Every Michelsen watch is individually tested and goes through very strict quality control, performed by our watchmakers, Frank and Robert, to meet their high standards of quality, for your expectations to be fulfilled.
Michelsen is a small brand that seems to be doing things right, as evidenced not only by their century of history but also the high quality and originality of a timepiece like the Arctic Explorer.GearPatrol.com
Arctic Explorer is a great watch, from both a technical perspective as well as an aesthetic one.aBlogtoWatch.com
Of course, if it can stand up to the rigors of the Antarctic, it should handle anything we would throw at it, right? WristWatchReview.com
The story of Michelsen Watchmakers dates back to 1909 when the first Michelsen watchmaker established his propriety business in a small town in Northern Iceland. Ever since, the Michelsen watchmakers’ family history has been closely interwoven with the story of Icelandic trade as one of the leading watch companies in Iceland. Michelsen Watchmakers are reputed for their professionalism and excellent craftsmanship. It is this professionalism and standard of craftsmanship which has kept their business running for more than 100 years where the knowledge and the know-how has been passed on from one generation to another.
On December 1st 2009, to commemorate a century of Michelsen Watchmakers in Iceland, the shop launched their anniversary watch, Reykjavík 1909. The anniversary watch series, featured in a numbered and limited edition, was outstandingly successful so the project was kept alive. The watchmakers of the family company, Frank and Robert, father and son, did not waver from their goal of producing high quality watches they could be proud of but still be kept at reasonable prices. With extensive planning combined with their mutual experience, knowledge and eye for quality and detail, the birth of four more collections became a reality.
The founder of the company. J. Frank was very skilled with his hands and was curious about many things. He also worked as a goldsmith, imported and sold soap, began to breed pigs at Sauðárkrókur, his home town, and was also the chief of the village fire service. J. Frank used to produce pocket watches that carried his name but due to World War II the production came to a halt.
Franch learned watchmaking in his father’s company and the Danish Watchmakers’ School. He graduated with the highest mark, “ultra godt” meaning “extremely good”. After graduation, he worked for the royal watchmaker of the Danish court and repaired watches that belonged to Queen Alexandrine.
Franch was an excellent craftsman, known for his leadership and professionalism. He taught his trade to twelve young apprentices, including one of his sons, Frank Ú.
Frank learned watchmaking in his family’s shop and at the Technical College in Reykjavík. In 1978, he completed his watchmaking studies at WOSTEP in Switzerland. Upon graduation, Frank worked side by side with his father. Till this day, Frank regularly attends refresher courses at Rolex to maintain the extreme high standards of quality that Rolex requires of their watchmakers. Frank was the secretary for the Icelandic Association of Watchmaking 1988 – 1998 and their chairman from 2000 –2005.
Róbert studied watchmaking in the Michelsen company, following in the footstep of his father and his father’s father. In 2007 he attended the Full Training Course at WOSTEP in Switzerland and graduated in 2009 as at the top student of his cohort. His final project involved designing and re-building a watch from a blank movement. In 2010, Róbert moved back to Switzerland to further explore his watchmaking knowledge and oversee the Michelsen watch production.
On January 17th, Miss Vilborg Gissurardottir, an intrepid young Icelandic explorer, finished her solo expedition to the South Pole. She was the first Icelander and only the 9th woman in history to reach the South Pole alone and on foot without any outside help. This incredible journey took Ms Gissurardóttir 60 days and she covered a total of 1’140 kilometres, 19 km per day, (708 miles, 12 mi per day) in harsh and challenging weather conditions, strong headwinds, treacherous skiing conditions, zastrugi and temperatures of approximately -40°C (-40°F).
The watch did very well. I had it strapped to the outside of my jacket all the time, next to the compass. The watch was unprotected and exposed in extreme weather conditions.Ms. Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir, South Pole Explorer
To survive such a journey, you must not only depend on a positive mind and determination, but also on a solid and trustworthy gear. With this in mind, Ms Gissurardottir appointed Michelsen Watchmakers to provide her with a reliable timepiece to help her keep track of the time. It was our honour to present her with our Michelsen Arctic Explorer watch which is tough and waterproof with an additional time zone, robust hands and dial with big numerals and indexes to maximize clarity. The design is tailored specifically to the requirements of outdoor enthusiasts and the perfect companion for a South Pole explorer such as Ms. Gissurardottir.
For Ms. Gissurardottir‘s watch, the movement was chosen for its high durability and reliability, but to make sure the movement would survive the journey, special oils were used that can withstand extreme cold or to -50°C. The watch went through thorough tests and several experiments to simulate the conditions on the South Pole. However, the big test was during the expedition on the South Pole and as expected, the watch survived and according to Ms. Gissurardottir, met her expectations.
Shop & workshop
Phone: (+354) 511 1900
Fax: (+354) 511 1901