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Askania

Askania

Rebirth of a German brand
The Pilot Watch Magazine
Askania
15 March 2024

The continuation of a German success story

Watches from Askania have their roots in Berlin in the 1870s. Carl Bamberg, son of a watchmaker from Thuringia and protégé of Carl Zeiss, founded a manufactory for precision mechanical and optical instruments in 1871. His customers included the Imperial Navy, observatories and research companies. The timepieces developed by Bamberg – initially pocket watches with hand-wound movements – quickly achieved international fame.

Major trade fairs from London to Philadelphia praise Bamberg’s innovations and the reliability of his measuring instruments. Askania develops unstoppably into Germany’s number one for navigation and aviation instruments. Branches in Germany are quickly followed by subsidiaries in France and the United States. In the 1930s, the company developed timing devices, cameras and on-board instruments for aircraft. A proof of the high quality of Askania products is the cooperation with numerous renowned aviation companies such as Bücker, Dornier, Junkers, Messerschmitt and Zeppelin.

Askania and the pioneers of aviation

Askania night flight instruments, on-board instruments and pilot watches helped aviation pioneers such as Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld with his first Atlantic crossing or Elly Beinhorn with her long-distance flight records. Askania on-board instruments are installed in numerous aircraft, including those of Lufthansa. From the 1920s to the 1940s, there was hardly an aircraft without instruments made by Askania.

My fondness for pilot clocks gave me the idea to continue what had been magnificently realized at Askania.

Leonhard R. Müller

Like Phoenix from the ashes

After the Second World War, Askania’s watch manufacturing continued for a while in Munich. Later, however, the brand disappears completely from the market and falls into oblivion. However, this changes in 2004: Leonhard R. Müller, a watchmaker and watch enthusiast with a soft spot for mechanical luxury watches, acquires the rights to the name and reestablishes Askania as an exclusive watch manufactory in Berlin.

Müller comes from the famous German goldsmith town of Pforzheim, spends part of his professional life in the Swiss watch industry and, as Chairman of the Board, embodies the rebirth of the Askania brand like no other. With fine timepieces bearing names such as Tegel, Tempelhof and Alexanderplatz, a significant chapter of German watchmaking history is now being continued in Berlin.

More from Askania

More information at askania.berlin

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