It’s an extremely common occurrence for Sweden to be confused with Switzerland after telling people where I live, but Sweden isn’t well known for their chocolate or their timepieces—although they should be. While most of the functioning mechanisms still come from Switzerland and Japan, Sweden has a small but growing niche for watch companies who’ve elegantly transfered the simplicity of Scandinavian design to the wrist.
One of my favorites is the Mutewatch, which I personally own. The Mutewatch is the brainchild of Mai-Li Hammargren, who submitted the initial concept to a business idea competition while studying at the Stockholm School of Economics. Her second place finish didn’t discourage her and she worked over the next three years to build it into a company. One year after being released, it was awarded a Reddot Design Award in 2012.
This unique looking watch features an LED touch display hidden beneath its silicon band. When you touch the face or turn your wrist 90°, it lights up for 3 seconds before fading away. It has three simple functions—time, timer and alarm (set up to 5). When the timer or one of your alarms go off, the watch vibrates, allowing you to be gently awakened or alerted without disturbing others around to you.
Another Swedish watch that’s been designed for the future is the Halda Space Discovery. The Space Discovery won a Reddot Award in 2012 as well and was designed by the firm No Picnic to be worn by astronauts in space. It consists of a unique wristband docking station and separate timepiece modules that can be interchanged depending on whether you’re here on Earth or looking down at it from above.
The space module was tested by astronauts on a Discovery mission in 2009 and was developed to stay accurate and avoid shattering in zero gravity conditions. The shell is made with Tecamax, a new material certified by NASA for strength, durability and precision while in space.
Void Watches are the project of Swedish designer David Ericsson, who wanted to create unique products with simple geometries that inspire the users to better value our most precious commodity—time.
The first watch in the Void collection represents the balance of the horizon, evenly contrasting glass and stainless steel. Since being founded in 2008, the designs have evolved into more offerings including more classic looking analog watches to compliment the collection.
The Helium Watch Group is one of the newest additions to the Swedish watch market, offering just one model, a classic analog watch inspired by those worn by members of the US Army and Air Force. The watch is meant to symbolize military heritage while representing the lifestyles of the modern user. The watch strap is an easily interchangeable NATO strap to allow coordination with your flight suit—or your shoes.