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Kristian Haagen’s guide to Copenhagen

Author of eight books about watches, an industry Instagram specialist and co-founder of the 8past10 website and app, Kristian Haagen knows what time it is — he needs to if he’s to maintain his renown as the most popular horology expert in Scandinavia.

Words Nick Rice
Photography Simon Birk

How long have you lived in Copenhagen?

— I moved to Copenhagen in 1991 after spending two years in London. Then I moved to Barcelona for another two years, during and after the Olympics, and then back here. All in all, I have lived half my life in Copenhagen.

What do you love about the city?

—I love that we can swim in the canals that surround the city. I love the bicycles that are everywhere.

What is your favourite season?

— I love the summers in Copenhagen. After long dark months everybody craves the sun and spends every free minute to catch them rays at the nearest outside bar, restaurant or harbour.

Why is it such a liveable city?

—CPH offers a great variety of shopping, food, drinks, night life… you name it. It feels like there is a lot of support for smaller pop-up venues and even if the bigger international brands have taken over certain places in the city, many side streets offer a plethora of hidden gems. Smaller shops offer the bigger experience I’ve learned.

Best place for business lunch?

— I come back to Café Victor again and again. The waiters have been there for ages and there is a very ‘la familia’ atmosphere. Shaking hands and exchanging small talk — 90 per cent of my meetings with foreign clients are there. They nailed it at Victor. Never had a bad experience there.

You have a burning desire to spend  over 10,000 Kroner — which shops are  you heading for?

— I’m into vintage watches and even if 10k wouldn’t get me very far, I’d still pay Franz Jaeger & Me in Gothersgade a visit. He offers a great mix of new and vintage wristwatches and if you come Friday afternoon you could end up having a glass of really good wine with the owner, Per Henriksen.

A hidden treasure for the food  lover?

—  Go to Reffen. I’m not sure if it is such a hidden treasure anymore, but this Copenhagen Street Food is heaven for any foodie. And if you are into something more high-end, you should go to Amass.

What would an ideal day in Copenhagen look like for you?

— Start at Crossfit Copenhagen, then brunch at SULT. After feeling very sporty and healthy I’ll long for a glass of whatever alcohol and would probably pop in for a thick tasty chardonnay at Ved Stranden 10 facing the Danish Parliament. Book hunting at Vangsgaards Antikvariat and trying to find that first edition Charles Bukowski would be a great way to burn off that first glass of wine. Have a decent suit made at Bindesbøl and buy great shoes to match. Later it would be dinner at Bistro Boheme and stay there for the remains of the night.

Kristian’s Copenhagen

Café Victor, Ny Østergade 8,

Franz Jaeger & Me, Gothersgade 31,

Reffen, Refshalevej 167A,

Amass, Refshalevej 153,

Sult, Vognmagergade 8B,

Ved Stranden 10, 1061 København K,

Bindesbøl, Kongens Nytorv 20,

Bistro Boheme, Esplanaden 8,

Photographed at STACK II in Nordhavn