Best German Watch Brands
Best German Watch Brands
Best German Watch Brands
When you think of Germany, you probably think of delicious beer, Wurst, and perhaps even a few respectable automobile companies. It’s unlikely that watches come to mind first. But this nation has a long history of producing specialized clocks and wristwatches. In fact, watchmaking may be traced back to Pforzheim as early as the middle of the eighteenth century. There were many watchmaking schools established there, and the first workshops were established in a former orphanage around the middle of the eighteenth century.
By the middle of the 1800s, Adolph Lange had made Saxony his preferred location in Germany. He led the pack by founding his watchmaking company in Glashütte. Other companies followed, and the watch industry had great success for nearly a century. Unfortunately, many factories were destroyed during World War II as a result of bombings or being forced to close. In the East, most enterprises were taken over by the state after the war, and watch brands largely vanished. Before the wall was built, a lot of watchmakers really emigrated to West Germany.
However, many families of Saxony watchmakers dreamed of relaunching their brands in the region again in 1989 after the Berlin Wall was broken down and Germany was unified. With the reemergence of brands like A. Lange & Sohne, Tutima, and others, Saxony’s watchmaking industry flourished once more during the next decades.
Germany’s reunification has made it possible for the watch industry to expand rapidly. Numerous regional brands today exhibit the simple designs, clean lines, and superior craftsmanship that define German design. Many manufacture their own movements in-house and produce timepieces that are attracting collectors’ attention. Here, we examine a few of the leading German watch companies.
Nomos, one of the biggest manufacturers of mechanical timepieces in Germany, boldly displays its bold use of color and Bauhaus design aesthetic. The brand initially outsourced some parts and components, but it worked hard every year to become totally integrated. Originally established in 1990, they began making some movements internally in 2005, and by 2014, they had developed their own unique escapement with swing system. With their value-oriented timepieces, Nomos has regularly captured design accolades and admiration from collectors.
Helmut Sinn created Sinn in the booming German city of Frankfurt 80 years ago in 1961. Helmut Sinn concentrated on chronographs for former World War II pilots as well as navigation clocks for pilots. The company immediately gained a reputation for its excellent pilot watches, and astronaut Reinhard Furrer even wore one of them in 1985 when he was in space. Pilots seeking a high-quality, anti-magnetic wristwatch at a competitive price continue to choose the brand. To secure access to the best materials, applications, and testing for its watches, including Hunting watches, diver, pilot, and EZM 12, Sinn developed diver watches over the course of the last two decades and partnered with technology companies and Applied Sciences corporations. The Red Dot Design Award has been given to it twice.
A. Lange & Sohne
A. Lange & Söhne, housed in a cutting-edge, extremely ecological new factory in Glashütte, was resurrected in the 1990s with the help of Walter Lange, great-grandson of the company’s original founder and watchmaking legend Gunter Blumlein. The high-end watch company consistently produces intricate watches that have watch collectors standing in line while it stays true to its historical heritage. A. Lange & Söhne masterfully combines excellent hand craftsmanship with technology and the German design spirit in its six main collections. The inventive 1815, Saxonia, Richard Lange, Lange 1, and Zeitwerk are among its collections (where many of its chiming watches reside).
When we talk German watch brands, there is a warning: Montblanc was established in Hamburg, Germany, in 1906. Simplo Filler Pen Company, a brand of writing utensils, was the forerunner of the luxury goods company. But after a few years, the company adopted the moniker Montblanc and unveiled its emblem, a six-pointed star that stands in for the snow-capped Mont Blanc mountain. The company established its manufacturing facility in Le Locle, Switzerland, knowing that it would be the best location for its debut into the watch industry. Montblanc also owns the renown Villeret Minerva workshops under the Richemont Group’s umbrella.
German watchmaking art since 1845 is the brand’s tagline today, and Glashütte Original makes mechanical clocks with a number of distinctly distinguishing features. Clean lines, inventive displays, top-notch German watchmaking, and artistic exterior and interior finishing are a few of them. In spite of the fact that the majority of the movement’s components will never be seen by the owner, the brand spends additional time meticulously polishing each one. It is a leading German brand for chronometers, guaranteeing accuracy and dependability. The Senator and Pano lines, which each feature intricacies such tourbillon escapements, moon phase displays, inverse calibers that use a double swan-neck fine adjustment and display the balancing bridge on the dial side, and more, are among its most sought-after collections.
This German company was established in 1861 and was first recognized for its exquisite pocket watches. By 1903, it had grown to become the biggest watch manufacturer in the world. But in the 1920s, it was one of the first to join the wristwatch craze. The company first produced mechanical timepieces over the years, and then quartz watches. It established a partnership with Bauhaus designer Max Bill in the 1950s and produced a line of watches that were his creations. There is still a Max Bill series today.
Meistersinger stands out from the competition with their single-hand watches after taking home both the German Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award in 2020. Every collection has a single hand on the watch dial, evoking the medieval clock towers that frequently only showed a single hand to indicate the hour. This has been the design ethos since the company was established in 2001. However, the various collections provide additional choices, such as date indications, moonphase displays, and more. The watches are made in Germany and have Swiss movements that have been modified to meet Meistersinger’s requirements.
Despite the quartz crisis, German watchmaker Gerd-Rudiger Lang founded Chronoswiss in Munich in 1983. Chronoswiss was committed to making the best mechanical movements. Lang, who was fascinated by the workings of watches, put in a lot of effort to produce numerous world firsts. One of them is a watch with a custom regulator-style display that is made in large quantities. The dial of the Regulateur displayed the hours, minutes, and seconds independently. Even better, it was propelled by an entirely domestic movement. The Chronoswiss line is still strongest today thanks to this collection. The Open Gear ReSec collection, which was introduced in 2019 and is the first regulator-style watch in the world with a retrograde second hand, is another noteworthy example. The Swiss business family Ebstein now owns the Chronoswiss atelier and headquarters, which are located in Luzern, Switzerland.
Tutima, which is produced in Glashütte, has a long history that dates back to 1927, when the company was well-known for its premium pilot watches. Like other German brands in the 1940s, the brand’s demise would result from state expropriation. But before that happened, Dr. Kurtz, the owner at the time, was able to shift the production to West Germany. Dieter Delecate, who had controlled the company since the 1960s and had gone back to Glashütte after the fall of the Iron Curtain, established a new integrated workshop. Today, the company has developed a number of collections, from minute repeaters in its Patria line to many Flieger and pilot watches in its M2, Saxon One, and Grand Flieger lines. The company also has an unique caliber.