Arctos - deutsche Uhren mit einer Tradition seit 1923

Deutsche Uhren mit einer Tradition seit 1923   ●   German Precision Watches with a tradition since 1923   ●   deutsch | english 

Arctos Uhren History

Arctos History - The Beginning 1923-1945

1923 - On 1st April the merchant Philipp Weber, ex-manager of the Marabu factory in Tamm and the clockmaker Jakob Aeschbach founded the WEBER & AESCHBACH company in Pforzheim. The aim: To assemble pocket and wrist watches. The company was based in two spacious attic rooms on 6 Tal and 53 Güterstraße.

Since Pforzheim, famous for its jewelry trade, had almost no watch assemblers, Jakob Aeschbach set about training specialists. At the same time Philipp Weber concentrated his efforts on obtaining import licenses for the necessary Swiss clock movements. At the end of 1923 when the German currency had stabilized and was once again respected abroad, Philipp Weber was able to notch up his first successes. WEBER & AESCHBACH became the first Pforzheim-based company to import and assemble watches using Swiss movements.

1930 - Philipp Weber then approached his Pforzheim colleagues with a new idea: Supplying the wholesale trade with finished watches to allow it to concentrate on its trading activities. Philipp Weber wasted no time and almost over night he set up a cooperative consisting of three assembly workshops and a watchcase factory.

1931 - Now the "Pforzheim Collection" was ready and was presented to the most important German watch wholesalers. Success was immediate because the collection offered a wide range of attractive models. The Pforzheim-based company became the preferred business partner of the most dominating wholesalers in the industry. This spurred Philipp Weber to expand his business from watch assembler for other companies to introduce his own watch brand, which he had registered in 1924. It was called "ARCTOS", the Greek word for the Great Bear constellation.

1932 - Philipp Weber, Jakob Aeschback and technical expert Wilhelm Rentschler founded the RENTSCHLER & CO factory to manufacture watch cases, primarily from gold. Daily production of ARCTOS watches had now 320 units. Despite Philipp Weber's close relationship with the Swiss watch movement suppliers, he encouraged the growth of home-based watch part manufacturers in order to free himself, at least partially, from the Swiss monopoly. Halfway through 1932 he acquired a 20% stake in watch movement manufacturer "UROFA -Glashütte AG" and was named deputy chairman of the board of directors.

1943 - 20 years after their founding WEBER & AESCHBACH was now employing 900 people in eight assembly workshops throughout.

1945 - On February 23rd still in the throes of WW II, the city of Pforzheim had to pay the ultimate price when Allied bombers flattened the city in less than twenty minutes. WEBER & AESCHBACH continued to exist only in name.