200th Birthday of Erhard Junghans: Innovative by Tradition

On 1 January 1823, 200 years ago, Erhard Junghans was born in the Black Forest. To mark this occasion, Junghans is launching two exclusive Meister fein Automatic Erhard Edition anniversary models. Limited to 200 items each, these timepieces pay tribute to the company’s founder, who, as history shows, was a visionary of his time.


During his apprenticeship at a straw-hat factory in Schramberg, Erhard Junghans soon demon-strated entrepreneurial talent and quickly rose to become a partner and managing director. In 1859, Junghans took the leap into self-employment and acquired, together with his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler, a property in Geisshalde in 1861 that is still the headquarters of Junghans today. 

As inexpensive imports from overseas increasingly threatened the traditional watchmaking in-dustry in the Black Forest, Junghans responded, against initial scepticism, by introducing innovative production 

processes and technical innovations. Through his actions, he laid the foundation for the company’s success: At the beginning of the 20th century, the company grew to become the world’s largest watch manufacturer, producing over 9,000 timepieces per day, and has been renowned for the precision and reliability of its watches.


Heritage as Driving Force

Preservation through change: With his visionary thinking and innovative actions, Erhard Junghans has sustainably shaped the identity of the watch factory, even after his early death in 1870. 

The two edition models also combine tradition with innovation. The design of the white polished dial reflects the special connection to the company’s history: Instead of the normal block letters, the historical Junghans lettering takes their place. Especially designed for the two anniversary editions, the hour markers initially appear as elongated indices, but reveal themselves as particularly fine Roman numerals upon further inspection. The geometry, on the other hand, is forward-looking: The case, made of 18-carat white or yellow gold, seamlessly combines with the front and bottom, both made of spherically shaped sapphire glass, to form a perfect discus shape. The dial and strap take on this special three-dimensionality with a slight curvature.

The backs of both timepieces bear the signature of Erhard Junghans, symbolically representing the founder’s imprint on the company. The ergonomically shaped sapphire crystal back ensures high wearing comfort and at the same time allows for a glimpse into the fascinating inner workings of the watches. The rotor developed and assembled in Schramberg gives an almost uncovered view on the finely decorated movement thanks to its two-arm design there. A portrait of Erhard Junghans is engraved into the cover of the rotor bearing. 

A loving detail that shows how much his visionary spirit continues to drive the watch factory to this day. With his determined action, Erhard Junghans once laid the foundation for the success of the company, which has always tackled challenges head-on with change throughout its his-tory. It speaks to the company’s longstanding innovation by tradition.