Towards the end of the 19th century, all but a few places here on Earth were conquered and mapped out by daring explorers.
Though nearing the end of their era, these restless souls still had a few years left as the superstars of their time. There were, after all, still a few places in the world where no man or woman had ever sat his or her foot. One of the most dangerous, and therefore prestigious, destinations remaining was the North Pole. Unlike the South Pole which is located on a continental land mass, the northernmost point on our planet lies in the middle of an ocean, the Arctic Ocean. At first glance, the surrounding area could resemble land, but it is in fact ice, floating on water over 4000 meters deep.
The first explorers of this region made their way by sailing as far north as possible during the summer, leaving the ship to freeze into the ice in the impossibly harsh polar winter, and making their way farther north by foot. The ship that was most adept at handling the arctic conditions was the Norwegian schooner “Fram”, or “Forward” in English. It was used by both Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen, and is said to have sailed farther north (85°57’N) and farther south (78°41’S) than any other wooden ship.
Fram was ahead of its time,
and in some ways, a symbol of time itself.
When frozen into the ice near the North Pole, you have no choice but to follow the stream. Go wherever it takes you, and try to stay afloat. Lesser vessels crumbled from the sheer pressure of the ice, but “Fram” was designed not to withstand the pressure, but to be lifted up by it. Designer Colin Archer respected the immense power of the ice, and didn’t try to fight it.
The BRUVIK Arctic Ocean watches celebrate the arctic pioneers, and their clarity not to fight neither the flow of ice nor time, with the respect that they deserve.
In the footsteps of Fridtjof Nansen.
The Arctic Ocean watches are inspired by the Norwegian explorers of yesteryear, particularly by one of the greatest of them all, mr. Fridtjof Nansen.
Arctic explorers has always had to endure some of the most hostile environments on earth. It comes, quite literarily, with the territory. When facing such enormous challenges, preparation is key. It can’t be a coincidence that a small nation like Norway has produced so many great explorers. Something about this country must prepare its inhabitants for these extreme challenges, and instill in them some sort of motivation to go looking for such tests of endurance, skill and willpower.
Maybe the answer lies in nature itself, given that parts of Norway are nearly as unforgiving as the poles themselves, and human being are masters at adapting to the environment.
The Arctic Ocean watches celebrates the arctic pioneers
We know that in order to recreate the harsh conditions awaiting him and his fellow travelers at the North Pole, Nansen spent a lot of time training at Haukeli in the Hardangervidda mountain range in Norway before setting sail towards the Arctic Ocean. At more than 1000 meters above sea level, a wintery Haukeli does a good job of resembling the arctic summer conditions, and hence gave Nansen a pretty good idea of what the North Pole would be like. Maybe it could do the same for a watch designer more than 100 years later?
Designer Rune Bruvik is always looking for new inspiration to improve the Bruvik line-up, and the area where Nansen made his final preparations seemed like a perfect destination. Together with his business partner Per Sigurd Velde and photographer Vincent Hansen, Bruvik went searching for the very same conditions that helped prepare mr. Nansen for what was possibly his greatest ever adventure – the attempt at reaching the North Pole.
There really is no way of knowing how cold -30 degrees celsius feels until you actually feel it. Until you’ve experienced a white desert with nothing but snow as far as the eye can see, it’s impossible to envisage it. It has to be experienced. A winter night in the wild mountains of Norway turned out to be precisely the injection of inspiration that Bruvik went looking for. Granted, it’s not the North Pole. But if it was close enough for Fridtjof Nansen, it should be close enough for pretty much everyone else as well.
Obviously, Bruvik would never compare his experience with the struggles of the old explorers – he and his traveling companions had all the latest equipment and a simple, yet comfortable cabin in which to spend the night. It’s safe to assume that Nansen, clever and industrious as he was, wasn’t able to enjoy such luxuries on his journeys.
Nevertheless, to walk in the footsteps of mr. Nansen just for one cold, starry night, gave Bruvik an even more profound admiration for the explorers of old. And a lot of inspiration to take back to the drawing board as the Bruvik brand continues to celebrate arguably the greatest heroes of Norwegian history – the explorers.