German watchmaking industry is rich in history. For over 100 years, they have produced numerous watches with unique designs and precise engineering. Up to this date, it is really amazing how they sustained and maintained their position in the world of famous watchmakers considering what they’ve experience in WWII. There are many stories to cover, but we can’t discuss every bit of information. |
Wristwatch industry in Germany boomed for 20 years straight, where the cities of Pforzheim and Glashütte became popular in producing high-quality watches. Among the famous watchmakers of Pforzheim are Laco and Stowa, both founded in the year 1920s. In these early years, watchmakers from Pforzheim like Laco and Stowa were only fitting Swiss movements into their German-made cases, and things has changed when Laco decided to open Durowe, a movement manufacturer. This company produces precision mechanisms and they become the supplier of movements for other watchmakers. And by the year 1940, they’ve produced 300,000 movements in a year. Stowa on the other hand is one of the recipients of Durowe’s movement along with Swiss movement. Among the famous and fantastic re-creations of Stowa are pre-war watches. When the WWII approached in Germany, wristwatch production was put on hold. The watchmaking facilities are used to produced torpedoes and fuses for artillery rounds (Nazi weaponry). They also produced Flieger watches for the Luftwaffe. In this year also, Stowa made desk watches for the German navy.
The city of Glashütte is also known when it comes to producing watches. Started by Ferdinand Adolph Lange with his brilliant ideas in watch production, Glashütte became the most active and important watchmaking city in Germany. Aside from developing high end complications and pump out movements they also managed the assembly and mass production of their watches. Unfortunately, Russian took the watchmaking equipment of Glashütte after the war that ends their career in making watches for many years. As we all know, the WWII was very devastating for the watchmaking industry of Germany. As we fast forward to the year 1960-1970, Glashütte finally produced some watches that are highlighted in slim dress watches and TV case pieces. They also create different movements like automatic, chronometer certifications, center sweep seconds, and thin calibers.
Little did we know, aside from the very famous brands of watches that came from the cities of Pforzheim and Glashütte, there is another line of timepieces from the bloodline of Mutoir clan. Obereon Mutior a watch maker of 37 years came from a local watchmaker family in Germany. He was 3rd generation watchmaker from the bloodline of Mutoir’s and when he died; the shop was passed on to his son Valdus Mutoir who was an artist by heart with no desire to continue the watchmaking legacy of his family. During Valdus’ early years, he instantly became popular because of his beautiful work of art. He painted unique designs on watch faces using his bare hands. He also commissioned to create a timepiece for a German Millionaire who had high favor in the social arena within Germany. When the German Socialite died, Valdus’ masterpiece has been sold to an estate sale in London money changer in the year 1945. Believe it or not! His hand-painted timepiece has been sold eight times the original price.
He continues to hand-paint unique images on watches and it becomes the first choice of pocket watches for London upper class folks. And with continues and increasing demand of his timepieces, he decided to double its selling price.
Even if he had no knowledge in the business and they offered him a large amount of money to buy his father’s company, he refused their offer knowing it will break his father’s heart. Many years passed, Valdus Mutior had to say goodbye in the watch making industry and his first love of painting. He was afflicted by scarlet fever and arthritis and when he recovered from being sick, he decided to eventually close the shop and moved to Paris to pursue his dream.
48 years later, Mutior’s timepiece collections have been resurrected by his father’s distant relatives. Mutior’s timepieces are beautiful and very scarce and most are in the hands of private collectors.
For the past years and up to this date, many are not aware that German watches, like the Swiss made can also deliver top quality and unique timepieces. Well, a way to answer the most delicate question as to who made the best watches, Swiss or Germany, is to compare the two countries in watch making competency. Looking at the horological contributions of both countries, I am sure you’ll all agree, Germany made the first impact although the most recognizable brands are from Switzerland. Germany has superb reputation when it comes in engineering and craftsmanship. Their timepieces are distinctively unique, purpose-built with great innovations both inside and outside cases. German watchmakers are very creative. Some watchmakers are focused on creating durable watches with scratch-proof and super-hardened steel cases. Other watchmakers from Germany focused on movement innovation, with fusee-and-chain mechanisms, month-long power reserves and monthly mechanical alarms made from German silver. They are experts in creating delicate and difficult decoration. German watches run a complete range of eminently affordable to extremely expensive timepieces; based largely on materials used, the extent to which movements are developed, built and decorated in-house and availability and exclusivity.
It is indeed undeniable that Switzerland crafted fine timepieces and the origin of many luxury watch makers. For centuries Switzerland has been world-renowned for its watches. In fact many of the famous brands came from Switzerland and still out in the market to this date. Swiss made timepieces has one thing in common: they are made from excellent design and impeccable craftsmanship. Swiss made watches embodies both technical and aesthetic quality. They are made from elegant and classic design and ultimate precision engineering. They also produce trendy, fashionable and sporty watches that are made of stainless steel, high tech ceramic or even plastic. Swiss watch makers always strive to improve their movements’ accuracy and produce modern designs.
These timepieces from Germany and Switzerland are very expensive and mostly the higher class folks are the ones who can afford them. Regardless of its cost, these luxury watches are still in a position to continue their legacy they have been on in the watch industry.
For more information about Mutior Watches, simply visit http://www.mutior.com/
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