West Germany’s First Chronometer

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‘From the West, this’d be Germany’s most accurate timepiece.’

The story of the Junghans J82 Chronometer
Story by @Ahwcreations (Instagram)

This is the Junghans J82 Chronometer. When I say chronometer, it is a term only used for the most accurate mechanical watches. Chronometer timepieces have been tested and certified in accordance to meet precision standards, and can only use the name ‘Chronometer’ if it has been passed. It is a possibility that this is the first chronometer made by Junghans and even in West Germany.
East Germany at the time was often described as a satellite state of the Soviet Union. The region was basically a communist society and thus, there were nothing of luxury in terms of products and goods to the regular citizens. Things were quite different in West Germany however, and Junghans created this piece in the ‘post war’ era.

What I really love about this watch however, is how its beauty lies hidden underneath the dial.

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On the dial, you can see the amount of jewels in the watch. Back then, the amount of jewels were used to show the grade of the watch and this sold very well. All the jewels are rubies and aid in lubricating the watch. On the surface you can only see 5 or 6 jewels, but there is another 10 hidden inside the movement.

If you look inside, the movement is completely rose gold plated. It’s amazing to see how all the different part interact with each other and function as a whole. People can say, “but i’ve got the time right here”, and pull out their phone. I will agree that it can be the long way around checking what the time is, but using a mechanical watch and knowing what goes behind making those hands move, is so much more romantic.

What amazes me is back then, it was likely that they did not know about the beauty of mechanical watches, and if they did, it wouldn’t of been as surprising and amazing as we find it today. This was because mechanical watches were normal to them back then and there simply weren’t the cheaper alternatives that we have in our current day.

Because of the cheaper alternatives we have, watches like this have become a luxury in addition to other elements such as craftsmanship, branding and materials used to create the watch. Furthermore, companies really went to town marketing these elements in order to elevate mechanical watches into the luxury segment.

As you would know during the quartz era, the industry forgot about these hidden gems, but as the mechanical watch industry picked back up and now objects like these from the past are valued even more, monetarily and sentimentally than they were back then!

I would like to thank Angus for sharing his story of this incredible watch!