Aktiengesellschaft fur Uhrenfabrikation in Lenzkirch begins.
Stockholder Corporation for Clock Manufacturing in Lenzkirch
was the oldest clock factory among the clock manufacturers
in the Black Forest. Lenzkirch was originally founded
by clock maker Eduard Hauser and Ignaz Schopperle, a mechanical
organ maker. They began in 1849 in a small workshop in
Lenzkirch, machining and finishing clock parts which would
then be sent out to the clock makers for a final fit.
In the past, clock makers would have to create every part
by hand, put it all together, and hoped everything would
work right. Hauser's and Schopperle's goal was to produce
clock movements using the new 'Serial Assembly" technique,
where compact, machined, and fully assembled clock movements
would be shipped to clock makers, ready for installation.
Lenzkirch employees on lunch break. Clock parts being
moved by horses and wagon.
Eduard Hauser now had 14 employees
working for him who used hand driven flywheel lathes and
other tools to produce clock parts. He had purchased many
tools and machines to grow the company, using up much
of the capital. At the same time he still had payroll
and overhead expenses he had to maintain. Due to lack
of marketing, distribution problems, and the need for
cash flow, growth and progress were very slow. On August
31, 1951, Hauser went to Franz Joseph Faller, Joesph Wiest,
Nikolaus Rogg, and brothers Johann Nikolaus Tritscheller
and Paul Tritscheller. They formed the company called
Aktiengesellschaft fur Uhrenfabrikation in Lenzkrich;
The Stockholder Corporation for Clock Manufacturing in
Lenzkirch. In 1865, Johann and Paul's brother Albert,
joined them to study other country's clock making methods
With new found financial backing and a strong management
team, Lenzkirch began to flourish. Under Hauser's leadership
and technical guidance, Lenzkirch developed into a large
company. The factory complex was powered by two large
steam engines with three broilers, and the clock factory
operated a gold & silver plating and a tool &
die making shop. With most parts of the clocks being made
under one roof, Lenzkirch Clock factory reached unprecedented
technical excellence. Production details were always kept
secret. Even when visitors would come to the factory,
Hauser would quickly cover the machines and tools with
large linen sheets for fear that unfair competitors would
steal his techniques.
Transport hinders production.
Soon, Lenzkirch not only manufactured
clock parts, but all the clock movements were assembled
onsite, too. Wood cases would be imported, and the clock
movement and finish work would be added at the clock
factory. Lenzkirch's reputation for exceptional quality
came with the introduction of it's German Regulator.
It won many awards throughout 1860-61. The Viennese
style wall regulator became very popular as well, so
the company began a large research and development program
to design and make durable springs for their own clocks,
as well as clock makers. Now that Lenzkirch was able
to produce the finest assembly line type clocks in the
Black Forest, there was a major problem; selling them.
Franz Joseph Faller, with his commercial experience
and knowledge of several foreign languages, began an
extensive marketing campaign and transportation plan.
He created and circulated cataloges, sent representitives
to all of the leading expos, and set up offices in Florence
and Venice, Italy. However, base of operations stayed
in the Black Forest. Transportation became unbearable
due to the high volume of clocks being manufactured,
so Faller went to the state and local authorities to
have a railway system extended to Lenzkirch. After many
years, his work paid off, and on May 21, 1887, the first
train arrived. After Faller delivered the welcoming
speech at the celebration, he fell dead due to a fatal
An arial view of Lenzkirch, showing the clock factory
and the railroad station, providing Lenzkirch with the
transportation capabilities needed to distribute clocks
Today, the old Lenzkirch Clock Factory is now a lady's
lingerie factory called Firma Kadus.
The rise and fall of Lenzkirch
For 80 years, the Lenzkirch Clock
Factory employed thousands of people who took pride in
their work and high quality craftsmanship. At it's peak,
the factory had over 600 workers. Lenzkirch turned into
a wealthy, clean city, whose name became famous because
of it's beautiful Black Forest clocks. Lenzkirch Clock
Factory was also known for it's employee benefits. In
1858, the factory began offering medical insurance and
a disaster fund in the case of an unfortunate circumstance.
But, due to many economic variables, things were looking
bad for the factory. Even during many depressions and
the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the management refused
to cut corners and continued to manufacture high quality
clocks. After many other clock manufacturers quietly emerged
with more capital and large, modern production plants,
Lenzkirch couldn't compete using their original equipment
developed between 1860 and 1900. In 1928, the Junghans
Brothers proposed a merger with the Lenzkirch Clock Company.
The factory dissolved in August, 1929, and operated until
1932 as a satellite company for Gebruder Junghans before
it was sold to a beauty shop equipment manufacturer in