Erhard Junghans

Originally established in 1861, Erhard Junghans is one of the oldest and prestigious German watch brands with international fame.

The significance of an event frequently reveals itself only in retrospect, and true greatness is recognized only from a distance in time. Ideas, achievements, and new beginnings have to be seen in their historical context. Even those who started a revolution are them selves only the product of a chain reaction, an intermediate result in the eternal play of cause and effect. The protagonists of the events and their contemporaries must have been well aware of the unusual accumulation of milestones in the year 1861.

A civil war broke out in the United States of America, which was not only a war between the states but also between the old ways and new ways of thinking.In Russia, Tsar Alexander II abolished serfdom and established the city of Vladivostok on the pacific. In Cambridge Massachusetts, The MIT was founded under the mottio , “mens et manus” (Mind and hand), and in front of the physics society of Frankfurt, Germany. Philipp Reis demonstrated the principle of electrical voice transmission which he had discovered a year earlier :The telephone-a term that be coined-was born.

In German Black forest region, the tradition of clock making had been in decline for years. Imports from overseas made it increasingly difficult for the numerous small businesses to stand their ground. In 1861, one business man saw this crisis as a challenge –a man whom the people in this region and beyond would soon call the inventor of German watch : Erhard Junghans.

Tradition and innovation

The question whether Erhard Junghans was indeed the inventor of German watch “is academic. But from an emotional point of view, the honorary title is well deserved. Thanks to his ability to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation, the art of clock making flourished once again in Germany. He was able to bring numerous individual craftsmen together who had been scattered across the land, and they built an innovative manufacture.Erhard Junghans, who has extremely dedicated to the preservation of the Black Forest’s clock making tradition, was a visionary. He knew that he could be only continue this history by meeting challenges with innovation and an open mind for anything new. Erhard Junghans was the first of a new type of entrepreneurs who were conservative in their values but in their thinking. New Production processes were introduced, and technological innovations soon added several new chapters to the history of the Black Forest’s clock making. But in other areas, too Erhard Junghans and his descendants were far ahead of their time: a health plan for all employees, communal facilities such as a swimming pool, and even company housing were among their pioneering achievements which made significant contributions to the German welfare system. Far Beyond the limits of Schaumberg , the Junghans name became synonymous with the blessings of a new era.

Rise and success

The very first catalog of watches created under the guiding hand of Erhard Junghans has long become a historical document. It has been preserved for posterity at the Junghans museum in the company’s original headquarters. This kind of professional marketing of his watches, considered innovative at the time, marked the beginning of an era of growing commercial success for Erhard Junghans. Unfortunately, he would not live to see many of the highlights yet to come for the name and the brand, as he already passed away in 1870, surrounded by his family. But the free spirit that be had embodied throughout his life certainly lived on. Shortly before Erhard’s death, his son, Arthur, had returned from an extensive journey across America, bringing back plenty of ideas and plans. His father, who had been driven by a tireless zest for action in the last years of his life, would have been very proud of him.Erhard Junghans’ demise was a great loss not only for his family but for the entire clock-and watch making industry in the Black Forest. Under the guidance of his determined widow, Luise, the family became even closer, and in 1875, Arthur Junghans, a trained watchmaker himself and also a widely traveled businessman, took charge of a flourishing company.

Local and Global

In the final two decades of the nineteenth century, the family name already rich in tradition, became a symbol that was recognized and respected all over the world. A pronounced business acumen, new process and technical innovations such as Caliber 10, which was introduced in 1890 and remained in use unaltered up to the mid twentieth century, helped the family business gain a decisive lead on its way to global brand, representing not only the virtues of the black forest but also the promises of a globalization that nobody could have imagined at the time.

The crowning moment of a lifetime of service to a new era came just before the turn of the century with the request to produce a watch for the 1900 World Fair in Paris. Junghans himself gathered his best watch makers to create a watch that would do justice to this symbolic occasion and this special point in time.A watch that linked past and future, a monumental masterpiece, elaborately decorated, that managed to excite, enchant and educate at the same time with its mechanical representation of the Passion of Christ. In Paris the watch became a symbol for the turn of an era and was one of the first attractions of the new century.

The history of clock making in the Black forest region dates back to the year 1680, when Lorenz Frey, a joiner from St Margen, bought a clock from a Bohemian salesman. This gave him the idea to make his own cases based on this model. Around the same time, two other clock makers – Simon Henniger from St Georgen and Simon Dilger from Urach- began independently to manufacturing precision timepieces was gradually established in the Black Forest. More than 145 years after the company was founded, Schramberg is still the place where watches of the Erhard Junghans brand are born. To this day, the Junghans name is synonymous with quality and reliability, living up to the standards of a product “Made in Germany”.A joiner, a Bohemian salesman, a few scattered clockmakers and finally a businessman who put all these pieces together to create a whole: a Vision that changed a quaint little town, an entire region and timekeeping as such-Forever.

Man and Humanity

Historical sources as well as oral accounts –the curator of the Junghans Museum has been in the company,s services for more than fifty years and was acquainted with some of his predecessors whose personal connections dated back to the earliest beginnings – indicate that Erhard Junghans enjoyed his extra ordinary success, his financial security, and the appreciation he received. But these all too human pleasures were not his driving force-they were just the result of a philosophy that always aimed high and strove for the best.This impulse might have easily led him to a state of inaction, but it is also an essential part of evolution. And Erhard Junghans not only succeeded in stimulating progress –he was also able to turn his visionary drive into a philosophy that he shared with his family, whose outings in one of the first Maybach limousines were the talk of the town in quaint little Schramberg- undoubtedly due to the attraction itself, but also because the entire region took pride in the face that the dashboard instruments of this technological marvel of its day had been manufactured by Junghans.

Work and Works

With the first collection of timepieces under the legendary banner of visionary Erhard Junghans , the public was a stringent elegant classicism , the first Erhard Junghans watches of their kind fulfill a growing desire for substance, value and independence, especially in our fast moving times. Shape, proportion and function are perfectly coordinated, while traditional aesthetics and visual innovation blend to form a harmonious whole.Exquisite materials, traditional manufacture, technical know-how and an unmistakable profile are the distinguishing features of thus collection that marks the beginning of a new road for the Erhard Junghans name.

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