A watch built in Sweden must of course be made of Swedish steel
What do watches have to do with Sandvik steel? Well, quite a lot actually! For the last few years Sandvik has supplied premium steel bar for the production of case parts to Swedish watch brand Bravur Watches. A company that strives to build their watches with a local touch. All assembly and testing is carried out in their own facility in Båstad, Sweden - and personalized by a local watchmaker.
"Keeping these crucial production steps close gives us full control of the quality. That makes us more flexible and able to produce customized watches for customers. Being able to keep knowledge and craftsmanship locally in Sweden is also an advantage," says Johan Sahlin, co-founder of Bravur Watches.
It’s now been eight years since Johan and his long-time friend Magnus Äppelryd started their business to bring beautifully executed and well-made timepieces to the market.
"We both have a background in industrial design and knew that we wanted to do something together. But it wasn’t until Magnus was about to buy a watch for himself that we found a gap in the market. With our watches we want to combine design, fashion and price, while still valuing the Swedish heritage and craftsmanship," Johan explains.
The choice of Sandvik as supplier of steel bar perfectly fits the company’s strategic direction when it comes to expertise as well as Swedish origin.
"A watch built in Sweden must of course be made of Swedish steel. Sandvik stands for everything that we treasure, such as high quality, reliability and care for the environment. We have received great support from Sandvik even though we’re such a small player," says Johan.
The material used when manufacturing the small case parts for the watches is Sanmac® 316L, a stainless steel with excellent and consistent machining properties, good corrosion resistance and importantly, a non-allergenic surface.
"We simply made a list of all the important properties for our product. We want our watches to last for a long time, so the material needs to be hard and able to keep scratching to a minimum. At the same time the material needs to be easy to produce which requires great machinability. Sanmac® 316L had all that we wished for," says Johan.
The case supplier receives a steel bar which is sliced up into thin coins, punched several times to get the basic watch shape, machined to get a crisp and highly detailed surface and hand polished in a post process to get the final surface finish. After these manufacturing steps the case parts are put together and quality is assured by the watchmaker in Sweden, who also makes a unique sign-off on every single watch.
"We are happy and proud to say that we are using Swedish steel in our watches, and of course that our customers equally appreciate our efforts when it comes to craftsmanship and design," Johan concludes.