It was in 1861 that Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law founded Zeller & Junghans in the Black Forest region of Germany and swiftly grew and expanded. Today, Junghans continues to innovate, unveiling radio-controlled movements in addition to mechanical calibers, Bauhaus-inspired Max Bill watches, vintage-inspired Meister pilot and drive watches and so much more.
Since its inception in 1861, Junghans has become synonymous with precision and innovation in the world of horology. As one of Germany’s most renowned watch manufacturers, Junghans has a rich heritage spanning over a century. Established in 1861 by Erhard Junghans and his brother-in-law, Jakob Zeller-Tobler, in the town of Schramberg, Germany. Initially, the company focused on manufacturing high-quality watch parts. However, in 1866, they introduced their first complete watch, marking the beginning of their watchmaking legacy.
In the early 20th century, Junghans embraced technological advancements. They introduced electric movements in 1927, leading the way in the emerging field of electric timekeeping. Additionally, Junghans produced the first German wristwatch with a self-winding movement in 1926, showcasing their commitment to innovation. During World War II, Junghans shifted production to support the German military effort. However, the company faced significant challenges, and the Schramberg factory was severely damaged in bombing raids.
After the war, Junghans faced a difficult period of reconstruction. However, they persevered and resumed production in 1946. In the following years, Junghans embraced modern design principles, collaborating with renowned architects and designers. This led to iconic timepieces such as the Max Bill series, which exemplified Bauhaus-inspired minimalism. Throughout the later half of the 20th century, Junghans continued to expand their range of watches, incorporating quartz technology and introducing innovative features like radio-controlled timekeeping.
Junghans has continued to thrive in recent decades, blending tradition with modernity. They have maintained their reputation for exquisite craftsmanship and precision. Junghans has collaborated with notable figures in design and sports, creating limited-edition collections and special editions that resonate with collectors and watch enthusiasts worldwide. Their watches have stood the test of time, reflecting the brand’s dedication to quality, innovation, and aesthetic appeal. With over a century of watchmaking expertise, Junghans remains a significant force in the world of horology, a testament to their enduring legacy and commitment to excellence.
Junghans holds a unique place in history as one of the pioneers in radio-controlled timekeeping. In 1990, they introduced the Mega 1, the world’s first radio-controlled wristwatch. This innovative timepiece could synchronize itself with atomic clocks via radio signals, ensuring unparalleled accuracy. The Mega 1 set a new standard in precision timekeeping and showcased Junghans’ commitment to pushing boundaries in watch technology. Today, Junghans continues to incorporate radio-controlled movements in their timepieces, offering wearers the convenience of always having the most accurate time down to the second.
Since its acquisition by the Steim Group in 2009, Junghans has continued to operate as an independent company, upholding its unique corporate strategy both in Germany and internationally. The Steim Group, a family-owned company based in Germany, has been the proud owner of Junghans since 2009. This ownership change has allowed Junghans to maintain its commitment to producing innovative products ‘made in Germany.’ With the support of the Steim Group, Junghans can continue its legacy of precision and craftsmanship while embracing the latest advancements in horology.
The Steim family, who owns Junghans, has a fascinating connection to the world of watchmaking that spans multiple generations. The family’s involvement in the watch industry can be traced back to the early 20th century when Arthur Steim, the current owners’ great-grandfather, started his watch components business. Over the years, the Steim family’s passion for watches and their dedication to craftsmanship has been passed down through generations. This deep-rooted understanding and appreciation for horology have played a influential role in the continued success and development of Junghans under their ownership.