The reason I started BERG

April 10, 2017

The reason I started BERG


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My name is Paal Friele Grung, I am 25 years old and from Bergen, Norway. I've studied fashion management in New York and business administration in BI in Bergen and Oslo. Back in 2014 I co-founded a subscription box service named LustBox and have there worked with over 60 brands from all over the world and shipped boxes to over 50 countries. And this is where the idea and pain to start BERG came from. We had received watches from a whole bunch of watch brands, but none of them met the expectations of quality vs price that me and my friends were expecting from that price range.


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Back in July of 2016 I quit my part-time job to go all-in on creating the ultimate fashion watch and fixing the problems that me and my friends were experiencing with the fashion watches we had. For the first 4 months I worked on the design and finding the right factory with focus on fair trade and quality. That is why I traveled to Hong Kong and China to find one that had everything I was looking for and to build a personal relationship with them.

After picking the best components that would fit my design, it took almost 5 months before I received the first prototypes of the watches as some of the components had to be custom built for the watches. But on March 12th I launched BERG on Kickstarter and reached the goal of 150 000 kroner in just 38 minutes. In total BERG raised over 880 000 kroner on Kickstarter, which was almost 50% more than the next Norwegian watch brand in crowdfunding history.


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I wanted to create an elegant and minimalist timepiece, but also wanted it to have elements of my hometown of Bergen, Norway. That is why when a friend told me about salmon skin I got really excited. After my grandmother later that night told me that they used salmon leather to make shoes during WW2 I knew I had found the right material for the straps. Salmon leather is stronger than regular leather as it has cross fibers instead of straight fibers. It gave the watches the perfect look to reflect on Bergen as it is called "The gateway to the fjords". The roughness of the salmon skin is like the raw nature of the mountains rising up from the fjords, while the simple and elegant beauty of the watch is the fjords. 


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I wanted to create a watch that lasted more than just a year or two both in style and in quality. A watch that had a premium quality unique strap that was also interchangeable. A watch where the glass didn't break just because it got a little knock. And lastly a watch with a long lasting swiss movement where you didn't have to switch the battery after just 1-2 years. What I like to call the ultimate minimalist fashion watch.