Skagen Watches: History, Origin, and Reviews

Skagen watches are easily recognizable for their simple and minimalist design, but do you really know their origin? Where are they manufactured? Are they of good quality? In this entry, we will address these questions and more.

From the inscription on the back, where it reads “Skagen Denmark,” one might think that they are Danish watches. However, the brand is actually headquartered in Texas, making them American watches.

Many compare Skagen watches to brands like MVMT or Daniel Wellington because of their ultra-slim designs that follow fashion trends. However, Skagen offers a much wider range of designs, even producing hybrid watches and smartwatches.

If you want to learn about the origin of Skagen watches, the most successful designs of the brand, their features, and the opinions they usually receive, keep reading.

‚úö Skagen Watches: Origin and History

To find the origin of Skagen watches, we have to go back to the year 1989 in New York, where Charlotte and Henrik Jorst decided to found Skagen Designs Ltd.

‚ě§ The Beginnings

In 1987, Henrik and Charlotte, originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, decided to move to the United States for work, as Henrik obtained a responsible position in a famous Danish brewery.

However, the couple had in mind to start their own business, and shortly after, they decided to represent the designer Jacob Jensen’s watches as corporate gifts for companies in the US.

Later, with the help of Comtech Watches, a well-known watch manufacturer also from Denmark, the couple began creating their own Danish designs at reduced prices. In 1991, they presented their first collection at a corporate gifts fair in New York.

During this fair, the watches caught the attention of numerous retailers who encouraged them to launch their own brand, thus giving birth to Skagen Denmark.

Skagen Denmark logo
The name “Skagen” pays homage to a small fishing village located in northern Denmark, at the northernmost tip of the Jutland region.

Even the company’s logo is inspired by the small village, symbolizing the meeting of the Skagerrak Sea with the Kattegat Sea in the Skagen Strait.

‚ě§ History of a Successful Company

In 1992, the first year, Skagen achieved a turnover of $800,000 with its own brand, and by 1998, the company was already listed among the 250 fastest-growing companies in the US, reaching $30 million in revenue thanks to its expansion in Denmark.

one of the Skagen watches

This was the starting point for the brand’s European distribution, which soon opened stores in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and the rest of Europe.

The brand also expanded to the Middle East and the Asian market, opening several online sales portals to reach all potential customers and raising its revenue to $70 million annually.

As is often the case with successful projects, in 2012, the watch company Fossil decided that Skagen was a good acquisition for its business plans and acquired the company, making it a subsidiary of this brand.

Today, even though the company is no longer owned by the original founders, Skagen watches are marketed worldwide with the same characteristics and prices with which they began more than 20 years ago.

‚úö Are Skagen Watches Good?

Skagen is a brand of minimalist watches with ultra-thin designs that follow fashion trends, and its materials are a step above other American brands that follow the same trend.

With a relatively affordable average price, Skagen watches are within reach of all budgets. But are they really worth their cost? Let’s break it down.

‚ě§ Design

Skagen watches have received several awards for their characteristic Danish design, clean and orderly, including the “Red Dot” award for several consecutive years (2010, 2011, and 2012).

The “Red Dot” award is one of the most important accolades in the world of design and has been awarded to the brand’s creations such as the Denmark 809 and 234 series, as well as the Swiss Movement 585 series. All of them are affordable watches despite their accolades.

¬°OFER! -18%
Skagen Reloj para hombre Jorn, movimiento de tres manecillas, caja de acero Midnight de 41...
  • Caso de 41 mm, ancho de pulsera de 22 mm, cristal mineral, movimiento de cuarzo con pantalla anal√≥gica con tres manos, importado
  • Caja redonda de acero inoxidable, con una esfera negra
  • Pulsera de punto de acero inoxidable negro
  • Resistente al agua de hasta 50 m: port√°til mientras nadan en aguas poco profundas

The brand is known primarily for its women’s Skagen watches, as their designs are ultra-thin and fit perfectly on smaller wrists. However, their catalog is so varied that we can find practically any type of watch for both men and women.

