Mühle Watches History Review
Tuesday - 26 February 2013
"Our watches represent mechanical precision and reliability." ~ Mühle
Precision is all about integrity and reliability. A precise watch will give accurate time over and over again.
Precision is also about quality of workmanship. Precise watches look, feel and operate beautifully, giving accurate time and pleasure day to their wearer after day, and year after year.
The history of Mühle wristwatches is a story of devotion to precision, even amidst the threats of world wars and communism, and even as the products it created changed from generation to generation.
It's a journey that begins - and ends - with timekeeping and watchmaking, with a number of detours en route.
Mühle: Founded on Precision
Mühle's journey started in the 19th century with unswerving dedication to precise, quality watchmaking.
In 1869, a 28 year old Robert Mühle finished his apprenticeship in watchmaking and founded his own company in the town of Glashütte in Saxony, Germany. Rather than setting up a watchmaker, he started a business creating precision measuring instruments for the local watchmaking industry.
As the Mühle family recently said: "In doing so [Robert] dedicated himself to what has always been the story of our family and our products up to the present day: precision measuring."
"Robert Mühle dedicated himself to what has always been the story of our family and our products up to the present day: precision measuring."
Such was Robert Mühle's belief in the importance of precision that instead of adopting the traditional measuring unit, known as the "Paris line", he opted for the new metric system.
His precise measuring tools helped to establish Glashütte's reputation as the centre of the German watchmaking industry. Additionally, his dedication to precision won the company awards, including the 1896 Dresden "Gold Medal of the Year".
Expanding the Range
By the early 20th century, Robert Mühle's business became Rob. Mühle & Sohn. The company expanded from making measuring tools and began to supply parts to famous car manufacturers, including Mayback, DKW and Horch. They made car clocks, speedometers and rev counters.
Following World War Two, the company was nationalized by the East German government. However, Robert Mühle's grandson, Hans Mühle, established a new business in December 1945. Having inherited his family's devotion to precision, Hans Mühle manufactured dial trains for instruments to measure pressure and temperature.
This continued through the 1980s, when the Mühle brand was nationalized for the second time.
Returning to Watchmaking
Following the fall of communism in the early 1990s, in 1994, Hans Mühle's son, Hans-Jürgen Mühle, re-established the family business, and named it Mühle-Glashütte. The new company manufactured marine chronometers and from 1996 it started producing wristwatches, a tradition it continues to this day.
The Mühle website explains: "Even in an age of GPS systems and satellite navigation, a sextant and chronometer are still recommended equipment for a luxury or ocean-going yacht because they do not rely on on-board electronics and are therefore indispensable as an emergency system."
"Today we can say with pride that the name “Mühle” has stood for precision and precision measuring for five generations." ~ Mühle
Precise, accurate, reliable measuring equipment vital out at sea, where nautical instruments are the only guarantee against getting lost on the ocean waves.
Today, the company is led by a fifth generation Mühle, Thilo. He is the great, great grandson of Robert Mühle.