Kleine geschiedenis: Junghans

Erhard Junghans

  • 1 Januari 1823 in Zell am Harmersbach, Baden; † 9. September 1870 in Schramberg) hij was een strohoed- en uurwerkfabrikant.

The Junghans company was founded by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law Jakob Zeller-Tobler in Schramberg (The Black Forrest/Schwarzwald) in 1861. Until today, the original site remained the company’s headquarter. Since the very beginning, Junghans has always been standing for precision and topquality manufacturing. While the company initially specialised in the production of individual components for clock-making, Junghans began constructing and producing its own clocks in 1866. The registration of the Junghans trademark, the 8-point star, in 1890 marked the start of an era of patents and procedures which provided the company with significant advantages regarding quality and manufacturing: Junghans clocks became globally popular timepieces which were accessible to all. Junghans was already employing 3,000 workers in 1903 and selling 3 million clocks per year, making it the biggest clock factory in the world.

When Erhard Junghans died in 1870, his wife took over the company, then from 1875 the two sons Erhard jun. and Arthur. The second one had thoroughly studied the efficient production facilities of the new technology during his travels to America. Thus many production-related innovations found their way into the company, whose creative director, designer and technical director Arthur Junghans was himself. The high-volume watch production was well received, as the rationally manufactured watches offered more value at a good price.

Fabriek eind 19e eeuw

The 1886 started production of pocket watches the company had suffered several setbacks. Only through merger with the company Thomas Haller, Schwenningen, which since the late 1890s had successfully produced simple pocket watches, the production range at Junghans for this kind of watches was expanded. In 1888 the company introduced a five-pointed star in the middle of a “J” as trademark. In 1890 the star got eight points. In the same year the legendary Calibre 10 was introduced, which as the standard movement with alarm function was used unchanged for fifty years.

1903 the vision of Arthur Junghans became reality: The company was the world’s largest watch factory. With over 3,000 employees were produced more than 3 million watches annually. A spatial expansion at the manufacturing plant was soon required. It was the terrace building that by his step-like structure offered daylight to each workplace in the watch manufacturing.

Bouw nieuwe fabriek

Around 1912 Junghans, as one of the first companies, developed a radioactive luminous color for noctilucent hands of pocket watches and alarm clocks.
1928 the production of wristwatches was started. Initially purchased movements from Ruhla were used, but already from 1930 an own calibre was produced.

Voor den arbeid!

When it comes to mechanical watches, the 1930s were of great significance. The first models from the legendary ‘Meister’ range were produced during this time and were deemed to be the finest watches the company had ever made.
Even after the Second World War, the innovative spirit of the master watchmakers of the house, despite removal of the factory, was unbroken. Already in 1946 the first wristwatch chronograph movement, the legendary J88, was developed. The in-house developed and manufactured calibres of the J-series with manual or automatic winding are counted to be among the best in the 1950s.


Swiss and German watch contractors signed up with the German Military [ Wehrmacht] before and during WWII as watch and timer suppliers. It was these contractors who proposed the brands and not the watch making companies. The contractor would deal with the manufacturer and due to this fact, we find a host of brands that were utilized by the German Military:

Alpina, Arsa, Buren, Bruchsicher, BWC, Choisi, Civitas, Edo, Freco, Gala, Girard-Perregaux Glycine, Grana, Hanhart, Helbro, Helios, Helma, Helvetia, Junghans, Longeau, Longines, Mimo, Minerva, Moeris, Moser, Mulco, Nisus, Phenix, Record, Recta, Revue, Stabila, Titus, Zenith, General Watch&Co, Grana, Hado, Förster Pforzheim, Gustonia, Flora, Acacia, Bulla, Era, Onda, Onsa, Alpina, Siegerin, Pronto, Monitor, Stowa, Tritona, Wagner, Aeschbach, Para, Berg, Nila, Omega, Mimo, Natalia, Wempe, Geering, Bidlingmaier, Speck, Vogele, Wiemer, Tutima, Hanhart, Zentra, Selza, Aristo, Lemania, Titus, Breitling, IWC, Roamer,Record, Rellum

Most were issued with sub-seconds dial, but the sweep second was also invested in, especially for Pilot Watches, Sub Watches, Artillery and Intelligence And Towards The Last Two Years.

D serial H
Dienstuhr Heer
Service Watch Army (Heer).
Depending on supplier, year, type and branch of service, watches could have a code stamped on case back, and/or the dial would be signed such as: D serial H, D.i. serial H codes for the German Army [Wehrmacht] were placed on all imported watches. A watch made for the German Army by a German company did not have to have the codes.
German Service Codes:
Navy (KM, M or Anchor) Luftwaffe ‘FI’ (Flight) ‘RLM’ (Reich Air Ministry)
Branch Codes:
DH: Dienstuhr Heer D: Dienstuhr Luftwaffe DRGM: Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster
RLM: Reichsluftfahrtministerium KM: Kriegsmarine DU: Dienstuhr (Verwaltung)
The junghans BO-UK I was the cockpit clock of all WW 2 german fighters and bombers.


