Talking Watches With Olof Nordstrom From Daniel Wellington

Join us as we catch up with Olof Nordstrom — Head of Design for Daniel Wellington — to talk about his watch designing journey.

Can you tell us a little about how you got into the business of designing watches?


I randomly crossed paths with Filip Tysander, the founder of Daniel Wellington, in the early days of the brand. Only a handful of people were working for the company at that stage, As I came from an industrial design and engineering background with a strong interest in watches, I could not say no when I got an offer to design the upcoming collection.


What are the significant prerequisites required to be a watch designer?


As with everything, it’s all about the idea, what inspires it, and how well it fits the context. What helps along the way, regardless of the tool you use, is a true engineering mindset and a passion, or at least a genuine interest in watches, since they are such particular products.


How did you begin your journey as design head of DW?


Having joined Daniel Wellington in 2013 when the company was still in its start-up phase, I soon realised there was much more to dig into than just designing the watches. It came naturally to me to handle the digital, packaging, and storefront designs, which was challenging but also developing. The more I learnt about the world of watches, the more addictive they became.


What are some of the challenges that you face when it comes to design?


Given the long history of watches, millions of watch designs are already out there. The biggest challenge is finding your source of inspiration, whether from fashion, architecture, or historical watch pieces, and defining what you want to accomplish with your designs. From the start, the attention-to-detail mindset has been a guiding star for us at DW.


The Daniel Wellington Iconic Link Automatic


Can you talk a little about the designing process behind the Iconic Motion? What led to its development?


It all started with the launch of our Iconic Link collection, our first step outside the sleek and thin dress watches. It took us three years of refinement to keep and transford the true essence of our design DNA into this new, bolder character with a thicker case and solid link strap. This Iconic Link suddenly opened an entirely new toolbox with possibilities and features for us to incorporate into our watch range. New additions like the sporty design, the dense and durable FKM rubber strap, the upgraded 10ATM water-resistant case, and a matte black bezel opened our brand to customers who lead a more active lifestyle.


How do you go about producing watches that will not just ‘appeal to a global market’ but one that ‘will stand the test of time’?


We are not just focusing on details of our products, but also on how they are manufactured and put together. We’ve never compromised on this attention to detail, and I believe it’s the foundation for exceeding expectations.


Apart from designing watches, what else are you interested in? How do you think those interests help you in your watch design work?


Growing up, I was always drawn to exploring different fields. The curiosity to learn new skills and work with my hands has given me an understand and respect for materials, tools, manufacturing, and tradition. It helps me find ways to visualise and evaluate designs during prototyping and be creative in achieving my vision throughout the manufacturing process. Apart from this, I have a strong interest in fashion too.


Images: Daniel Wellington

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