When you talk to a person with above-average knowledge about watches, the most common thing they would say is that the best watches are those from European countries – more specifically, Scandinavian.
Swiss-made watches usually top the list of best watches in the world.
Those manufactured from other Scandinavian nations such as Denmark would probably follow not long after.
But is this really true?
Skagen Denmark, or more casually know as Skagen, are a line of European watches that you would think definitely belongs in that list.
And no one would blame you since Skagen are known to be some of the best watches out there.
Skagen, which also produces other excellent merchandise like jewelry, handbags, leather purses, and many other fashion accessories, is definitely one of the most recognized watch brands in the world.
But did you know that they are actually a US watch company whose headquarters are located in Texas?
They also have offices in Hong Kong and, well, Denmark, of course.
It is a bit deceptive on the company’s part because their products, especially the watches, have the engraving “Skagen Denmark” which can be very clearly seen.
This is the main reason why most people who are not hardcore watch aficionados still group them with the high-elite European watches, even though they are US Based.
So if Skagen is a US Based company, why do they market in a way that makes you think they are from Denmark?
A Danish couple, Henrik and Charlotte Jorst, were the founders of this company but they started in a much different way than most watch companies.
I guess that explains why they have “Denmark” all over their branding, the founders are both Danish.
Other watch companies usually start out by having the vision to be the best watch company designers or makers.
Others may have started out by being a different branch of another giant company.
Skagen was not like that.
Henrik was working for Carlsberg, which is a giant brewery based in Denmark.
In 1987, he was promoted to US Sales Manager and this meant the couple had to move to mainland US as the job requires. As much as this was great forward progress for the couple, financially and status-wise, they still had dreams and ambitions of starting and managing their very own business.
They started out in the watch industry by representing Jacob Jensen watches in the US.
Jacob Jensen is a fashion watch brand and they were not as widely known in the US but this was a start.
The couple was then able to get a contract with Comtech Watches, as they were about to start designing and producing their very own brand.
Comtech Watches is a giant watch manufacturing company with offices in Denmark and Hong Kong.
This allowed them to produce very elegant and stylish designs that could rival the mid-to-high-end fashion watches but at much lower prices.
Henrik and Charlotte basically launched the brand in 1991 at a corporate gift fair in New York.
Watch retailers took notice and encouraged the couple to start their own brand name and that is how Skagen Denmark was born.
“Skagen” is the most northernmost town of Denmark.
The port of Skagen is Denmark’s main fishing port and is a tourist attraction where nearly 2 million people flock to annually.
Skagen Denmark, the company, has said that they designed their products in the same elegant, pure, and incomparable beauty as the town of Skagen itself.
Even the logo of the company, which symbolizes Kattegat and Skagerrak, two bodies of water that border the town, was inspired by this small, yet pristine, place.
In 1992, only a year after their first fair in New York, Henrik and Charlotte started selling their products under the official brand name, Skagen Denmark.
One could say it was an overwhelming success.
They sold their watches totaling the amount of $800,000.
Not too shabby for the first year of a start-up company.
Bloomingdale’s, one of the bigger fashion department stores in New York, approved Skagen to be displayed in their stores in 1995; for a certain, probationary amount of time.
It has never left Bloomingdale’s, they still sell Skagen products to this day.
Then 1998 was a breakthrough year as Skegan officially started distributing their products in Europe, and later on, opened a headquarter in Denmark.
Shortly after that, 80+ shops in Denmark started to carry the brand in their stores.
This was the catalyst that took them to the next level.
European invasion was in complete operation as sales rocketed to $30 million annually.
Other countries followed in the Skagen revolution – Germany, Netherlands, and the whole United Kingdom.
Obviously, Asia was next and less than a decade later in 2007, it established offices in Hong Kong and has been expanding ever since.
Skagen got in on the online shopping industry and in 2010, they started their online store.
Their main website initially served those in the US and Europe but eventually spread out to Hong Kong, Singapore, and even reached the land down under, Australia.
This made all the millennials very happy, I would bet.
Some would say that all good things must come to an end, but there didn’t seem to be an end to Skagen’s growth.
In 2012, Skagen Denmark was bought by and it is now one of its flag-bearers.
As we’ve said earlier, people immediately assume that Skagen watches are made in Denmark.
Nothing could be further than the truth.
And by “further”, I do mean figuratively and literally.
Since day one of Skagen Denmark’s existence, all their watches have been produced in a Hong Kong factory.
Asian materials and labor are always cheaper.
In fact, when Fossil purchased Skagen in 2012, the production process was immediately moved to Fossil’s main factory in China.
This was not breaking news as Fossil’s other products were manufactured there, as well.
As with all kinds of products, there are different target audiences and consumers.
Skagen has always been known to be a very simple, straightforward, uncomplicated watch.
Even the company markets it as “clean, uncluttered, and streamlined”.
Reflecting the simplicity of the village that it was named after, Skagen offers watches that are simple in design, yet elegant in status, which can be useful for many occasions.
