Junghans looks to past, present and future for its 160th anniversary

(Photos by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for Terrassenbau Museum Junghans)

Junghans has a new slogan — Creating time – yesterday, today and for generations to come — to mark the 160th anniversary for the German watchmaker.

Its museum in the Black Forest is well worth a visit, not only for the walk through the history of clock and watchmaking in the region from wooden cuckoo clocks to radio-controlled timekeepers and modern Bauhaus-design classics, but also for the spectacular architecture of its Terrace building, which clings to the hillside and has its own funicular railway to travel from the bottom to the top.


A recreation of a traditional Black Forest clock maker’s workshop at the Junghans Museum.

Junghans was founded in Schramberg 160 years ago by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler and has been one of the world’s most prolific and innovative volume producers for much of the 20th century.

By 1903 the company was employing 3,000 people making over 3 million timepieces per year. Fifty years later it was still Germany’s biggest producer of chronometers and the third largest in the world.

The company transitioned from mechanical watches to more accurate quartz and radio-controlled pieces from the 1970s onwards, but could not scale as quickly as the Japanese and lost market share.

Over the past 20 years it has developed watches on multiple platforms: mechanical, quartz and radio-controlled, typically for Bauhaus-inspired minimalist collections like Max Bill and Meister.

For its 160th anniversary, Junhans has chosen to recreate a 1950s Meister mechanical watch.

Meister Signatur Handaufzug.

The Meister Signatur Handaufzug Edition 160 is made in 18ct gold and houses a hand-wound J620 movement with its hand finishing presented through a glass case back.

It is limited to 160 pieces.

Also new for this anniversary year is the minimalist FORM A Edition 160, limited to only 600 units.

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