Junghans, the German watchmaker that pioneered atomic (radio-controlled) and solar technology in timepieces, marked its 140th anniversary Sept. 24 with production of its 27 millionth atomic timepiece. The millisecond accuracy of the watches and clocks is maintained via radio signals from government atomic clocks, received by miniature antennas built into the timepieces.
The celebration in Schramburg, Germany, the longtime Black Forest headquarters of Junghans, included top officials of Junghans and EganaGoldpfeil (the global luxury goods marketer that bought Junghans in 2000), regional and state government officials, and other guests.
The 27 millionth atomic watch—a Mega Solar Ceramic model, introduced this year in the United States—was presented to Justus Frantz, Germany’s best-known pianist and conductor, who is founder and conductor of the Philharmonia of the Nations, featuring 200 musicians from 40 countries.
Junghans’ U.S. offices are located in Pompano Beach, Fla., headquarters of Egana of Switzerland (America), of which it is a division. Its primary customers are independent jewelers and other fine retailers. Junghans and Egana officials have identified penetration of the North American market as a top priority for the company. Egana plans to invest $10 million to $20 million over the next five years in developing the U.S. market for its watches, jewelry, and accessories. Junghans officials expect annual U.S. sales to reach a minimum of 50,000 watches within a few years. Hans Blubath, chairman of the Junghans division, calls atomic watch technology “the next great technology after quartz, which it will eventually replace.”