Nordgreen is a Danish watchmaker led by Jakob Wagner whos a well-known designer with a long list of accolades from brands you may have heard about like Bang & Olufsen, HAY, Alessi, Cappellini, Stelton and Muuto and more.
Nordgreen focuses on creating affordable minimalist style fashion watches with decent quality in design with a few trade-offs that you will find out in just a moment. Firstly, the style of their watches captures the sophisticated minimalism inherent in Scandinavian culture and at the same time, the company emphasizes its commitment to maintaining sustainability in its products and processes which can be broken down to their charitable donations for every sale they make along with the use of bio-degradable packaging.
From the outset, Nordgreen is a wholesome fashion watch brand who are doing their best to create a decent product and give back to the world which I can get on board.
How about the watch itself?
Three words, Good Quality, Affordable and Danish Design
If all three of these aspects interest then you are going to want to check out Nordgreens entire offering on their website. Here today we have the Philosopher Silver…
The Philosopher is one of the proud entries from Nordgreen that celebrates the ingenuity of the brand’s Danish heritage with a minimalist kick thanks to the influence of Jakob Wagner.
If you’re into minimalist watches, consider putting this in your shortlist.
The Nordgreen Philosopher comes in two variants: one which is 36mm wide and 7.2mm thick and wears slim and comfortable on the wrist with no jagged edges poking into your wrist. They also have a 40mm wide and 7.84mm thick version. As you can see, there’s barely any difference between the size of the two variants.
The watch’s case is made of 316L stainless steel which is similar to those used in higher-end brands with comes in a classy brushed finish. It comes in different colors, including silver, rose gold, gunmetal, and gold, so there’s surely one that will fit your style.
The color of the case can be matched with the same strap color for better uniformity in design. In this case, we were coming up to summer and I thought that the mash strap was a fitting choice for this review for the summer occasion at the beach with a cocktail in hand and gazing out into the sunset.
With the said, the mesh strap is high quality with nothing bad to say about it and suits the watch just fine. And the straps are easily interchangeable if you want to play with the appearance and change it up to suit any occasion. Good news is that the package comes with a free strap and you get discounts if you purchase more together with the watch.
The Philosopher has a ridged crown that makes it easy to grab and turn. Looking at the solid case back, you’ll find short details about the watch’s origin, including the timepiece’s serial number.
Design and Movement
The Philosopher is designed by none other than Nordgreen’s chief designer, Jakob Wagner. Jakob has an established career of collaborating with renowned fashion brands like Alessi, Cappellini, and Moroso among others. His achievements in the field have made him a household name in the international community.
Being a minimalist watch, there’s nothing fancy on the Philosopher’s watch face. The conical-shaped case gives the impression of a wider base and this helps draw your eyes to the center of the watch. From there, you’ll find index hour and minute markers paired with an asymmetric second hand.
At the 3 o’clock position, you’ll find a tiny date window as an additional feature.
Overall, the clean brushed appearance of the watch helps add emphasis to the minimalistic style of the Philosopher.
The Nordgreen Philosopher uses a battery-powered Japanese quartz movement. This makes timekeeping highly accurate and the movement easily serviceable and replaceable for the years to come.
Overall the watch is clean, no dirt inside the dial or quality control issues. The only thing I wished for in this watch is a Sapphire crystal, but for a timepiece in this $200 price range its not a deal-breaker.
Who Is This Watch For?
The Nordgreen Philosopher is for those looking for a watch with a minimalistic design. It’s for those who want a straightforward aesthetic that does exactly what a watch should primarily do. There’s no fancy movement or materials its just a standard fashion watch that may be appealing.
The watch’s simple elegance makes it versatile for casual or formal wearing, The effortless classiness of this timepiece is the ideal choice for those who just want to strap on something that will go well with whatever they wear.
Personally, this is not ‘My kind’ of watch that you will find on my wrist, this is a nice attempt with a great design and QC and with Jakob Wagner’s name on it, I can see that it would make a great gift to someone who is not ‘into’ watches.
Pros and Cons
The Nordgreen Philosopher sure has advantages, but it also has a few weaknesses which I would like to bring up.
- Classy design similar to those found on more expensive watches
- Comes in different case colors
- Thin and lightweight
- The highly legible watch face
- Water-resistant up to 30m
- Quartz movement
- Looks too delicate
- Like to have seen a sapphire crystal
More Products from Nordgreen
Aside from the Philosopher, Nordgreen offers a wide variety of watches for men and women.
For men, the bestsellers are the Pioneer and the Native collections. The Native is a much simpler version of the Philosopher with the absence of a date window. On the other hand, the Pioneer is more sophisticated with the addition of chronograph subdials.
For women, the most popular designs are those that belong to the Native and Infinity collections. The Infinity further takes the minimalistic design to another level by making the hands and indices thinner. The most notable feature of the Infinity watch is the absence of the second hand.
The Nordgreen Philosopher is priced at $220, which is around the same price of mid-range casual watches. It’s a bit expensive though, especially when you look at the basic features the watch presents. The reason behind this is possibly due to their charitable donations which shouldn’t be overlooked or, it could be the popularity of the watch’s designer which adds value even to the most simplistically crafted watch.
It shouldn’t be mistaken that these watches are mass-produced in Hong Kong and they do it better than some of the other contenders like Danial Wellington and MVMT. It would have been nice to see if they added something a little more special like a slim mechanical movement over the low-cost Miyota quartz movement you can buy for dirt cheap online.
Still, the Nordgreen Philosopher is a good buy, especially if you’re looking for a minimalistic watch with a dose of Bauhaus style. This is relatively cheaper than high-end watches from Stowa or Nomos that have a similar design. And in terms of quality and reliability, the Nordgreen Philosopher stands above budget minimalist watches.