The term “fashion brand” is often bandied about in the watch community, and that’s a real shame because there are plenty of fun, relatively inexpensive, and – scary – watches out there! – Fashion. While all of us here at aBlogtoWatch gush over the multi-thousand dollar works of haute horology, the reality is that there are plenty of brands that create stylish, well-made watches for the masses. In its newest release, Skagen fully embraces the term, partnering with uber-fashionable Copenhagen-based design house Soulland to create the limited-edition Soulland X Skagen Grenen Chronograph.
Before the term minimalism hit the mainstream, Skagen drew on the Danish affinity for minimalist design and produced slim, stylish watches at attractive prices. Founded in 1989, Skagen differs in many ways from the colorful, brash designs from Swatch. That’s not to say Skagen doesn’t have its share of bold and playful designs, but its focus on classic, slim watches with less aesthetic appeal has served as an affordable quartz counterbalance, appealing to consumers looking for something a little more subtle. Versatile, but still available at an affordable price.
Over the years, Skagen has adapted various materials and technologies to produce watches that are light and comfortable to wear on the wrist. Although best known for bringing titanium to the masses, the Soulland X Skagen Grenen Chronograph is crafted from stainless steel; However, the case is made from at least 50% recycled stainless steel, a trend we’d love to see more watch brands follow. In what has become the brand’s trademark aesthetic, Grenen has also opted for Skagen hooded lugs for the chronograph case, resulting in a short lug-to-lug distance of 46.5mm, another plus when combined with a slim 9mm case thickness. A detail that allows the watch to be slim and comfortable to wear on the wrist.
The Soulland X Skagen Grenen Chronograph is available in two colors, a natural stainless case with a silver dial and a green leather strap, or the blacked-out midnight version reviewed here. Aside from the overall stealth look, the massive reheat is a design element that immediately stands out. In fact, the subtly sunburst reheat is so large that the minutes and seconds hands extend past the chapter ring and into the reheat as well. Normally, stretching arms so far would be a design faux pas, but that’s one of the great things about partnering with a design house like Souland – you end up with designs that break the rules and create unexpected aesthetics. Now, whether or not this design choice works for you is another matter, but that’s the beauty of the watch – at $175 USD, you get a guilt-free experiment.
True to Skagen’s brand identity, the Grenen Chronograph is as minimalist as chronographs come. There is no logo or text on the dial, just a chapter ring and three subdials. The chronograph is also powered by a Japanese quartz movement and you get a different layout than you’re used to with the likes of the Valjoux 7750. The central second hand runs seconds, while the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock registers provide the chronograph seconds and 45-minute counter, respectively. The minutes, hours and seconds hands are all luminous, although the lume is faint and short-lived.
The Skagen X Soulland Grenen Chronograph is fitted to a 22mm leather strap with a crocodile pattern. In a nice touch, the strap leather is produced by working group certified tanneries. The leather is soft and comfortable and elevates the piece a bit. The crocodile print seems a bit out of place for the sporty and aggressive aesthetic. Fortunately, the 22mm lug width means it’s easy to find an alternative strap to suit your style.
The Skagen X Souland Grenen Chronograph perfectly illustrates why the word fashion should not be taboo among watch enthusiasts. for $175 USD, you get a stylish, eye-catching watch from two amazing Danish brands that push the design envelope, allowing you to experiment with your own tastes and preferences. Only 300 pieces of each color are available. For more information on the Grenen Chronograph and other Skagen watches, be sure to visit Brand’s website.
> Brand: Skagen
> Model: Skagen X Soulland Grenen Chronograph
>Price: $175 USD
>Size: 42mm diameter, 46.5mm lug-to-lug, 9mm thick, 22mm lug width.
> When the reviewer personally wears it: Especially at night in the city, my outfit usually consists of grays and blacks.
>Friend we recommend this first: A university student is looking for a stylish watch to wear.
> Best feature of the watch: Minutes and seconds hands that extend into reheat.
> Worst feature of the watch: crocodile print on leather strap; reflective crystal.