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The Complete Buying Guide to Skagen Watches

Minimalist Scandinavian watch design for not a lot of scratch.

skagen watches

If Ikea had a watch department, it might look something like Skagen's catalog. Ok, Ikea is Swedish and Skagen is nominally Danish, but this popular watchmaker offers minimalist Scandinavian design that's satisfying to many watch consumers on a budget. If you're in the market for a sleek-looking watch at mostly sub-$200 prices, here's what you'll want to know about Skagen watches.

Skagen watches' pricing

Skagen operates mostly in the sub-$200 price range. Retail prices currently begin around $95 and top out at around $255 for something with a titanium case and automatic movement or $295 for a smartwatch. You'll regularly find the brand's watches on sale for less, however, both on Skagen's own site and those of retailers like Macy's or Bloomingdale's.

How "good" are Skagen watches?

Skagen watches aren't the kind made to be passed from generation to generation. They're affordable thanks to the the use of elements like of quartz movements, mineral crystal (glass) and sourced production, but none of this means they won't necessarily be "good" for your particular purposes.

Watch enthusiasts often refer to brands like Skagen dismissively as "fashion watches" — i.e., they are made primarily as fashion accessories rather than in a way that fits into horological history and watch collector culture. For those who simply want something fashionable and affordable, however, Skagen may serve you well for several of years.

Where are Skagen watches from?

Branded as "Skagen Denmark," the company was founded in 1989 by a Danish couple then living in New York, Charlotte and Henrik Jorst. Scandinavian minimalism informs Skagen's design aesthetic and branding, and it takes its name from Denmark's picturesque, northernmost town. Otherwise, Skagen is a modern, international brand which might even be considered American.

Like many watches in its price range, Skagen's production is based in China. It was founded in the United States, purchased by the American conglomerate Fossil Group in 2012 and is currently headquartered with its parent company in Texas.

Which Skagen models are "best?"

"Best" is highly subjective, but we've gathered some the brand's most interesting or attractive options below.


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Skagen Ancher

One of Skagen's most popular models, the Ancher represents the brand's aesthetic well with a moderate case size, a slim profile and modern, minimalist styling. It's available in a couple finishes, dial colors and strap options — as well as a chronograph version.

Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Skagen Henriksen

A solar-powered quartz movement means a longer-lasting battery and nominally lends to this watch's "sustainability" theme. The leaf icon on Skagen's site indicates that watches like the Henriksen use materials produced by eco-friendly means.

Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Skagen Melbye

The Melbye features a modern-leaning design with a thin, 40mm case made of at least 50% recycled steel. For extra visual dynamism, the seconds/minute track is inset into the dial and the bezel features notches reminiscent of dive watches (but it does not turn).

Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Skagen Sol

Skagen's minimal aesthetic doesn't mean the brand can't offer a pop of color on your wrist. The Sol does just that and features a solar-charging Japanese quartz movement. 

Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Skagen Grenen

The vast majority of Skagen watches are one size: 40mm. But if you want something smaller, the Grenen is a dressy 37mm and has a sleek modern design with sans-serif Arabic numerals that almost seem reminiscent of Hermes' H08.

Diameter: 37mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Skagen Aaren Ocean

Skagen is among a number of brands that have taken to using recycled ocean plastic for various purposes, from straps and packaging to the watch cases themselves. The Aaren is the latter, with a larger 41mm case and even a bracelet made from the material. It comes in a few different versions and colors, as well.

Diameter: 41mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Skagen Ancher Automatic

Skeletonized automatic movement? Black-coated steel case? These are premium features, and this version of the Ancher clocks in as one of Skagen's priciest watches. Don't expect a Swiss or Japanese movement here (expect Chinese), but you still can't call this watch "expensive" compared to other watches with similar features.

Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Skagen Smartwatch HR

Maybe you want more out of your watch than hands quietly indicating the time. Skagen's smartwatch running on Google's Wear OS offers all the health tracking and other conveniences you expect in modern life. 

Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 30m

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