Skagen Designs
Skagen Designs, Ltd. is an international design company based in Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Reno is the county seat of Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The city has a population of about 220,500 and is the most populous Nevada city outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area...

, that produces designer watch
A watch is a small timepiece, typically worn either on the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket, with wristwatches being the most common type of watch used today. They evolved in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. The first watches were...

es, clock
A clock is an instrument used to indicate, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". A silent instrument missing such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece...

s, jewelry and sunglasses
Sunglasses or sun glasses are a form of protective eyewear designed primarily to prevent bright sunlight and high-energy visible light from damaging or discomforting the eyes. They can sometimes also function as a visual aid, as variously termed spectacles or glasses exist, featuring lenses that...


The company was founded in 1989 by Henrik and Charlotte Jorst, who had moved from Denmark to New York in 1986 when Henrik Jorst was appointed US sales manager for Danish brewery Carlsberg. In 1989 the couple decided to establish their own business, as US representatives for a Danish manufacturer of corporate branded business gift watches and for exclusive Jacob Jensen
Jacob Jensen
Jacob Jensen is a Danish industrial designer, best known for his work with Bang and Olufsen.-Life and career:Jensen was born in the Vesterbro area of Copenhagen in 1926. He left school after the seventh grade and completed training as an upholster...

 designer watches.

Having found a Danish-owned clock and watch manufacturer, Comtech Watches, that could manufacture watches at a lower price through its factory in Hong Kong, the Jorsts designed a few corporate watches of their own, which they showed at a corporate gift fair in New York 1991. However, at the fair they were encouraged by several retailers to market the watches under their own brand instead of chasing the corporate gift market. Thus the brand Skagen Denmark was born, taking its name from the Danish fishing villiage of Skagen
Skagen is a projection of land and a town, with a population of 8,515 , in Region Nordjylland on the northernmost tip of Vendsyssel-Thy, a part of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark...

. The company logo symbolises the meeting of the Skagerak and the Kattegat
The Kattegat , or Kattegatt is a sea area bounded by the Jutland peninsula and the Straits islands of Denmark on the west and south, and the provinces of Västergötland, Scania, Halland and Bohuslän in Sweden on the east. The Baltic Sea drains into the Kattegat through the Øresund and the Danish...

 seas at the tip of Skagen.

Company development

  • In 1992 - the first year they sell watches under their own brand name - the Jorst's company has a turnover of USD 800,000.
  • In 1993 the couple moves from New York to Nevada, still running their company from their home and without any help.
  • In 1995 New York department store
    Department store
    A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

    Bloomingdale's is an American department store owned by Macy's, Inc. .Bloomingdale's started in 1861 when brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale started selling hoop-skirts in their Ladies Notions' Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side...

     agreed to sell their their watches on trial.
  • In 1998 Skagen Design is listed as one of the 250 fastest growing privately-owned companies in the US. Turnover has increased to almost USD 30 million and an office is opened in Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

     to handle European distribution. 80 stores in Denmark begin selling Skagen watches.
  • in 1999 the number of employees approaches 100. Distribution begins in the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , followed by Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     and the Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     in 2000.
  • In 2002 and 2003 the company expands into more European countries, as well as the Middle East.
  • In 2005 the head of sales and product development, Scott Szybala, is appointed president and takes over the daily running of the company, allowing owners Charlotte and Henrik Jorst to concentrate on product development and design. Turnover has increased to USD 70 million.
  • In 2007 the company moves into the growing Asian market, establishing an office in Hong Kong.
  • In 2009 Steen Albrechtslund, previously the company's Asia Pacific manager, is appointed Group Managing Director Worldwide, in charge of all three headquarters (US, Denmark and Asia Pacific).
  • In 2010 the company starts online stores both in the US and Europe.
  • In 2011 Skagen Asia Pacific launched online stores for Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

     and Singapore
    Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...


External links

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