We can’t get enough of Scandi cool—that covetable blend of minimalism, functionality, and simplicity. Which is why we’re so excited about the Nordic watch brand Nordgreen.
In our in-depth Nordgreen watches review, you will soon understand why these clean, creative, and conscious timepieces get us ticking for all the right reasons.
Founded in 2017, Nordgreen is a young company by watch-making standards, but there’s no hint of immaturity in the brand’s elegant and refined designs. Based in Copenhagen, Nordgreen benefits from the savvy eye of world-famous Danish designer, Jakob Wagner, who has worked for the likes of Bang & Olufsen—an electronics brand known for its edgy designs and immaculate quality.
Nordgreen channels a similar quintessentially Nordic mood of polished practicality, combining aesthetic appeal and optimized functionality in a perfectly harmonious expression of good taste.
The name Nordgreen comes from the words Nord—alluding to the brand’s Nordic identity—and green, referencing the company’s environmental commitment. Indeed, Nordgreen watches may be fashionable, but this isn’t fast fashion. These timeless timepieces are high-quality and long-lasting, the packaging is made from FSC-certified cartons and upcycled plastic bottles, and the company works to offset its carbon emissions (Nordgreen is fully carbon-neutral).
Then there’s Nordgreen’s Giving Back Program. With each purchase, the company gives a percentage of your money to one of three causes of your choice. Choose your donation using the watch serial number and certificate of authenticity. You can help to preserve the rainforest in South America, contribute towards the education of children in India, or supply water to children in Central Africa.
A Nordic brand that does good and gives back? That alone would be enough to win our seal of approval. But in addition to their dedication to responsible fashion, Nordgreen also understands the value of versatility. Their watches can be customized according to your tastes—or your mood on any given day. Each model comes with a variety of interchangeable straps as well as different case and dial colors too.
In this Nordgreen watches review, we cover two models in-depth: the Native for men, and the Unika for women. That said, all Nordgreen watches are designed to be unisex, so if you like the sound of one particular watch, go for it. These Scandinavian watches are so elegant, anyone can pull them off.
Nordgreen Native review
Balancing modern sophistication with utilitarian practicality, the Native for men is a great everyday watch that could also be worn to a more upscale event.
- Slender profile makes it perfect for both casual and formal occasions.
- Variety of interchangeable straps. Customize according to preference or mood.
- High-quality materials at an accessible price.
- No sapphire coating on crystal means less scratch resistance.
- Not particularly water-resistant at only 3 ATM but still splash or rain-resistant.
Hands-on experience and benefits
On the wrist, the Native feels comfortable and not at all obtrusive thanks to the slim case. The sweeping curves and lack of screws make it wonderfully tactile. It looks equally good teamed with a business casual attire, peeking out beneath a tailored shirt, or a laid-back weekend get-up.
The Native is all about simplicity. With its rounded case, pared-back dial, slender profile, and smooth curves, it’s lean and understated. The lack of clutter instills an immediate air of elegance.
In fact, one customer writes in another Nordgreen watches review that he enjoys simply looking at the Native sitting on his table or wrist, quietly ticking away. We agree. You’ll find it hard to take your eyes off this watch.
Nordgreen’s aesthetic is all about equilibrium—achieving the perfect balance between too much and too little. As a result, the Native is clean, sleek, contemporary—and, of course, very Nordic. In fact, the name Native is a reference to its Copenhagen roots.
The Native comes in silver, rose gold, gunmetal, and gold. Each one offers a slightly different mood and feel. We like the silver and gold for a classic look, while gun metal offers a more gritty edge.
Quality of materials & craftsmanship
The Native’s case is on the slimmer side when it comes to men’s watches, but this slimness works in its favor, allowing for everyday wear without appearing showy or flamboyant.
After wearing the 36mm Nordgreen for a month, we recommend opting for the 40 mm if you’re used to larger watches. The 36 mm is perfect for a classic dress watch look or if you have a smaller wrist, however. And the 32mm version is ideal for women.
The Native is made of 316L stainless for corrosion resistance and shine. The case back is snap-off which means it’s not particularly water-resistant but will withstand the occasional splash or rain. Plus, the lack of screws helps to maintain the sleek profile.
The watch is available with a wide range of leather, nylon, rubber, and mesh straps in different colors, thickness, and length options. You can get up to three different straps when you opt for a ‘bundle.’ They are all easily interchangeable, so you can swap them in and out depending on your outfit and mood. What’s more, you don’t need a tool to do so thanks to the built-in quick-release.
The Native features a slightly domed mineral glass crystal. There’s no sapphire coating to make it scratch-resistant, but the slim profile of the watch means you’re less likely to bash it compared to a chunkier watch like a Rolex.
