Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kienzle Clock Company

In 1883 Jakob Kienzle married into the Schlenker family and from that point forward, he contributed to the expansion of the company. In 1899, 162,000 watches and alarm clocks were made per year. The name of the company was changed into Schlenker & Kienzle.
From 1894 on the weight and the costs of alarm clocks and wall clocks was significantly reduced the "American System" with standardized individual components and perforated plates. This process was highly innovative at that time. From 1897 on Jakob Kienzle becomes sole owner and also the name of the company changes after some time into today's notation KIENZLE. But not only the watch production is continuously extended and modernized. The international activities are also steadily enlarged. In the following years branches in Milan, Paris and London are established.
In 1900 Kienzle launched the time stamp clock on the market, followed by inexpensive pocket watches, traveling clocks and wristwatches for ladies. The first clocks for automobiles are also made at that period of time. The so-called "Strapazier-Armbanduhr" is presented in 1931. This watch is extremely resilient because of its special construction. With 25 million sold, the watch model becomes a popular product.
At the end of the nineteen-thirties Kienzle starts the fabrication of two table clocks in the upper price segment: the Zodiac Clock and the World Time Clock. After the Second World War the track record of Kienzle goes on again with established articles and new products like a parking meter equipped with the latest technology. 1956 the so-called "Volksautomatik" enters the market and is yet another example for the innovative products of the company. Energy is provided by a rotor that wounds in both directions and instead of steel pins the lever is fitted with ruby pins.
In the sixties and seventies Kienzle becomes market leader in Germany. 1972 the first solar watch named "Heliomat" is produced as well as the first quartz movements. In the following years Kienzle is the first company to present a quartz travel alarm clock.
The 1986 developed solar watch with light conditions and polycrystalline solar generator represents a novelty. At the beginning of the nineties Kienzle fabricates the most water-resistant watch in the world with a water-resistance level up to 12,000 meters and presents the world's first radio-controlled "satellite" alarm clock with an analogue waking time setting.
1996 a new radio-controlled movement is perfected: the smallest dual-motor, radio-controlled movement with the fastest setting system. This movement displays the right time within just five minutes and is a world innovation.

In 1997 Kienzle is taken over by the Highway Holdings Group. But only five years later in 2002 Kienzle returns to Germany with the establishment of Kienzle AG. Since that time the headquarters is located in Hamburg and Kienzle finds back to old success. The company purchases the worldwide brand and distribution rights and begins with the development and fabrication of three new watch collections in different price segments.
In 2008 Kienzle moves into the current headquarters, a time honored merchant's house in Hamburg-Harvestehude, which perfectly represents the company and its values: quality, tradition and innovation.
In the future Kienzle extends to a medium-sized lifestyle brand. Kienzle Optik is the first expansion segment to be launched on the market. However watches and clocks will remain the core area of the brand.

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