About a month ago I reviewed the Bravur BW003 and it was a stunning watch. The build quality and craftsmanship were really worth the price which wasn’t small for a not so known microbrand. So as promised I deliver to you an interview with one of the co-founders of Bravur, Magnus Äppelryd. Hope you like it and maybe will learn more about “behind the scenes” of Bravur watches!
- Introduce yourself
Magnus Äppelryd, co-founder of Bravur, living in Stockholm. Educated as an industrial designer with a big passion for suits and cycling. Have previously mainly worked with sports and outdoor products.
- What started your watch passion?
Actually Bravur did. Neither me or my co-founder Johan Sahlin had any background in the watch industry, or in collecting watches before staring Bravur.
We had an idea to create a watch brand with a strong identity in the design, using unique and unitary design elements, meaning the brand was mainly design-driven and a bit more of a fashion watch brand. High quality was on the agenda from the start though, but the interest to make mechanical watches came after the launch.
Since the start the direction of the brand has changed a bit. It is still a design-driven brand in many aspects, since we see our design identity as one of the most important competitive advantages. But the materials and components used for the watches have gained in importance.
We want to offer good value for money. This doesn’t mean that we’re cheap though. You can easily find other brands offering cheaper mechanical watches, but I dare to say that you will struggle to find a brand offering the same level of specification, build quality and passion, at this price point. There are no short cuts to build high-quality products
- What makes a good wristwatch to you?
Well balanced proportions, currently I’m attracted to smaller sizes. A balance between a clean (non-cluttered) layout and interesting details. A practical watch that works in your everyday life.
- How much watches do you have in your personal collection? And maybe you could list them?
As mentioned i don’t have a watch collector background, so my collection mainly consists of Bravur watches. Having chosen not to have external investors in the company also makes it harder to justify for yourself to buy other watches, instead of investing in the company…
- Who is your ideal customer?
A person that is a really proud owner and appreciates the product and brand to such extent he becomes a brand ambassador.
- Tell about what you like to do outside of watches. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
As mentioned before fashion, or maybe rather style is a big interest. I follow the men’s wear industry quite well, and appreciate well made and beautiful clothes.
Other than that cycling is my biggest interest, and both me and Johan have a background as racing cyclists. Riding the bike is my ultimate relaxation, that also can help me when I’m stuck with a problem that needs to be solved.
- How do you see your watch brand in the future?
In 2017 we launched our first automatic watch, after previously only manufacture quartz watches. This was also the start of our own assembly and testing operations in Sweden. This was the first step of a new direction of the brand, which is the direction we see the brand continue to develop into.
We want to use more Swedish materials and parts and gain even better control of the production process, to continue to make watches of the highest quality and with an impeccable finish. We are looking at producing our own cases, but we are not there yet. But quality and build finish are cornerstones of the brand.
- Are there any other new watches coming out this year?
Yes, we have some exciting stuff being launched during the year, and without saying too much we have some nice limited editions in the pipeline…
- What was the hardest part of creating a microbrand watch company?
Definitively finding the right suppliers. I think most manufacturers nowadays are more open for micro brands than they were when we started in 2011, but it’s still difficult. Otherwise, it’s of course always a challenge to be seen and heard when the competition just gets harder and harder.
- Any suggestions to someone who wants to make their own microbrand watch?
Be prepared that everything takes more time than you think! I also think that many people see the few brands that succeed really fast, but for most brands, it’s a lot of hard work for many years before you get any reward. If you get any reward at all.
Make sure to offer excellent and personal customer service/relationship as this is really a key to success and getting people talk positive of the brand. A negative experience can actually be turned into something more positive than if it would not have happened