J&M Denmark – behind the brand
Jonas Janjooa and Peter Mørup, the founding partners behind the upcoming Danish watch company J&M Denmark, are childhood buddies and have dreamt about watches since their teens. Now, the dream is finally coming true, and J&M Denmark already won their first award for innovative and timeless design.
It’s a shared passion for exclusive elegance that drives Peter Mørup and Jonas Janjooa, the young founders behind J&M Denmark.
The two founders met as kids at the soccer fields in the outskirts of Copenhagen. Watches have been a mutual interest since the two brought back cheap watches from package holidays in Turkey in their teens, disassembling them and examining their insides.
A beautiful watch, left as a gift to Jonas by his late grandfather, ignites the dream of building a watch company, and tentatively the boys start drawing their very first designs. Six years and numerous sketches later, the young men finally find the courage to contact a local watchmaker. The drawings get the rubber-stamp at first sight, but Peter Mørup and Jonas Janjooa still need to find a manufacturer.
This turns out to be a lot harder than anticipated. The two newcomers are lost in the crowds at the huge German watch fairs, and even though their sketches get positive feedback, no one truly believes that “two young newbies” are able to get the idea off the ground. However, instead of giving up and simply selling the drawings – there’s a ton of interested buyers – the hardship merely whets the boys’ appetite further. Thus, they borrow a van and drive all the way to the world’s largest watch fair in Basel, Switzerland. A couple of mattresses in the back of the car act as a hotel room, and limited funds – and parking – result in a daily 10K hike to the fair – in suits, that is. Luckily, all their troubles pay off and the two friends can return to Denmark with not only the mattresses in the back but a manufacturing deal as well. In September 2013, Jonas Janjooa and Peter Mørup’s first collection is finally ready: The hard work of two extremely proud childhood friends manifests itself in quality clockworks behind six streamlined J&M Denmark designs - complete with the easily recognizable tall case and red signature sweep hand. And the tastemakers have noticed J&M Denmark as well: Just one year after the first collection is ready, the brand is awarded the “Brand New Copenhagen” innovation prize at the Copenhagen Jewellery and Watch Show. With a demo sent in at the very last minute, mind!
Since, the collection has grown and now consists of 30 styles for both men and women. The watches are sold in 20+ stores in France and Scandinavia, as well as via J&M Denmark’s own web shop. The watches are all designed and assembled in Denmark, while the parts are manufactured in Japan – known for the most trustworthy quartz works in the world. The watches are still inspired by Copenhagen and share the same simple, fluent DNA in addition to the flaming red sweep hand. These details will never change, because the same passion still burns in the soul of the founders, and just like the sweep hand, the young men behind J&M Denmark never stop moving.
In the creative process I keep my focus on designing watches that speak to their owners. When I design a watch, the most important factor is that the style underlines the personality of the owner. It’s of utmost importance that the watch makes the wearer feel good. I find inspiration everywhere – Simply strolling through Copenhagen, I meet numerous characters that get my creative juices flowing.
Creating something new has always been important to me. Especially watches catch my eye. When I design, my focus is for the owner to see herself or himself mirrored in the style. I find my inspiration in everyday life and it always takes a while before I reach that certain moment when things just feel right. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was finished it was one of the most amazing things ever.