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Rarely does a young watch brand position itself as a force to be reckoned among the greats quite like Larsson & Jennings, the Anglo-Swedish timepiece company co-founded by the former wealth manager and young entrepreneur, Andrew Jennings.
The watch world is pretty oversaturated these days; even luxury fashion brands like Dior and Burberry are getting into the business that smaller brands like Shinola, Skagen and Daniel Wellington currently dominate. But Larsson & Jennings, which was founded in 2012, has somehow managed to step ahead of the recent pack of newcomers by positioning itself as a brand that falls somewhere in the middle — equal parts luxury and affordability.
A key piece of that luxury? Switzerland.
"All of our watches are 'Swiss Made' using either Ronda or ETA movements," says Jennings, "and this quality at the heart of the watch resonates throughout via hand-finished metals, premium detailing and the dedication to contemporary craftsmanship."
Materials like Italian leather and gold plated cases and bezels make the watches look like pricey little relics you’ll want to hand from generation to generation. But the fact that the watches bear the "Swiss made" label is what gives them the same caliber of precision and pedigree as some of the most expensive watches in the game, from Rolex to Breguet. The country has been considered a leader in watch craftsmanship since the 1800s for its attention to detail, movement, and inspections.
Yet the designs feel refreshingly modern, a reflection of Jennings’ and Larsson’s backgrounds.
"You can see British classic design and stripped back Swedish minimalism in everything we do," says Jennings.
They’re also relatively affordable, with the majority of styles ranging from around $360 to $545. The brand’s success, says Jennings, rests largely on "the price point being under $400."
It also helps that the design duo come not from a fashion business background, but a pure love of watches.
"I’d been fascinated with watches ever since I inherited by uncle’s Rolex Daytona 6239. It was the first Rolex Daytona ever to be released, and it was a present from my grandmother to time his shows when he was working as an army radio DJ," says Jennings.
"I met Joakim Larsson in 2007 while working in an Austrian ski resort, and we used to talk about various business opportunities but nothing materialised. After a few years working in finance and feeling very much like a small cog in a big machine, I knew I needed to go it alone and start my own business."
Four years later, the brand has captured the attention of a few famous faces, including Emma Roberts and Emma Watson. It’s currently stocked in more than 100 luxury retail destinations, from MatchesFashion.com and Net-a-Porter.com, to England's Harvey Nichols, and has also opened two brick-and-mortar locations — a flagship in London and a store across the pond in New York City’s West Village, which opened just last month.
"We always knew we wanted to export, and for a watch brand to be taken seriously you can’t just sell online — you’ve got to be in markets so people get to know you and can try the watches on," says Jennings. "The aim is to continue to make our mark globally via physical touchpoints in the key fashion cities."
Watch out for Larsson & Jennings watches coming to a U.S. city near you.