The success story of the watch with the star
150 years of Junghans
The history of Junghans, which began in the Black Forest in 1861, is one of the most lively and fascinating success stories in the German watch industry.
Junghans – the German watch
The Junghans brand has demonstrated a clear affinity with Germany as a location for the last 150 years. Shaped by a long-standing tradition, innovations and values, the name Junghans is associated with quality, reliability, passion and precision. During its long history, the Schramberg-based traditional company has succeeded in shaping the history of the German watch industry with new and ever-developing technologies, thereby staying true to its philosophy: to combine forward-thinking ideas with striving for precision. Modern national and international business structures enable the Junghans watch factory to preserve its ‘Made in Germany’ status in the future through innovative products and to continue the unique success story of the watches with the star.
Traditional and modern go hand-in-hand
The Junghans company was founded in 1861 by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler in Schramberg, a traditional place which is still home to the company headquarters today. Junghans has stood for precision and top quality production from the very outset. While the company initially specialised in producing individual components for watch products, by 1866 Junghans watchmakers were making their first watches. The registering of the company’s now famous trade mark in 1890 – an 8-point star – triggered the start of an era of patents and processes for Junghans, granting the company the highest quality and production benefits available: Junghans watches became the epitome of time pieces accessible to all, enjoying worldwide popularity. By 1903, Junghans employed 3,000 workers and sold three million watches per year, being the largest watch factory in the world at that time. The 1930s were of particular significance to mechanical watch construction. During this time, the first models from the legendary Meister range were produced, deemed to be the company’s finest watches. The 1950s too were particularly special in the company history: it was during this time that Junghans estab-ished itself as Germany’s biggest manufacturer of chronometers.
The highest standards of technology and design
A unique company-specific design culture is just as much a part of the Junghans design culture as ongoing technical development. This has been enhanced even further by the design and production of Junghans watches based on the designs of Max Bill since 1956. This collaboration gave rise to a legendary watch collection, which developed to include some modern design classics. Some innovative new design features were launched in 1990, including the world’s first radio-controlled watch, the Mega 1, developed in collaboration with FROG Design. The years before this even were certainly exciting too, with the company presenting the first German quartz watch – ‘Astro-Quartz’ – in 1970. Other milestones in the trend-setting 1990s include the first radio-controlled solar watch in 1993 and the use of high-tech materials such as ceramics, not forgetting the first multi-frequency radio-controlled watch in 2004 and the expansion of the mechanical collection.
Junghans is celebrating its 150 year success story with three limited edition models and new interpretations of historical series such as the Meister Chronometer. Fitted with a blue hairspring from Schramberg, this model demonstrates just how important mechanical watchmaking is for Junghans. A glance back at the company’s achievements over the last 150 years motivates it to continue the success of these watches with a star in the future.