When it comes to entry-level luxury watch brands we already know such brand like Tag-Heuer Omega, Breitling and many other popular names, but there are also small names that aren’t so known in the world of watchmaking, but they make really great quality watches! And today we are taking a look at one. The company is called Bravur! Bravur is an independent watch brand, based in Stockholm, Sweden. The brand was founded in 2011 by longtime friends Magnus Äppelryd and Johan Sahlin, with the ambition to create a personal embellishment to act as your everyday companion. Later after this article, I will also publish an interview with one of the founders Magnus, so stay tuned for that!
As you know nowadays the microbrand companies are popping up every day with new watches and they mostly feature quartz movements and back in 2011 Bravur was one of those companies who started with a quartz watch, but with a very nice design and build quality, but many people weren’t feeling good about the prices as they were 520$-610$ and that is a bit too much for a quartz watch in my opinion too! But after some time in 2017, they came up with their first automatic watch called simply BW003 which also is their first watch built and tested in Sweden by their own watchmaker! BW003 is truly an entry-level luxury watch in my opinion and you will see why in a bit.
In the BW003 line, we have two models: with silver and black dial. The one we have here is the silver dial version. I think this is one really amazing looking watch in my opinion. It isn’t amazing with some crazy design or something, but the quality and how well they executed that relatively simple design. In my opinion, this is just the perfect dress watch from any microbrand! In the rectangular cardboard box, you will get a very nice leather pouch. The leather is very soft and the pouch will probably gain some patina after some time and it is just perfect for travelling! Inside the pouch, you will have the watch, instructions manual, warranty and cleaning cloth. The packaging is very nice and isn’t overthought with tons of extra accessories. My first impressions when I unboxed the watch were good! I was very impressed by the built quality and I especially like that coin edged fixed bezel, it just gives a bit more detail to the simple looking case.
The case is made of Swedish steel, yes you read it right! Steel is sourced directly from Sandvik, a steel producer dating back to 1862. Sweden has a long history of producing some of the finest steel in the world! The case is very well machined, one of the best-machined cases I have seen in some time. All the lines and angles are sharp and well finished. The finishing on the case is a mix of polish and satin brushed. The finishing is done really well! The case size is 39mm which I think is the best size for a dressy looking watch! The thickness is also very good at 11mm and that is achieved by using the Sellita SW-300 movement. From lug to lug the watch measures at 44mm. Overall the proportions are very good for nice and comfortable everyday use! On top we have a very nice coin edged bezel which gives the watch a nice, but subtle detail as the case has a relatively simple design. At 3 o’clock we have a very nicely signed push-pull crown which is very easy to operate. I really like that deeply engraved top with the Bravur logo. The exhibition case back is held on with 6 small screws. The crystal on the back is a flat sapphire crystal. On the outer edge of the case, we have some writings like the number of production which mine is 59th. And of course kind of a signature text for Bravur with “Swedish Soul, Swiss Heart” which is quite an original idea. I like that the coin edge texture also continues on the case back around the crystal which is also a nice detail. There is actually an option to choose the case back: exhibition or solid case back. The exhibition case back that we have here will add 115$ to the price of the watch, but it is worth it in my opinion as the movement is well decorated! On top of the case sits a domed sapphire crystal with a blue AR coating which just gives the watch some extra personality. The water resistance is 5ATM (50M) which is more than you will ever need, and I don’t recommend taking it swimming, not that you want to swim with a dressy watch like this!
BW003 is built by hand in the small coastal town of Båstad, by our experienced watchmakers. Every watch is carefully tested and inspected several times during production. Assembly and all testing take approximately 10 days. If required the movement is regulated to meet their requirements. Inside the case, the watchmaker engraves his signature, as a way to show pride for his work.