On 15 December 1956 the company was taken over by the Diehl Group. From 1957 to 1962 the Swiss artist Max Bill created for the company wall clocks, table clocks and wristwatches in a simple, timeless Bauhaus design, which today enjoy extremely popularity and now are re-edited in a series “max bill by junghans”.

1962 the first electro-mechanical wristwatch of the company entered the market. In 1967 followed the first big quartz clock Astro-Chron and in 1970 the first German quartz wristwatch Astro-Quarz. This pioneering work in modern time measurement yielded international recognition: in 1972 the company was the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games in Munich. For the first time colored photo-finish was used, and the precision of the measurements was 1/100 seconds.

In 1976 the manufacture of mechanical watch movements was ended completely and the focus of all development efforts was now fully set on perfecting the quartz watch.

1985 the first mass-produced radio-controlled table clock was presented. It was able to independently synchronize with the atomic clock of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig. Even a year later, in 1986, the world’s first radio-controlled solar watch RCS1 could be presented. The world’s first radio-controlled wristwatch followed with the model MEGA 1 in the year 1990. Since then, the brand is known for quartz watches with solar power in conjunction with radio control.
For the 15th anniversary of the MEGA 1 in 2005 Junghans introduced the Mega 1000 as a tribute to the classic.

The 1950s also played a key role in the company’s long history. It was during this time that Junghans established itself as Germany’s biggest manufacturer of chronometers. ‘Uhrenfabriken Gebrüder Junghans A.G.’ set new standards in watch-making when it marked the company’s 100 year anniversary in 1961: Each day, 6,000 employees produced 5,000 wrist watches, more than 10,000
alarm clocks and 5,000 kitchen and living room clocks which were exported from Schramberg to a total of 100 countries.

Beside ongoing technological developments, Junghans attaches particular importance to an independent design culture. With the production of Junghans clocks designed by Max Bill from 1956 on, this notion was developed further. The collaboration gave rise to a legendary watch collection
which went on to become a modern design classic. Innovative design features were also launched in the form of the world’s first radiocontrolled watch, Mega 1, in 1990, a fruitful cooperation project with
Frog Design. The years before were also very exciting and saw the company presenting the first German quartz wrist watch, the ‘Astro-Quartz’, in 1970. Additional milestones occurred in the trend-setting 1990s with the first radio-controlled solar watch in 1993 and the use of high-tech materials such as ceramics, the first multi-frequency radio-controlled watch in 2004 and the expansion of the mechanical collection.

In 2000 the watch division was taken over by the EganaGoldpfeil Holding, where it was looked after by the well-known watch expert Heinz W. Pfeifer. The defense technology remained at the Diehl Group. Had the former company’s management still held in continued distancing from the traditional, but since the 1980s resurgent mechanics, Pfeifer, who had already led the brands Glashütte Original and Union to a spectacular new success, strongly engaged for a fundamental reorientation of the Junghans collection towards the mechanical watch. Under the motto “From Tradition to Future”, the collection has been radically revised. Clearly structured, it is now based on three pillars and thus reflects the main features of the corresponding brand again, “Tradition, Innovation and Continuity.”

Thus, the company unveiled at Baselworld 2006 two first own mechanical watch movements and thus emphasized the former, in the meantime, unfortunately, shamefully neglected manufacture expertise of the brand. It was the new Calibre J890, a classic column wheel chronograph movement with date and power reserve indication, and also the new calibre J830 with date and central seconds. Both calibres work with a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour and have a power reserve of more than 50 hours. They are also refined with stripes of type “Côtes de Genève” on bridge and rotor. For the decoration of the movement blued screws are used.
For the first time these fine finished movements were used in the series “Arthur Junghans 1861”. The prices were between 2.390, - € to 3990, - € and were intended as a real challenge to the established manufacturers.

After the much-discussed breakup of the EganaGoldpfeil holding the future of Junghans was on a knife edge. Due to the good reputation of the brand and tradition, not least because of the decisions already taken towards a new orientation, the value of the company was not in question. Therefore, many applicants came forward who were interested in the continuation of the company. The generally accepted choice in 2009 fell on the local entrepreneur Dr. Hans-Jochem Steim, who along with his son Hannes Steim took over the company. Dr. Steim, a freeman of the city Schramberg had received an e-mail by the Mayor on 22 September 2008, where it was asked whether he could imagine to save Junghans.

