Since 1865, Guinand has been continuously building mechanical watches of the highest quality. It is not only one of the oldest watch manufacturers in Europe, but also one of the very few family businesses that produces continuously from 1865 to the present day. As early as 1881, the first own chronograph mechanism was developed. Since that time and until today, Guinand stands in the tradition of making watches for special requirements.
Early on, Guinand supplied the air forces of France and Italy and the British Admiralty. For technicians and scientists stopwatches, and later wrist chronographs, were developed. For the first 100 years, Guinand had its headquarters in Switzerland and now, for more than two decades, in the Rödelheim district of Frankfurt.
Drawing from a rich pool of experience acquired since 1865, Guinand manufactures exclusively specific mechanical watches in small numbers. The watches are distinguished by their independent and distinctive design, a high degree of handicraft quality, and attention to detail. Guinand watches are created by hand in the workshop in Frankfurt/ Rödelheim in small quantities which imparts the experience of exclusivity.
Faithful to the brand’s motto ‘’Handmade in Frankfurt am Main’, all the essential steps in production take place in Germany: watchcases and watch hands are developed, constructed and produced here. Assembly and regulation, as well s the final quality controls are done here as well.
Guinand watches are assembled by hand and checked carefully after every production step by expert watch makers. No watch leaves the house without having passed a one-week running test, as well as having undergone a test of precise rate, and water resistance. This is proven by an end inspection certificate paper which is enclosed to every new watch, as well as to all watches that have undergone a revision.
You can purchase Guinand watches only directly at the factory sales in Frankfurt-Rödelheim, and of course as well on Guinand’s website. This sales model enables personal contact to customers that is appreciated by Guinand customers from all over the world.
On April 21st 1865, the two brothers Julien-Alcide and Charles Leon Guinand established the Guinand Frères Company in Les Brenets, a little Swiss town on the Doubs, the river bordering France and Switzerland. The young enterprise soon began to develop as well in Germany, Scandinavia and the USA, which became strong sales markets with an enormous demand for precision watches.
Due to an economic crisis towards the end of the 1870s, the American market was lost, the main customer Fellow & Cie in New York ruined in 1876. For the still young company this was a heavy blow. Therefore, a branch office was founded in Hamburg in 1876. The business was transferred to Copenhagen in 1880, from where the overseas business was overseen.
In 1880 the cousin of Leon Guinand, Julien Gallet, suggested new ways to go and produce chronographs. In search of a way out of the crisis, the ingenious watchmaker Charles Léon Guinand developed his own chronograph, and brought it to market in 1881. Based on the chronograph, further developments were soon added, and around the turn of the 20th century, production already included a whole series of intricate watches. Branches in Le Locle, for pocket watches with the logo C.L. Guinand and Morteau in France are founded to better market the watches.
With the development of a new tachymeter chronograph around 1900, Leon Guinand became a prominent entrepreneur in the watchmaking world. Founder Leon Guinand passed away in 1908 and following his death, his widow took over the management together with her son George Henri Guinand. As a far-sighted entrepreneur, George Henri Guinand also began as early as 1910 to switch to the production of pocket and wrist chronographs. Bit by bit, the company developed a range of intricate wrist chronographs. This was followed by products for special applications, delivered to the French and Italian governments, as well as the British admiralty.
In 1945, Georges-Henri Guinand, the son of company founder, who was entrusted with the management of Guinand Frères, transformed the business into a listed company. During the heyday of mechanical watches, Guinand Watch Co. S.A., the company’s new name, was the ultimate synonym for the rattrapante wrist watch, the split second chronograph.
In addition to the production for their own brand, Guinand Watch Co. also supplied numerous renowned watch brands of this era and, thanks to its specialization in intricate chronographs, even survived the major brand deaths in Switzerland at the end of the 1970s.
In 1946, George Henri Guinand died. His sons Léon and John took over the responsibility of the company, subsequently joined by his grandchildren Jean and Michel. With Michel Guinand, the last descendant of the founding family headed the company until the takeover by Helmut Sinn in the mid-nineties. During this time, chronograph milestones arose such as the model 361, a waterproof chronograph with a water pressure of 200 m.
One of Guinand‘s major customers has been the Frankfurt watch pioneer Helmut Sinn since the early sixties. Until the nineties Guinand Watch Co. made a not inconsiderable part of the Sinn watches.
In 1994, at the age of 80, Helmut Sinn decided to retire to a well-deserved retirement and sold his Frankfurt Company. But the ideas continued to bubble and wanted to be implemented. In 1995 Helmut Sinn took over the shares of Guinand S.A. from the Guinand family. He was again filled with passion and in 1996 founded the company ‘’Jubilar Uhren Inh. Helmut Sinn’’ in Frankfurt am Main. Finally, in 2000, production in Switzerland was discontinued for other brands and production in Guinand, Chronosport and Jubilar was relocated to Germany. So, ‘’Jubilar watches Inh. Helmut Sinn’’ became the company ‘’Guinand watches Helmut Sinn GmbH’’ based in Frankfurt am Main.
There are watch milestones such as the world time watch WZU, the series 31 – unique by the function with seconds lock, the one-hand 24h watch, the big Regulator or the Büren 12 and of course the classics Series 40 and Series 60. The series 40 is the direct descendant of the Guinand model 361 originally introduced in the 1960s and is still today an indispensable part of the Guinand model range. The brand re-issued Flying Officer, Guinand‘s second successful model from the sixties – the successor model Pilot Officer was reissued in 2019.
In 2014/15, Helmut Sinn sold the business 2014/2015 to Dipl. Ing. Matthias Klüh. With the change of the company owner, the company moved into a new establishment the district of Rödelheim. In the best Guinand tradition, special watches are also being created at the new location, such as the Flying Officer / Pilot Officer series, the ASFlieger, the HS10X tetralogy, the Werksfahrer Chrono 1 and the DuoIndikator. With the 361 Guinand finally revived the reissue of the classic of the 60s.
In 2018, Helmut Sinn died at the age of almost 102 years. The model HS102, which was originally planned for this birthday, was released as a limited series in recognition of his life‘s work by Guinand after his death – after just 48 hours, this Guinand watch was completely sold out.
In 2019, Guinand once again demonstrated its expertise as an independent, German watchmaking company. The Flight Engineer model introduced an pilot watch that defies magnetic fields thanks to a protective mantle up to a field strength of 80,000 A / m.
Official website: https://www.guinand-uhren.de/home-en.html