Stories about clocks, time, folklore, the whys and hows of time keeping and restoration.
Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Junghans Clock Company
1861 A quest for excellence - from the very beginning
The Junghans watch factory came into being in 1861. Businessman Erhard Junghans founded the company in Schramberg, a small town in the Black Forest, together with his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler. At first, they specialized in manufacturing individual parts for watch production. The precision of Junghans work quickly became synonymous with outstanding quality of manufacturing, and the foundation was laid for a complete watchmaking enterprise. The first watches bearing the Junghans brand were designed and constructed by the company's own master watchmakers in 1866.
1875 Arthur Junghans
Arthur Junghans took over managing the company in 1875, following his father's premature death. Arthur was a watchmaker by trade and training and had traveled to America, where he studied the latest technological possibilities provided by rational production. Arthur Junghans introduced many new production techniques at the company, providing the ideas, serving as designer, and playing the role of technical leader. Even before the turn of the century, numerous machines and processes were developed that gave Junghans outstanding advantages in terms of quality and manufacturing. Arthur Junghans focused primarily on innovations in watchmaking, and no less than 300 inventions were patented under his management.
1890 The star over Junghans
The 8-point star that is still the Junghans trademark today was first registered in 1890. Junghans watches came to be known as affordable, high-quality products from Germany and sold well around the world. In 1903, Arthur Junghans' vision became a reality - Junghans was the world's largest watch factory. More than 3,000 employees produced more than 3 million watches each year. The manufacturing facility soon had to be expanded. And so the terrace building came into being, with a step-like construction that delivered natural daylight to each and every watchmaker's work station. The building is now protected as a historic monument.
1946 A precious legacy in difficult times
After Arthur Junghans' death, his sons Erwin and Oscar took over management of the company in 1920. Continuing the company's legacy and maintaining its high standards was no easy task, but the brothers mastered it successfully. At the start of the 1930s, the first wristwatches were produced and would quickly replace pocket watches as the most popular style of watch on the market. Even after the Second World War and the dismantling of the factory, the innovative spirit of Junghans' master watchmakers remained undaunted. Junghans developed the first wristwatch chronograph movement, the legendary J88, as early as 1946. Junghans was also able to assert itself as a company with a long tradition in the new market environment of post-war reconstruction.
1970 The time of quartz
Following the successful consolidation of the company after 1945, Junghans began to focus on new, more precise methods for measuring time. The first result of these efforts was the electric movement. But it was the newly invented quartz technology that Junghans really took up and developed further. The first German quartz clock was built at the end of the 1960s and Germany's first quartz wristwatch was built in 1970. As a pioneer of chronographic development, Junghans made history once again as the official timekeeper of the 1972 Olympic Games.
1985 Junghans and the radio-controlled timepiece
Junghans created yet another revolution on the clock and watchmaking market when they developed the first radio-controlled table clock. The world's first radio-controlled wristwatch, the Mega 1, followed the first radio-controlled solar clock in 1990. To celebrate the Mega 1's 15-year birthday in 2005 and to pay tribute to the classic, Junghans launched the Mega 1000, a new interpretation of the world's first radio-controlled wristwatch that combines contemporary design and ultra-modern technology.