Our history as one of Norway's oldest watchmakers extends back to 1836 when founder Michel Paulsen returned from Hamburg and started business in Christiania (Oslo today). 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. 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 special watchmakers, and at Black, Star & Frost, he worked on personal orders from Henry Ford, the Vanderbilt family and other famous Americans. Then in 1913, he returned to Norway and took over the family company that was founded in 1836.
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 - and the store was a famous name everywhere 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 Grand Café to read the day’s newspapers.
On the 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.
In addition to the University Clock, Alf Lie delivered and has been responsible for the time-keeping of several clocks of police stations and churches in Oslo, the Norwegian Bank and Akershus Fortress - to name just a few.
Today Norway is admired by many for its social and economic development level on a global scale, but also for its openness toward 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.