A work pal of mine grabbed this bargain off the internet and I have to say it is a whole lot of watch for the wonga and it has a real presence on the wrist. I particularly liked the crispness of the dial and the ease of reading the time on this watch. That might seem odd but watch faces can be busy and not always easy to read at a quick glance. This one is a thumbs up from Beastie Folly. Anyway, here is a bit of history on Kienzle.
When the German watchmaker Johannes Schlenker opened a watch-making workshop in Schwenningen in 1822, the region was growing thanks to the popularity of the watch industry. But at the turn of the 19th century, this industry began to fall as the lack of manpower and the high prices of raw materials affected the region. Schlenker’s company survived this crisis because it kept up with the times. Today the company is known by the name Kienzle and is the oldest German watch brand.
By 1855, the popularity of Schlenker’s watches had grown so much that they were sold in different markets.
1883 The 24-year-old Jakob Kienzle married into the Schlenker family. When he and his brother-in-law, Carl-Johannes Schlenker, took over the company, it was renamed as Schlenker & Kienzle.
In 1897, Jakob Kienzle became the sole owner of Schlenker & Kienzle. He renamed his company to KIENZLE, 20 years later.
1899 The company stepped up manufacturing with industrial production. As a major employer, Schlenker & Kienzle had approximately 400 workers.
Due to its enormous success in cosmopolitan cities, subsidiaries were founded in Milan, London and Paris in 1902.
In 1908, KIENZLE started producing wrist watches. Within 10 years of moving into industrial manufacturing, the annual production exceeded more than two million watches and movements. The workforce quadrupled to approximately 1,700 people.
1910 KIENZLE expanded into the automobile industry producing the first-ever automotive clocks for prestigious brands such as Rolls-Royce in England.
In 1911, KIENZLE expanded across the Atlantic and set up its fourth subsidiary in New York, USA.
1913 Two years after its expansion, KIENZLE had 2,500 employees and produced over three million timepieces every year.
1931 Following the fashion of the times, KIENZLE successfully launched its Art Déco collection. Nobody at the time could have known that this collection would mark its revival in the 21st century. By this time, the watches were promoted by a mobile showroom: the legendary KIENZLE bus.
1932 One year later, KIENZLE made the big jump into the aviation industry by developing cockpit instruments, paving the way for the creation of the 8 Day Aviation Clock.
And in 1948, the brand celebrated the huge success of its mechanical watches in the famous Bauhaus style.
1964 A subsidiary was formed in Zurich, Switzerland.
At the end of the 60s, KIENZLE had a monopoly for the production of clocks in the automobile industry and supplied watches for dashboard panels to several well-known and luxurious brands such as Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar, BMW, Audi and others.
In the 70s, KIENZLE started producing trendy digital and radio signal watches. The production grew to over seven million watches and clocks annually.
1987 KIENZLE sold over 300 million units worldwide and has been one of the most successful watch brands – even to this day.
Starting in 1995, the world sees KIENZLE’s Hyperbar Extreme. The most pressure resistant watch ever is water-resistant up to 12,000 metres or 39,300 feet.
2012 KIENZLE opened a flagship store in Lucerne, Switzerland. The oldest German watch brand today has its headquarters in Meggen near Lucerne, subsidiaries in Hamburg, Germany, and Hong Kong.
2013 KIENZLE pays tribute to the collections that were instrumental in building the brand. The mechanical wristwatches of the “1822 Heritage” collection are based on models from 1931, 1948, 1956 and 1959.