The dial is also kept very simple, but still nice looking and unique! The dial is actually slightly curved towards the outer edge and has that vintage look. That is also helped a lot with making the watch slimmer. Around the edge of the dial, we have a black ring on which we have a 60 seconds track in white printing. The sunburst silver middle is very nice adding and it plays a lot with colours when the dial is exposed to the sun. On the sunburst silver circle, we have a black minute marks printed in black with applied rectangular hour markers in polished silver colour which are filled with Luminova C1 which glows like crazy in the night! The Bravur logo is at 3 o’clock and at 6 o’clock right above the circular date window we have a text “Automatic”. Around the circular date window, we have a polished frame. At 6 o’clock just at the bottom of the dial where the black ring is we have the same “Swedish Soul, Swiss Heart” text written just like the case back. The partially skeletonized, polished hour and minute hands are very nice looking, the tips are filled with lume. The second’s hand is stick shaped and has a curved end to match the curved dial. I like that the second’s hand reaches the end of the dial and it gives a more precise reading of the dial, many watch brands has seconds hands that even don’t reach the second’s track and it is hard to tell time sometimes. The dial is very simple and easy to read, you can just take a peek at the dial and immediately tell time, you don’t need to look at it for more than 5 seconds to figure out time.
The movement inside Bravur BW003 is the Swiss made rhodium plated Sellita SW300-1, featuring snail and perlage decoration, as well as a custom rotor which has a 42-hour power reserve and 25 jewels. In gold foil printing across the underside of the sapphire crystal is “Bravur,” partially obscuring the view of the movement, but it is subtle enough that you almost don’t notice it. The movement is a very good choice in my opinion as Sellitas are very reliable and easy to service. I have different versions in my own watches and they all work very well. The precision on this one was incredible, it runs under COSC specifications a -1,8 to 2 seconds a day which is crazy accurate! I actually tested it with Lepsi Swiss Watch Scope which is a portable movement accuracy measurement unit that you connect with your phone and use an app, a very cool device which will get it’s own review very soon, so stay tuned for that.
The strap that came with the watch is a vegetable tanned black leather strap. The leather is from Swedish tannery Tärnsjö Garveri, so you really can see that this is a true Swedish built and made a watch! The leather is really soft and has some nice grain on the top which will gain some nice patina in some time too. The underside is lined with softer black leather for more comfortable wear. The strap is very supple so it wraps your wrist nicely right out of the box. The included deployment buckle is a nice addition with Bravur logo engraved on the top and on the inside we also have engraved the “Swedish Soul, Swiss Heart” text. I found that it is very hard to click the clasp in the closed position, but I guess it gets easier after some time. The whole clasp has a polished finishing and is also done pretty good. On the wrist, the watch wears very comfortably and due to that 39mm size, it is a great daily wearer!
Overall I was really impressed by the watch and the company. Before the review, I read all the articles and everything and no one had anything bad to say about this watch or the company, and after looking at the watch in flesh,, wearing it for a month and testing I can agree! Yes, the price for some maybe is too big as this is just a microbrand, but you have to remember that this is a Handmade watch from Sweden that is very well built. For the price you get a great packaging, nicely machined case from the best steel available, sapphire on both sides, nice and legible dial, automatic Swiss made movement and a great strap with a clasp! I know that for this money you could get a vintage Omega or something like that, but if you want something unique then this is the watch to go with!
Case — Solitär, 39 mm, Sandvik stainless steel produced in Sweden
Case back — Stainless steel or sapphire crystal
Movement — Sellita SW300-1, Swiss Made automatic, Rhodium plated, decorated bridges
Jewels — 25
Frequency — 28 800 A/h (4 Hz, 8 beats per second)
Energy Reserve — 42 h
Dial — Curved bi-coloured black and silver with chromed applied hour indexes, filled with Luminova C1
Hands — Hour, minute and second
Lug width — 20 mm
Crystal — Domed sapphire with an internal anti-reflecting coating
Strap — A variety of vegetable tanned leather straps
Water Resistance — 5 ATM
Hand Built In Sweden