The world of horological offerings can be complex and difficult to navigate around. Intricate and elaborate forms often echo some facet of storied history (along with fine watchmaking) and yet, the same is rarely associated for timepieces with minimalist aesthetic.
But time and again, watches with minimalist aesthetic do make for a compelling case. On closer inspection, a seemingly inconspicuous allure stands out. Often comprising clean design, rigid forms, simple geometry, and frequently with monochromatic palette, the philosophy of simplicity has never been more ubiquitous.
Enter Scandinavian watch label, August Berg. In a world of incessant connectivity and constant hustle, August Berg, thus, comfortably fits into the larger Singaporean narrative with its provision of timepieces that are meant to remind its wearer to slow down. “It is all about reminding our wearers to live life consciously, passionately, purposefully, and confidently,” says Anders Peter, founder and CEO of August Berg.
Entering the Singapore market in late-August this year, August Berg prides itself and encourages wearers to ‘give the gift of time’ — which, in other words, nudges anyone to indulge in a self-serving introspection. “At August Berg, we want to focus on the internal values. We ask ourselves what matters to us? How we spend our time consciously? And how we choose to live life? All of these are very personal, and they are about being pragmatic in the choices we have.”
The debut collection, aptly titled “Serenity”, features offerings that come infused with simplistic aesthetic, but with a vibrant colour palette and an echo of the past. Designed by renowned Danish watch designer, Magnus Joergensen, the coveted watches from the collection, with its oversized crowns and double-domed sapphire crystal, is reminiscent of vintage classics. While the detachable straps (in perlon, mesh, and leather variants) offer the much-needed versatility required to fit in in the 21st century.
While the debut collection panders along the lines of modern minimalist classic, which is sure to catch the eye of the modern generation, the most discerning quality of the prodigious collection is more accurately described with the Danish or Scandinavian word, ‘Hygge’. Put differently, it is a feeling of contentment and conviviality, or a mood steeped in coziness and comfort.
“When we think of the term ‘Serenity’, we think of the state of being at peace. This is what we want to remind people: to be calm in modern times,” Peter adds. “We want to create a dialogue, through the collection, of prioritising what is important, and be unapologetic about your choices.”
For the uninitiated, Scandinavian or Danish designs, Peter explains, are subdued forms of expression. Far from being loud and vocal, timepieces from August Berg serve to be a nod to subtleties and are meant to be appreciated. In fact, ‘Serenity’ speaks volume of the homage towards the Scandinavian coasts and waters. “We have a house in Demark that is situated in near the coastal shores of Hornbæk. It’s also close to the woods. It’s a relaxing sight to behold. Colours from the collection are inspired from the silhouettes and scenes of nature back home.”
But there is more than meets the eye at August Berg. Social responsibility is also an ethos that runs deep in Peter’s vision for the Scandinavian brand. Staying true to his conviction of giving back to those in need, Peter is collaborating with Human Practice Foundation to commit 6 months of quality education to a child in Africa or Nepal with every piece of August Berg watch sold and for every 20,000 watches, a school will be rooted too. “The ambition? To build 10 schools in three years,” he admits.
“I think we all need to take an active part in caring of each other. We need to think of others, not only for ourselves. It should also be something that is as basic as whenever we consume, we also have a choice to give back,” Peter says. “While we are conscious of how we spend our time, we also want to make others happy. So, it’s about building. It’s about making a difference. For us, we want to change the world, one wrist at a time.”