KIENZLE’s history dates back further than that of any other German watch maker operating today. Since 1822 KIENZLE has been making a significant contribution to establishing and expanding the German watch-making industry and its worldwide reputation.
Thanks to its highly appealing contemporary design and innovative technology, KIENZLE is the traditional German brand for twenty-first century timepieces that enjoys an excellent worldwide reputation. Following the purchase of the brand by the KIENZLE AG, Hamburg, the management set about re-establishing KIENZLE as one of the leading German watch brands on the international stage.
Precision, reliability, innovation and excellent value for money are the principles underpinning almost 200 years of company history. These competencies will remain the most important values in the company’s present and future.
MILESTONES IN THE KIENZLE HISTORY
- 1822: 2,000 pendulum and wall clocks were produced by 20 employees in the company’s foundation year (then trading as Schlenker).
- 1855: “Night watchman’s recording clocks” are sold all over the world.
- 1883: Jakob Kienzle marries into the Schlenker family; the company is renamed SCHLENKER & KIENZLE.
- 1899: Machine production with around 400 employees.
- 1910: The first automotive clocks are produced; for Rolls- Royce in England, for example. During the fifties and sixties, nearly every clock fitted in a German car was a KIENZLE. Clients include Jaguar, Daimler, BMW, Volvo, Audi, Renault, Ford and Opel.
- 1932: The legendary KIENZLE 8-day aviation clock was created in the 1930s by developing the automotive clock further. It was fitted into the instrument panel in aeroplane cockpits.
- 1939: KIENZLE has 3,500 employees and produces approx. 5 million timepieces per year.
- 1954: The first parking meters are invented and are manufactured almost exclusively by KIENZLE in the 1950s and 1960s.
- 1956: Series production of automatic wristwatches begins. The “people’s automatic watch” is born, thus marking the breakthrough for wrist watches with an automatic winding mechanism.
- 1966: One in four wristwatches sold in the Federal Republic of Germany is a KIENZLE.
- 1972: Annual production increases to over 7 million units. KIENZLE invents the first solar-powered timepiece (“Heliomat”), the first battery-powered timepiece and the first quartz watch.
- 1974: KIENZLE is the biggest wristwatch manufacturer in the Federal Republic of Germany.
- 1987: KIENZLE sells 300 million timepieces worldwide.
- 1996: More product and manufacturing innovations, restructuring to become an independent profit centre.
- 1999: The KIENZLE watch-making division is taken over by an Asian manufacturer.
- 2002: KIENZLE AG is founded in Hamburg.
- 2006: Global brand rights purchased. KIENZLE GmbH, Hamburg, takes over management of the brand.
- 2007: Launch of the 1822- Made in Germany collection. Launch of the EDITION JAKOB KIENZLE, complication watches with manufacture in Germany. Reorganization of the KIENZLE management. Stephan W. Kruse-Thamer is now CEO
- 2008: Move to KIENZLE-House in Hamburg.
- 2010: The KIENZLE watch brand concept is halted in order to review and re-prioritize its focus.
- 2011: A new and international KIENZLE watch collection is launched. It is positioned as the “people’s watch”.