The Alf Lie 1836 story
Our history as one of Norway’s oldest watchmakers extend back to 1836 when founder Michel Paulsen returned from Hamburg and started a business in Christiania (Oslo today).
University of Oslo
He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled watchmaker – one who did the work with high precision. Many of his masterpieces are still in use in Oslo today. The business quickly established itself as a natural part of Norway and Oslo’s history. In 1853 Paulsen provided a clock to the University of Oslo. A clock that is still on display there today for the benefit of Oslo’s population.
In 1903 Alf Lie went to U.S. for several years in order to learn his art from the prestigious manufacturers of the era.
In New York, he was one of Tiffany’s most skilled watchmakers and at Black, Star & Frost, he worked on personal orders from Henry Ford, the Vanderbilt family and other famous Americans. Then in 1903, he returned to Norway and took over the family business that had been founded in 1836.
The experience he had gained abroad provided him with an expertise far beyond that of the typical Norwegian watchmaker.
In 1918, the company, under the leadership of Alf Lie, expanded to become the largest watchmaker shop in Oslo, with four apprentices, 11 watchmakers in the workshop and six store employees. The store had a well-known name and its designs were well integrated into the everyday lives of many Norwegians.
The famous Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen is a prime example. After his regular daily writing chores, he always took a walk down to the venerable Gand Café to read the daily newspaper. On his way there, he would pass by Arbiensgate to set the time of his pocket watch by the University Clock, provided and maintained by watchmaker Alf Lie.
The Norwegian Castle had their clocks and watches regularly adjusted by the watchmaker Alf Lie for 70 years. He also provided the accurate time signal to the Norwegian National Broadcasting Service (NRK) that allowed it to broadcast the exact time to the Norwegian people.
In addition to the University Clock, Alf Lie delivered and has been responsible for the time-keeping service of several clocks at police stations and churches in Oslo, the Norwegian Bank and Akerhus Fortress – to name just a few. Alf Lie has throughout history been a highly sought-after partner for a number of exclusive Swiss watch manufacturers.
Norway is one of the most beautiful parts of the Nordic region with fjords and magical landscapes. Since the age of the Vikings, Norway has had a remarkable heritage linked to its rich culture. Thanks to their ancestors, Norwegians are sailors by heart. During and before the Norman Conquest of England in year 1066, sailors from Scandinavia had long voyages across the oceans to reach the Far North and elsewhere in the Middle East. As a part of its legacy, Norway has always represented this spirit of the Grand North, which has allowed its people to live freely and independently in search for new energy recources as well as technology advances.
Today, Norway is admired by many for its social and economic development level on a global scale, but also for its openness towards the world of tomorrow.
The Collection Alf Lie ”Grand Nor” is based primarily on the legacy forged by its predecessors who built Norway into the great success it is today. The beauty, authenticity, freedom, safety, strength and the pursuit of the future are among the key elements that make up the DNA of this new collection. Alf Lies vision of the AL01 model are suitable for a concept that exhibits truly high quality with a movement of very high complexity.
Model AL01 is a tourbillon mono-pusher chronograph with a brushed and/or polished titanium case, or in gold and rose gold. The resulting design forms a box-shape with a plunging barrel, highlighting the curved silhouette titanium or gold, on which a pair of stainless steel/gold arches called ”bars” run along the left and right edges of the case. There bars evoke the purity of modern architecture but also the handrails of an ultra-elegant private yacht. The emotion that emerges from this vision creates a strong identity for this new model of the collection ”Grand Nor”. For the mechanical heart of this new watch, Alf Lie 1836 has worked with some of the most famous Swiss watchmaker company in creating a flying tourbillon movement with manual winding, with a power reserve of 5 days. The movement has a calibre 1450 AL. This unique design is also delivered in several models with automatic movement, both in steel and gold.
The Tribute to the Past Collection
Today Alf Lie 1836 produce all the watches in Geneva, Switzerland, in our own workshop.
We work together with one of the finest watchmaker company in the world, the MHC in Geneva. When we this year celebrate 180 year anniversary, we are pleased to present the ”Tribute to the Past” collection. A collection in limited edition that brings together the past’s finest design and today’s finest movement there is! Our gold collection of the anniversary watches is a collectable limited edition for all watch collectors that love the beauty and handmade details that this kind of watches provide.