourites being the broad monogrammed crown, and one of the best date windows this side of Switzerland. The date window is circular, edged by a polished silver bevel and, to my delight, its date wheel colours are oppositely matched. This results in a dark date wheel with a modern font for the white dial, and a white background with black numerals for the blue dial. If you have a beautiful date window then why not underline it, I say.
Behind the signed fish-scale patterned caseback sits the well-known Sellita SW300-1 with a 42-hour power reserve. The pièce de résistance? Have a closer look at the minute track on the white dial. This particular watch is number 50 in the limited run, with the fact subtly expressed by a circular marking on the minute track. Impressed!
Bravur x Wingårdh by Bravur Watches pricing and availability:
The Bravur x Wingårdh by Bravur Watches is $1290 US and is limited to 50 pieces per watch. For more details, visit Bravur Watches right here.