The Conran Shop In Conversation with Andrew Jennings

Larsson & Jennings transports classic wrist wear designs into a new time frame. Inspired by the aesthetics of Stockholm and London, the brand re-imagines vintage forms into contemporary timepieces, using the latest Swiss craftsmanship. Founded by Andrew Jennings and Joakim Larsson in 2012, the brand’s precise, fresh approach to watch design is a testament to Jennings’ personal fascination, established at a young age, for timepieces throughout history. We talked to Andrew about building a successful business from scratch, finding harmony between function and form and drawing inspiration from the past.

 

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The Lugano watch in a gold finish with a white dial | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©
The Lugano Milanese watch in a gold finish with a white dial | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©

 

Could you tell us a little bit about how Larsson & Jennings came about?

I met Joakim Larsson whilst working in St Anton ski resort in Austria in 2007; we used talk about various business opportunities but nothing came of it. Three years later we had the idea to create an affordable watch that took inspiration from my vintage watch obsession. Back in 2010, there weren’t many fashionable and affordable watch brands around and certainly nothing that I myself would have wanted to wear. So I became an expert in quartz watches, joining the British Horological Institute and forming relationships with the finest Swiss manufacturers.

 

What inspires you creatively?

Travel is always very inspiring for me. Different environments, no matter how close or far from home, make my imagination wander.

 

How do you understand your customer? Is there a secret to keeping up-to-date with movement in trends and technology?

Social media is a very important touch point for any modern brand. I am always looking at comments on our social channels and gathering feedback from our customer service team. We work closely with some of the best Swiss manufacturers and we are always sharing inspiration and ideas for new technologies and products at the forefront of innovation.

 

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The Lugano watch in a gold finish with a white dial | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©
The Lugano Milanese watch in a gold finish with a white dial | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©

 

What does good design mean to you?

A harmony between function, aesthetic and purpose. I love designs with a story and meaning.

 

How important are raw materials when it comes to creating the perfect watch?

The quality of the materials we use is of key importance to me, I am also conscious of the effect our products have on the planet and we only work with ethical suppliers. Our leather straps for example are made from hard-wearing and sustainable British and Swedish leather which is dyed using traditional vegetable tanning. We have worked to develop the longevity of our watches and are proud to offer a five-year warranty to our customers.

 

In this digital age, we have access to countless screens, most of which display the time in some form – from ovens to iPads. What keeps the classic wristwatch relevant?

Not only do they look attractive on the wrist, keep time well and retain battery – but a classic wrist watch can also act as a nostalgic nod to simpler times.

 

A closer look at the Lugano watch in gold | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©
A closer look at the Lugano Milanese watch in gold | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©

 

Larsson & Jennings is approaching its 5th anniversary. How has the company progressed since its launch in 2012?

When we launched in April 2012, I was shipping watches on my lunch break from a backpack. We now have two stores in London and a flagship in NYC. We have a full Swiss-made watch collection including some new mechanical watches that will be competing against heritage Swiss brands that I have looked up to since I was young.

 

Which Larsson & Jennings timepiece is your current favourite and why?

It has to be our Lugano – our classic style that I designed. I made it as thin as possible and attempted a ‘classical minimal’ aesthetic.

 

Are you ever late?

Rarely; but I don’t like to be early either.

 

Larsson & Jennings founder Andrew Jennings | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©
Larsson & Jennings founder Andrew Jennings | Image courtesy of Larsson & Jennings ©