They even manufacture hybrid watches and smartwatches with a high technological load but with the same avant-garde designs.

‚ě§ Materials and Features

Another important factor that sets Skagen apart from other similar brands is the quality of the materials used, generally a level above its competitors. Few brands make watches with titanium cases and mesh milanese straps at the price Skagen offers.

Skagen watches

Additionally, most of the brand’s designs are water-resistant, with some resisting only 3 ATM of pressure (about 30 meters) while others can withstand 5 ATM, which is up to 50 meters underwater.

To cover the dials of their watches, the brand opts for a fairly resistant mineral crystal, although not as much as the sapphire used in high-end watches.

Regarding the movement, most Skagen watches integrate Japanese quartz calibers, usually Miyota, a reliable and precise mechanism that enjoys a good reputation in the watch community.

It is also possible to find some models with automatic calibers and even movements manufactured in Switzerland, but they are considerably more expensive, although still economical compared to other brands.

‚ě§ Where are They Manufactured?

Like many fashion brands, Skagen manufactures its watches in Asian countries to reduce costs and offer competitive prices.

This doesn’t mean they are of poor quality, but they are also not Swiss watches worth thousands of euros, so we can’t expect them to increase in value over time or be passed down from generation to generation.

Since their inception, they were manufactured in Hong Kong, but when Fossil acquired the brand, the production was moved to China, along with other subsidiaries of the group.

‚úö The Best Skagen Watches of 2023

Below, we will showcase some of the best Skagen watches for women and men that can currently be found:

‚ě§ Men’s Skagen Watches

Men’s designs are easily recognizable due to their dimensions, although Skagen does not manufacture excessively large watches, so some of them could easily pass as unisex.

‚úď Skagen Melbye SKW6078

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota GM00-3H
Case Diameter40 mm
Case Thickness8 mm
Weight73 grams
MaterialsTitanium case and stainless steel strap
Water Resistance5 ATM (50 meters)

One of the most characteristic models of the brand is the Melbye, an ultra-slim watch with the classic simple and minimalist Danish design featuring a three-hand movement and a date function.

The 40 mm case is made of titanium and comes with a Milanese stainless steel strap, making it both durable and lightweight, capable of withstanding water up to 50 meters deep.

Internally, it houses the Miyota GM00-3H caliber, a precise and reliable Japanese quartz movement widely used by numerous watch brands such as Seiko, Citizen, and even Casio.

‚úď Skagen Slimeline Titan 809

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota
Case Diameter40 mm
Case Thickness8.5 mm
Weight200 grams
MaterialsTitanium case and strap
Water Resistance5 ATM (50 meters)

It is also possible to find sportier models with multiple subdials that still maintain the Danish brand’s lines, such as the Titan 809, a watch that was awarded the Red Dot Design Award in 2011.

It is entirely made of titanium, including its 40 mm diameter case and Milanese strap. Titanium’s properties are superior to those of steel, making it a remarkable feature for such an affordable watch.

As usual, the movement is a Miyota quartz, specifically the JS05 caliber, which incorporates all the necessary complications for operating the chronograph and moving the different subdials.

‚úď Skagen Havene Chronograph

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness10 mm
Weight59 grams
MaterialsStainless steel case and leather strap
Water Resistance5 ATM (50 meters)
Special FunctionsChronograph

The Havene is a simple and sophisticated chronograph with a large 42 mm diameter dial featuring a dark gray dial with subtle strokes indicating the hours.

The only visible numbers on the dial are on the subdial that operates the chronograph and a small circular window indicating the date.

The case is made of stainless steel, the crystal is mineral, and the strap is made of leather. All of these components are water-resistant up to 50 meters.

The movement, as usual, is a quartz, and in this case, it’s the Miyota caliber, which is commonly used in Skagen watches.

