History of Junghans Watches

Junghans watches are associated with clean lines, sporty aesthetics and a distinct minimalist styling inspired by the Bauhaus movement. First founded under the name “Junghans and Tobler”, the company was founded in Schramberg, Germany when Erhard Junghans went into business with his brother in law Jakob Zeller-Tobler in 1861. By developing affordable clock components, many companies valued their relationship with the manufacturer. In 1866, the first Junghans watch was developed just before Erhard Junghans passed away and his wife took over the company. It was during this time that her son, Arthur Junghans spent lots of time in the United States witnessing innovative watchmaking techniques that would subsequently pave the way for the future of Junghans watches.

The world famous five pointed star became the motif for Junghans in 1866 but soon changed to an eight pointed star just two years later. The company used the legendary Calibre 10 for many of its watches up until this point. The engine would remain unchanged for 5 decades. Having got to a stage of producing over 3 million watches every year, Junghans needed to expand its facilities. Not only was the atelier one of the first to create watches and clocks that were made visible in the dark, but Junghans also began producing its own movements during the 1930s.

Junghans collaborated with Swiss artist Max Bill in the late 1950s, to create clocks and wristwatches with a minimalist design. It later began working with new quartz technology and released the first German quartz wristwatch called the Astro Quartz. Up to 1990, the company had also developed its first radio controlled table clock and been selected as official timekeepers of the 1972 Olympics in West Germany.

EganaGoldpfeil Holding took over Junghans in the year 2000. The Meister collection appeared 6 years later, shortly before EganaGoldpfeil fell into financial difficulties. In 2008 the company was taken over by Hans-Jochem Steim and his son Hannes Steim who launched the Max Bill collection in tribute to the company’s heritage. Junghans now looks back on a proud history of over 150 years and continues to innovate with new additions to its most popular lines.

The Junghans Meister watch collection is home to gold and steel timepieces equipped with chronograph functions, simple three handed dial designs and classic leather bands. A telemeter watch and “Kalendar” version also belongs to this line, the latter of which features a date ring and moonphase indicator at 6 o’clock and a day and month window at 10 and 2 o’clock respectively. With a case design first produced in the 1930s yet not experiencing the height of its success until the 50s and 60s, this timeless classic also marked the time when Junghans became the third largest producer of chronometers within the watch industry.

The Junghans Max Bill watch has changed very little since the first model launched in 1961. Characterised by rounded numerals, a minimalist design and a domed sapphire glass front, these timepieces continue to combine a restrained case with a striking simplicity.