German watch producer Pointtec has replaced its bestselling brand Junkers in favour of new brand Iron Annie.
Iron Annie is a nickname given to the Ju 52, a German transport aircraft manufactured since the 1920s by Junkers, a major industrialist in the country. The aircraft is popular because it was used mainly in civilian roles during World War II and since, sometimes as an air ambulance or as a troop and cargo carrier for the Luftwaffe.
Since 1945, it all but vanished but vintage planes are still flown at air shows and for sightseeing trips.
The aircraft has a distinctive corrugated metal alloy exterior, which has been reproduced in miniature on Junkers watches that will now be known as Iron Annie timepieces.
The change of direction came about after the parent company Pointtec decided not to renew the Junkers license after a sharp increase in royalty fees was asked for by the brand’s family for the use of its name.
The Junkers family will produce its own watches using the Junkers brand in collections that will launch later this year.
Distributors in North America and the UK believe that the Iron Annie name will quickly gain traction.
“Our experience in the UK and America suggested that any potential challenges with changing from Junkers to Iron Annie would be more than made up for by the fact that customers would have a much more positive reaction because of warmth and recognition to the Iron Annie aircraft and because it did not sound like junk,” describes Hans Brandt, sales director UK/Ireland for the business.
Pointtec makes around 200,000 watches per year, more than any other German manufacturer.
2019 is a landmark year for German design because it is the 100th anniversary for the genesis of the Bauhaus movement, and the newly named Iron Annie brand has a complete collection launching this year in celebration.
The Bauhaus 100 Year collection spans clean and simple quartz-based three-handers with date where form most clearly follows function, as the Bauhaus movement prescribes. The range moves up through models using ETA, Sellita, Myota or Seiko automatic movements with power reserve meter and small seconds and chronograph functions.
A range of dial colours for the steel watches are offered, and they can be bought on complementary coloured leather straps or a Milanese mesh bracelet.
Another icon of German industrial design, the Zeppelin airships that flew in the early 20th century, is immortalised in the Zeppelin watch brand from Pointtec.
The watches are considerably more complex in their design that Iron Annie, and have chronograph, second time zone, date and small seconds functionality as well as displaying a tachymeter scaled on the dial to measure acceleration.