Unlike some watches which are event-paired, Skagen can be adaptable.
A lot of customer reviews (which are very important because these are the ones who actually have bought the product) have said very positive things about the watch.
Not least of which is that the watch perfectly fits the anatomy of their wrists.
Meaning the users liked the 3S of Skagen – simple, sleek, slim.
Now to be fair, there are certain watch users who prefer the more technological-looking chronometers or the digital watch with 50 different world clocks; this is not Skagen’s main target audience.
In a world that likes to compare everything, Skagen has been described side by side with other brands like MVMT (Movement) and Daniel Wellington (DW).
This is because DW and MVMT also have simplistic designs that would be comparable to Skagen.
However, when you read most of the reviews, as well as do some digging on materials and quality, Skagen will stand out because they are actually on a higher playing field.
All three mentioned brands use Japanese movement standard (bet you didn’t know that), but Skagen offers more diversity in design as well as the higher-end materials, as previously stated.
Although they are known as fashion watches, current generations have an affinity for the simple and are actually embracing this style.
Paying honor to their roots is also a very good attraction point for people.
Most of Skagen’s watches sell in the $100-ish range.
If you are someone who purchases watches in this price area, then the most emphatic answer would be, YES!
Skagen watches are actually priced perfectly when it comes to people who are looking for fashion, yet simplistic; elegant, yet stylish; high-end, yet affordable.
However, as with most things that you buy, the higher the price, the higher the quality.
Don’t expect Skagen to last until you have grandchildren.
The more expensive royalty watches actually appreciate their value as time passes.
Hardcore watch consumers wouldn’t really think about buying one in the Skagen price level, but if you are looking for a fashionable yet affordable watch, Skagen is perfect for you.
It’s no secret that watches that have Swiss movement are pretty consistent in timekeeping.
That’s why at the start of the article, we stated that Swiss watches are ranked the best in the world.
Skagen Denmark watches mostly come with Japanese movement, however, there is also a line that offers Swiss movement.
And these are available for both men and women.
Keep in mind that the Swiss movement will cost more.
But even though other watches price their Swiss watches above our pay grade, Skagen keeps it fairly affordable for everyone.
The Fossil Group (of which Skagen Denmark is a part of) is in the process of improving and enhancing their Swiss movement watches.
You will definitely see more growth and designs in the Skagen Swiss movement watches.
Many watch brands claim that they have the best style, or the coolest design, or the chic-est.
They are all part of the marketing strategy, of course.
However, Skagen has the awards to prove that.
During the “red dot award: production design 2010”, Skagen was awarded a “red dot” for two watches that they produced for a special event.
The watches were the Swiss Movement 585 Series and the Denmark 20th Anniversary 233 watches.
This is one of the highest recognition that you can receive as a watch company judged and selected by acclaimed watch experts.
The next year, in 2011, Skagen Denmark 809 Series Men’s Multi-Function Sport Watch got another “red dot”.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Skagen’s 234 series line received another “red dot” in 2012.
That should prove their design capabilities.
There is a rising wave of hybrid smartwatches that are starting to invade the market.
Hybrid smartwatches do so much more than just tell time.
From telling the weather to notifying you that an email has arrived, some even inform you that you have a high pulse rate, smartwatches can be very useful.
Traditionalists would smirk at this.
Millennials and the newer generations embrace this.
To see Skagen’s attempt to be a part of the conversation for the best hybrid smartwatches in the market – click here.
Skagen Denmark offers a two-year international warranty.
This warranty includes manufacturing defects and materials.
Depending on the issue, the company may fix the problems separately or just replace the whole watch and give you a new one, at no cost to the consumer, of course.
Unfortunately, the warranty does not cover battery issues, glass problems, or any other defects on the watch that the owner could have caused.
If you drop it in a pool and it stops working, sorry to say that it is not covered in the warranty as well.
Negligence, carelessness, normal wear, and accidents are also not part of the policy.
With or without warranty, it is still recommended that you bring your Skagen watch to an authorized Skagen service center to have an expert take a look at the problem.
You will be charged a certain fee, of course. If you have the watch opened or serviced by an unauthorized person or store, then the international warranty is now void.
You can read Skagen’s full warranty term, just click here.
There are a few choices to consider when you have made up your mind and plan to purchase your very first Skagen Denmark watch.
The most obvious would be to go to their official website, Skagen.com.
Another option, and probably a cheaper one, is to look at credible online stores that carry Skagen.
Amazon has hundreds of Skagen watches that you can look at and choose.
One way to get deals on Skagen watches is to go to the Nordstrom Rack website.
If you are a person who really needs to see and feel the watch in person before buying them, then here is the list of stores that you can visit that carry the Skagen brand.
If you are looking for a “status” watch, then Skagen is not for you.
This is for those who are looking for a very simplistic, yet fashionable kind of wearable.
The price range won’t clear your wallet but it is definitely rich in the coolness effect.
Buying a Skagen Denmark watch should be on your list at least once in your life.
You won’t be disappointed.