Switzerland based Hercules Watches Company produces mechanical timepieces inspired by mountaineering. Available in hand-wound and automatic versions, these robust and reliable timekeepers blend Alpinism and exquisite craftsmanship.
In 1953, an Austrian mountaineer called Hermann Buhl became the first person to climb the Nanga Parbat mountain 8’126 M. Around his wrist: a Hercules watch.
History of Hercules Watches
Watchmaker Robert Pfaff, whose family had already manufactured watches in Pforzheim in the 1920s and 1930s, took on co-partner Robert Henzi around 1946, and a new company was founded.
In 1952, Henzi & Pfaff employed a little more than 200 people. They opened a manufacture in Stein, Germany. Henzi & Pfaff developed a very successful marketing strategy. When in 1953, a German-Austrian mountaineering group was supposed to climb the Himalayan summit Nanga Parbat for the first time. Henzi & Pfaff equipped the group with their Hercules timepieces.
The triumphant ascent and the worldwide attention of the expedition were marketed very effectively by Henzi & Pfaff. As a result, Henzi & Pfaff started further expeditions with watches and thus developed the image of reliable, robust, and at the same time, sporty watches.
Buhl left the base camp at 02:00 on the 3rd of July in 1953. Around 19:00, he reached the top and became the first person to climb an 8’000-er alone. He couldn’t return to the base-camp and spent the night on a small ledge with only space to stand up. At the end of the following day, he reached one of the base camps. The other members of the expedition assumed that he had died already. Buhl became a legendary climber. Several books have been written about him, and two movies have been made.
In 2022, the brand made a comeback with an exclusive series of Swiss made watches based on the original pieces that went up the mountain.
On May 21st, 2023, renowned mountain climber and polar ski guide, Ryan Waters successfully ascended Mount Everest, 8,848.86 m (29,031 ft 8+1⁄2 in).
He climbed to the top of the world with a Hercules Watch based on the original timepiece that went up with Hermann Buhl, who climbed the Nanga Parbat in 1953.
In 2023, the luxury-alpinist brand released the new Natural Ice Wonders collection.