In 1987, precisely 30 years ago, the company POINTtec electronic was founded by the graduated economist, Willi Birk, as a sole entrepreneur. He dared to take a step in the dark and set up his business at a time when many watchmakers were still reeling at the shock of the quartz crisis.
The young company POINTtec initially began by making watches primarily in France. Striking designs and styles were the order of the day, which gave rise to some powerful and daring creations. An oversize ladies’ watch, with a casing measuring an astounding 48 mm in diameter, was not only unusual at that time, it was also a provocation and a statement.
But it was precisely this daring attitude that was to pave the way for a success story.
As early as 1990 the company, with its registered head office in Ismaning near Munich, became a Ltd. And shortly after the german reunification, POINTtec introduced the first watch coming along with an automatic movement labled with the quality seal “Made in Glashuette” onto the market. A total of 15,000 of these watches were made and sold.
In order to realise the new strategy of making increased numbers of mechanical watches in the future, the city of Ruhla located in the federal state of Thuringia was selected as the new production site. POINTtec decided to exploit the competences that were already available here as well as the newly freed-up resources following the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and gradually moved all its production to this site. Even today most of the company’s watches are made here in compliance with the stringent quality standards that earn them the seal “Made in Germany”.
As early as 1994, the time came and POINTtec decided to develop a radio-controlled watch under a cooperation with other parties. This was launched under the name “Maximilian München” and has been sold to satisfied customers for many years.
In 1996, Willi Birk won the order to create 1,000 chronographs for the centenary of the company Bosch-Junkers. As a result of this, POINTtec could start to develop further watches under the JUNKERS brand name.
Just one year later, in 1997, the first chronograph with mechanical movement appeared on the market. And in 2002, POINTtec expanded its portfolio with the ZEPPELIN brand. In doing so, POINTtec drove forward the production of mechanical movements and sparked a strong revival in the whole watchmaking world.
As well as the successful creation and expansion of the ZEPPELIN and JUNKERS brands, the company- own brand, “Maximilian München”, has become firmly established in the market for radio-controlled watches. At the same time, Willi Birk has intensified his activities with private label watches. This includes prestigious names such as Bosch, Siemens, Audi and VW.
At Expo 2000 POINTtec collaborated with Infineon-Siemens to develop a technology that was completely unheard-of at that time. The remit was to create a watch in which the fledgling technology of contactless payment should be fully integrated.
In the same year POINTtec introduced a special edition, which was the first analogue radio-controlled watch with an additional multifunctional digital display. This innovative solution gave POINTtec a high level of recognition and reputation.
POINTtec’s particular competence in building multifunctional watches was further highlighted by the creation of a watch with an integrated altimeter in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich.
This innovative multifunctional watch shows not only the time in hours, minutes and seconds as well as the day, month and year, but it is also able to measure absolute and relative air pressure. In addition, an integrated chronograph function facilitates the taking of various barometric altitude measurements of up to a difference of 10,000 metres as well as time intervals. All the electronic components are well protected in a watertight titanium casing. The flat and beautifully decorated mechanical Peseux 7001 movement is displayed by opening the top of the casing.
In the following years the company consolidated and expanded its presence, posting dynamic sales growth.
The growth oriented company expansion resulted in the acquisition of new generously sized premises in Ismaning near Munich in 2009.
The company’s administrative, product development, sales and marketing departments are based at Ismaning. Production and service remain predominantly at the traditional location of Ruhla in Thuringia. All POINTtec watches bear the quality seal “Made in Germany”.
The movements that POINTtec buys and incorporates in its watches mainly come from Switzerland, with a small percentage being made in Japan. All the other components come from renowned suppliers who also supply makers of luxury watches with parts and components.
In 2014, POINTtec entered into a collaboration with Rosenthal, which is known throughout the world as a specialist in manufacturing porcelain at the highest level. Rosenthal is, making and supplying hand-made dials from the finest porcelain. Some of the dials are even hand painted.
It has always been Willi Birk’s mission to provide customers with the highest-grade, most individualistic watches at the best price ratio. The entry level model with a high quality Swiss Made quartz movement starts at EUR 179. But POINTtec also offers competitive prices for fans of high quality mechanical watches. Whether it is the new JUNKERS Regulateur with high quality components from Dubois-Dépraz, the brand new automatic chronograph with the unique SII column wheel movement costing around EUR 1000, or the chronograph, Zeppelin 7620, that comes with Valjoux 7753 and the Glashuette Chronometer seal.
Today POINTtec is present in 32 different countries and produces some 180,000 watches a year. Thus the company is one of the largest watch manufacturers in Germany.
As a family owned company most of the profits remain in the business and are used to fund R&D and new developments