‚úď Skagen Balder Titanium Chronograph

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota JS05
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness10 mm
Weight81 grams
MaterialsTitanium case and strap
Water Resistance5 ATM (50 meters)
Special FunctionsChronograph

The brand also manufactures sporty chronographs, such as the Balder Titanium model, a large 42 mm diameter watch but very thin, entirely made of titanium.

Thanks to the materials used, it is highly resistant and lightweight, withstanding pressures of up to 5 ATM (50 meters), making it suitable for water activities.

It also operates with Miyota, specifically the JS05 caliber, a quartz movement that includes all the necessary functions to operate the chronograph and move the various subdials.

‚úď Skagen Hybrid

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementQuartz
CaliberHybrid Watch
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness11 mm
Weight227 grams
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance3 ATM (30 meters)
Special FunctionsActivity and sleep tracking, notifications, time and date synchronization, music control

Skagen is also well known for its hybrid models, analog watches that resemble a normal watch but internally incorporate Bluetooth technology to connect with a smartphone and exchange information.

A good example is the Hybrid series, watches capable of tracking activity and sleep, synchronizing time and date with your smartphone, and even displaying some notifications, all while maintaining the Danish style.

‚ě§ Women’s Skagen Watches

Women’s Skagen watches are easily recognizable due to their small dimensions, especially in thickness, as many of them are extremely thin.

‚úď Skagen Gitte SKW2142

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota
Case Diameter38 mm
Case Thickness5 mm
Weight46 grams
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance3 ATM (30 meters)

One of the clearest examples of Danish design for women is the Skagen Gitte, a lightweight and extremely thin watch that weighs only 46 grams.

Gitte models are made of stainless steel with a Milanese mesh strap and a Japanese quartz movement manufactured by Miyota.

‚úď Skagen Slimline 358SSSD

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota
Case Diameter26 mm
Case Thickness6 mm
Weight34 grams
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance3 ATM (30 meters)

Although not as thin as the previous one, the Slimline is still impressively slim with a thickness of 6 mm. It also has a small 26 mm diameter, making it ideal for those seeking a small watch.

It is also made of stainless steel with a Milanese mesh strap and weighs only 34 grams.

‚úď Skagen Freja SKW2380

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberMiyota
Case Diameter34 mm
Case Thickness7 mm
Weight47 grams
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance3 ATM (30 meters)

‚úď Skagen Hybrid Signatur

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementJapanese Quartz
CaliberHybrid Watch
Case Diameter36 mm
Case Thickness12 mm
Weight55 grams
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance3 ATM (30 meters)
Special FunctionsActivity and sleep tracking, notifications, time and date synchronization, music control

Most of the brand’s hybrid watches have their female counterpart, such as the Signatur, a hybrid similar to the Jorn model but smaller to fit well on any woman’s wrist.

Despite its smaller size, the Signatur features the same smart functions as the rest of the brand’s hybrid watches, such as activity tracking or date and time synchronization with your phone.

‚úď Skagen Smartwatch

Technical Specifications

CrystalMineral
MovementQuartz
CaliberSmartwatch
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness11 mm
Weight150 grams
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance3 ATM
Special FunctionsTouchscreen, notifications, activity and sleep tracking, customizable watch faces, voice commands, music control, etc.

Recently, the brand has also ventured into making smartwatches, such as this model, a touchscreen watch with all the intelligent features of this type of watch and an eye-catching design.

With this unisex watch, the brand stands out even more from other watch companies that use the same minimalist design but do not offer the variety of watches that Skagen does.

‚úö Prices and Reviews

Although not manufactured in Denmark, Skagen watches maintain a good quality/price ratio while never compromising on their characteristic Danish design.

It is challenging to find watches made of titanium at the price that Skagen offers, something that this brand has achieved even using Miyota movements of Japanese origin. They even manufacture hybrid watches and smartwatches at affordable prices.

While they may not be luxury watches that you can pass down to your children, they are undoubtedly of much higher quality than the competition, and their price is unbeatable.


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Last update of links and images on 2023-09-25.

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