A History of Bruno Söhnle Watches



A Glashütte Brand – Find Out All About Bruno Söhnle watches

In the town of Glashütte, in the area of Eastern Germany known as Saxony lies the home of German watchmaking. Bruno Söhnle watches are one of the eleven manufacturers who call Glashütte their home along with 7,000 inhabitants, many of which are actually employed in the industry of watchmaking by those local manufacturers! Historically the area was home to many more watchmaking companies until the end of the Second World War when the area came under Soviet control as part of what was classed as East Germany. Then, in 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down and East and West Germany were reunified, much of the watchmaking industry had been lost but the spirit remained.

Many of the original companies were resurrected and multiple new ones were born too, giving new life to a long established local craft. The founder of Bruno Söhnle watches, Bruno Söhnle himself started his self-named company back in 2000 after having a long history in the world of watches and is still involved in the business along with his daughter Stephanie and son Berndt. The company has evolved into a thriving business making accessibly priced watches in a style typical of the Bauhaus influenced design for which the German area has become known. Bauhaus celebrates its centenary in 2019, which you will be able to read more about very soon!
The Bruno Söhnle company now owns two different sites in the area, one in Glashütte itself and the other in a nearby town, Dittersdorf which sits at the top of the valley above the main town. The Dittersdorf site is where components for watches are produced and finished and once complete they are transported to the Glashütte site for final assembly and quality control. Finished watches are then dispatched to distributors and retailers in 36 countries around the world, including First Class Watches!
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Bruno Söhnle are somewhat a unique brand when it comes to their approach to watchmaking in many ways. Firstly, they will occasionally apply a glass exhibition back to watches with quartz movements and fit a decorated back plate to the module. This is a very unusual decision in many ways, as virtually all other companies simply apply metal backs to their watches and leave their movements in the final manufactured state in which they are supplied. However the way that Bruno Söhnle watches are produced means that they try to make every part of the watch as aesthetically pleasing as possible!
Secondly, Automatic calibre watches, which feature movements manufactured by a Swiss Company called Sellita, are also modified in house. The original movement has its base plate and bridges replaced with Bruno Söhnle’ own in house version and is fitted with their unique design of winding rotor which is also made in their German factories. The metal used is specially matured so that it will provide the best final result, and inspection under a microscope is then required to ensure the correct tolerances of 10 micrometers.
Finally there are the hand wound calibers which are also extensively rebuilt in the Glashütte factory. These modified movements are based upon a Swiss movement made by Unitas but have the Three Quarter Plate and Balance Cock replaced with the specially decorated Bruno Söhnle version for that added layer of detail and personalisation. The chatons which hold the jewels are also made in house together with a Swan Neck Regulator which is typical of Glashütte watch design. These movements also feature an engraved facsimile signature from a member of the Söhnle family on the movement.
All Bruno Söhnle watch movements have one thing in common, “Blued” screws. These are the tiny screws which hold the movement together, which can be seen through the glass case back and they are subject to a complicated process to produce the desired shade of blue. This involves ‘cooking’ them in an oven at high temperatures, but the process can only be carried out when the atmospheric conditions are perfect. Both humidity and air pressure can have a negative effect on the final outcome if they are outside certain parameters. Once complete, the screws are then hardened and have an aesthetically pleasing, blue appearance which enhances this key component. They are then sorted by hand to ensure that the correct shade has been achieved and the company have an 85% success rate, the remaining 15% being recycled.
Those with a keen eye for detail will instantly notice two types of decoration on these fantastic movements. Glashütte striping which is subtly different to it’s Swiss counterpart, complimented by circular “Perlage “ patterns on the movements. Several mechanical and automatic models also feature a unique panoramic date which uses two separate windows side by side in the dial. This feature contains 49 individual components which take around 5 hours to assemble from start to finish.
Given all of these fine details, potential purchasers will be pleasantly surprised at the affordable price of Bruno Söhnle watches. Not only are there many pleasant styles to choose from but the quality is clear to see and handling these watches underlines the quality of the product.  Ownership will bring years of pleasure or as the brand motto says “My Best Time”.
Bruno Söhnle watches

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