In January 2009 Steim father and son decided, to jump on board with two-third (the father) plus one-third (the son). Both have a close affinity to watch themselves - and so are continuing a family tradition. Over a hundred years ago the Carl Haas GmbH, owned by the Kern-Liebers group and today led by Hannes Steim, had supplied Junghans with precision springs. And from the year 1930 the company, also based at Schramberg, had produced Nivarox hairsprings for mechanical movements.
The former Junghans Board, consisting of Werner Wicklein and Matthias Stotz, has been retained. In the meantime the brand “Erhard Junghans” has been reintegrated into Junghans and now plays the role of a collection, similar to the “Max Bill” collection. Werner Wicklein died in May 2010.

Fabriek nu

In 2011, Junghans celebrated its 150 year success story with the launch of three limited edition mechanical models and a fresh interpretation of historic series such as the ‘Meister’ range. For the first time, Junghans combined in its ‘Force’ model the Junghans-own multi-frequency radiocontrolled
technology with solar technology within a ceramic case. The strikingly flat movement is fitted with the patented Junghans Autoscan technology which enables automatic identification of the current signal
transmitter and synchronises the time during travel.


The new line ‘1972’ reflects this year’s motto of ‘time for sportive peak performance’. The models are based on product concepts from that time and include a striking case and fresh colour accents in the 1970’s style. Equipped with the latest technology, they reflect the company’s sporting successes as the official timekeeper at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. Thanks to Junghans’ new measuring methods, including measuring time accurate a 100th of a second using the first colour photographs of the finish line, this event saw the revolution of sports time keeping. The design classic max bill by junghans now incorporates a women’s line with enhanced wearing comfort. The re-design of a table
clock, based on original Max Bill design drawings from 1958, perfectly completes the max bill by junghans range.

Currently, Junghans, in partnership with Seiko, is developing a watch which will automatically set the local time in what ever respective time zone a wearer i. Say, you board a plane in NY (US EASTERN TIME) and fly to California (WESTERN US TIME) your watch will reset itself automatically.

www.junghans.de (btw ook erg mooie catalogi te downloaden daar!)

Mijn Junghans Trilastic, 70er jaren :slight_smile:


Leuk verhaal, bedankt het delen. Interessant detail dat ze I.s.m. Seiko een horloge ontwikkelen dat zich aanpast aan de tijdzone. Zou dit een MecaQuartz zijn?


thnks, tis een cobi tussen mega, gps en solar… :slight_smile:


Dank voor het delen!

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Opnieuw een heel interessant verhaal, deze keer van een befaamd Duits merk. Wat zijn die Bauhaus klokken toch schitterend en tijdloos. Geweldig. Bedankt voor het delen.


Het wordt misschien tijd dat deze stukken van RobertGerard een aparte rubriek krijgen en zo gebundeld worden. Wat mij betreft erg leerzaam en een soort online naslagwerk; RobertGerard bedankt! :+1:


Leuk artikel, bedankt. En ik vind jouw Trilastic niet onderdoen voor die Max Bills.
Vind dat onbenoemde gouden horloge ook heel fraai.
Heb momenteel kennelijk last van een lichte vorm van Max Bill/Bauhaus-moeheid :worried:.
Maar vind Junghans een sympathiek merk. Heb zelf vorige maand een Meister Handaufzug aangeschaft:


ja geweldig he! :slight_smile: thnks


de vroegere trilastics en meisters en max bills hebben iets tijdloos! :slight_smile:

mooi mooi mooi de jouwe!!! ja een erg symphatiek merk zelfs, alleen voor mijn budget wel prijzig hoor, kwaliteit wordt zeer zeker
geleverd, dat wel!!

BTW ik heb ook een nieuwe Jungshans Quartz “Carriage” klok :smile:

Prachtig verhaal! Ik heb een Mega Solar Ceramic (voorganger van de huidige Force) uit 2000 die al 15 jaar dienst doet. De Max Bills en Meisters zijn prachtige horloges…

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showen :slight_smile:

Het zal even met een plaatje van Google moeten, want hij is op het moment in reparatie (defecte band):

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ah ok zo een :slight_smile: mooi ook!!
echte deutsche Grundligkeit

Ja, ik vind 'm na 15 jaar ook nog steeds mooi.

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Bedankt voor het artikel!

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Ik heb hier in de keuken ook een Junghans hangen. Is er iemand die hier meer over weet : jaar van productie, waarde, …


Deze keukenklok met kookwekker is een ontwerp van Max Bill.
De klok kreeg in 1962 de “iF Industrie Forum” Design Award.

Tot zover mijn kennis,



Zijn in meerdere uitvoeringen gemaakt. Ook diverse kleuren.
Heb zelf een mechanische en een quartz in blauw en wit. Is overigens genoeg over te vinden, zijn erg gewild. Heb er zelfs een advertentie van ingelijst.