The Zurich watch brand Werenbach produces quality mechanical watches with material from rockets that have been in space. All Werenbach watches contain original material from the Soyuz spacecraft. In 1961 this type of rocket launched the first astronauts into space and today still carries astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
Specifically, the watch material comes from the first stage of the rocket, which was jettisoned shortly after launch and fell back to Earth. The boosters landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan, where they were retrieved by Werenbach founder Patrick Hohmann and transported to Switzerland. The material was prepared there and processed into precision watch components. Whereas in the models of the hand-made Atelier Collection, the case as well as elements of the dial (in some models) were made of rocket material, in the ‘Earth Collection’ original material was used solely for the dial.
The rocket determines the design – each watch is unique. The raw material used is left in its original condition and by the colour, one can easily see which part of the rocket it comes from: if the dial is white, the material comes from the fairing of the spacecraft (nose cone); if it is grey, then it was made from part of the booster.
The orange-coloured metal plate incorporated in the dials of some of the models comes from the cladding of the rocket engine. In short, the rocket determines the design of the watch. The unprocessed surface of the original rocket parts shows scratches and other signs of wear that make each watch unique.
The beating heart of the watch is Cal. STP 1-11 (Swiss Made) made by Swiss Technology Production in Switzerland.
In 2017, the brand conducted a successful crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter and attracted an amount of CHF 768,039 for the mass scale production of these watches.
The Zurich start-up company Werenbach has been making watches since 2013 out of material from spaceborn Russian Soyuz rockets. Up to now the watches have been produced in very limited editions and sold directly. Three watches have already been unofficially tested by astronauts in space. Patrick Hohmann is the owner and CEO of Werenbach.