A GERMAN ORIGINAL
If we look back in the watchmaking history of Germany, it boomed for about 15 to 20 years straight. For many years, German’s watchmaking industry has produced numerous amount of exquisite timepieces, and the cities of Pforzheim and Glashütte are one of the most popular watchmakers that produce high-quality watches.
When World War II approached, the production of watches was put on hold and the watchmaking facilities became the production area of the NAZI weaponry. Although they suffered from the devastating event of WWII, they never lose hope. Eventually, the watchmaking company in the city recovered and they continue to create high-quality timepieces equipped with unique designs and precise engineering.
Aside from the famous watchmakers that came from the city of Pforzheim and Glashütte, there is another line of notable timepieces. It is from the talented watchmaker of Mutior clan. Mutior watches was first introduced by a local watchmaker named Oberon Mutior, he was actually 3rd generation watchmaker from Mutior clan. When he died, the shop was passed on to his son named Valdus Mutior who was a great artist but no desire to continue the watchmaking legacy of their family. What he does is he hand-painted distinctive images on watches. And because he is a great artist, his creation has become the first choice of pocket watches for London’s upper-class folks. He eventually close the shop and moved to Paris to pursue his dream. 48 years later, Mutior’s timepiece collections have been resurrected by a distant relative and it happens to be the father of Gerhard Mutior.
As what his father said, “A Swiss made watch is not better because it is made in Switzerland”. The influence of his father led Gerhard Mutior to eventually re-create the traditional beliefs of watchmaking in Germany. Gerhard Mutior’s influence in the watchmaking industry of Germany is recognizable he has his own style known as “Mutior Bezels”. These Mutior Bezels are copied and used until today by most watchmakers.
Gerhard Mutior’s turning point came when he acquired a local watch repair business after the owner passed away. Although the building was in a bad shape, it had all the tools he needed to start. And to his surprise, there is also a massive inventory of Swiss movements. The work of Gerhard Mutior started, he co-created the Swiss 550 movement and it quickly gained recognition and fame. The Swiss 550 movement can be found in all of his creations. The Swiss 550 movement is a combination and modification of a genuine Swiss movement. The modifications are made to every watch that Mutior produced. As he explained it, he modified the genuine Swiss movement as he could not accept the unreliable qualities of the basic Swiss movement, but of course, he acknowledges and appreciates every detail in the genuine Swiss movement.
Like most visionaries, Gerhard Mutior saw great art in timepieces from the classic pocket watches to the giant clocks that sit atop of the largest churches in Germany. He began creating timepieces with small but remarkable modification from the original.
In the year 1970’s, Gerhard Mutior joined with his long-time friend Christof Trier and other German investors to collect funds to build the Unified German Movement Company. He believed a Unified German Movement Company would unify the Germany’s watchmaking companies like the Swiss have done. Unfortunately, while he was closer his goal, a devasting blow was dealt when the price of the Swiss movement that was being supplied to watchmakers dropped by 50% in price, making it impossible and impractical to open manufacturing because it would be expensive to manufacture when you can purchase them for half of its original price.
In the following 17 years, Gerhard Mutior did another ambitious thing; he closed all manufacturing and sold the company to a local banker for half of what its worth. He died leaving his wife only and the money was used to afford his beloved wife a comfortable retirement in which she lived in their original home until her death.
Gerhard Mutior was known as the original German watchmaker, noting that there were many before him but none influenced the German watchmakers like what he did. And when you hear someone used the word “original” in German watchmaking industry, you’ll know it is a reference to Gerhard Mutior.