Every Nordgreen watch also comes with a 2-year warranty.
Dial & movement
The Native’s dial is ultra-minimal with no complications. You have a choice between black, navy, and white, so you can opt for a contrasting look with a different-colored case or something more understated, such as a white dial and silver case.
On the dial, you have a discreet Nordgreen logo, minute and hourly repeaters, and softly pointed hands. It’s definitely simple, but as far as we’re concerned, what else do you need from a watch face?
The Native runs on a Japanese quartz movement—a Miyota GL20. While quartz isn’t as prestigious as an in-house automatic movement, it offers greater precision and a hassle-free timekeeping experience. It also helps keep the price of the Nordgreen watch around $200.
Best for: Easygoing yet refined contemporary cool.
|32mm, 36mm, and 40mm
Nordgreen Unika review
With its unusual strap design, Norgreen’s Unika stands out from the crowd without being at all ostentatious. Unika means unique, and the name suits this watch perfectly.
- A unique watch strap fitting that’s original and alluring.
- Customizable strap, dial color, and case color so you can tailor to your mood or outfit.
- Reliable and low-maintenance quartz movement.
- The lack of markers might make time-reading difficult for some people.
- Low water resistance means you shouldn’t really wear this watch in the shower.
Hands-on experience and benefits
With its small case, the Unika feels very comfortable to wear with no danger of bashing it on things, as can be the case with chunkier watches. While the strap fitting definitely catches the eye, the rest of the watch is understated enough that it will complement the rest of your outfit without being too conspicuous.
In the words of another Nordgreen watches review, the Unika feels both practical and luxurious. Who knew it was possible to be both?
Women’s quartz watches can often lack elegance and style. Nordgreen set out to right this wrong with the Unika and they’ve done an exceptional job. The Unika feels feminine but not fussy, thoroughly modern, and unusual in a subtle way.
The ability to customize the Unika straps according to your fashion preferences—or mood on the day—is a major perk. You can also choose between different case colors—gold, gun metal, rose gold, or silver—and opt for a contrasting or complementary dial color too. We think rose gold with a black dial could be a romantic combination but silver and white is eternally elegant.
Quality of materials & craftsmanship
The case is made of 316L stainless steel. It comes in a choice of thickness options—either 7.2 mm or 7.4 mm—and either 28 or 32 mm wide. It’s water-resistant up to 3 ATM which means it can survive the occasional splash or rain. You can’t go snorkeling with this watch, but given that you can wear it literally any other day of your life—from fancy black-tie events to your daily 9-5—we’re willing to let that slide.
The Unika comes with a choice of interchangeable straps. There’s 5-link, black, dark brown, or grey leather, or silver mesh. You can choose to get just one strap or opt for the ‘bundle’ with three straps included. Straps are either 14mm or 16mm thick and 14-19 cm long, so you can choose according to your wrist size.
But it’s the watch strap fitting that’s the real showrunner here. It’s one of the most unique elements of the Unika, separating the strap from the watch and making it seem like the watch face is floating. It’s aesthetically intriguing and like nothing we’ve seen before, adding a major dose of individuality to this otherwise lowkey timekeeper.
Finally, the glass is domed sapphire crystal, ensuring that this watch will last a long time and won’t scratch easily.
Dial & movement
The Unika dial comes in black, white, or brushed metal. The dial is wide and large with a deep curvature to give it depth. There are two hands and no hour or minute markers for a clean and sleek appearance. The dial also changes color in the light, which is satisfying to watch.
The movement battery-operated Japanese quartz movement ensures accurate time-keeping and no need for winding. After all, in our busy schedules, who has time to keep their watch working?
Best for: Unfussy elegance that will always feel totally on-trend.
|28mm or 32mm
Frequently asked questions about Nordgreen watches
Nordgreen is a good brand if you’re looking for elegant and high-quality Scandinavian watches for an accessible price. Nordgreen also has a commitment to sustainability and ethical practice, donating money to one of three causes with each watch sold.
Nordgreen watches are incredibly good considering the accessible price. These minimalist Nordic watches are made with scrupulous attention to detail and high-quality materials and offer a good alternative to more expensive premium watches.
Nordgreen watches are designed in Denmark and manufactured in a Danish-owned factory in China. The company ensures that this factory meets the highest standards of working conditions and that operations are in adherence with Danish labour practices.
Nordgreen watches are not automatic. They feature a quartz movement. This means they are powered by a battery rather than the energy from the wearer’s wrist motion like an automatic. This makes these Scandinavian watches highly precise.