Jakob KIENZLE (1859 - 1935) was the founder of a major German clock producing factory in the town of Schwenningen, Württemberg.
Kienzle became a foster-son of Friedrich MAUTHE after his father's early death and started to work in the MAUTHE clock factory at the age of fourteen.
After an apprenticeship in a colonial goods business in Triberg, KIENZLE worked with Johannes SCHLENKER, a well known master clockmaker, married
his daughter in 1883 and took over the clock making facility together with his brother-in-law, Karl-Johannes SCHLENKER.
The company was named SCHLENKER-KIENZLE and started to industrialize
By 1887, the company opened a factory branch in Komotau, Bohemia (then Austria, today Czech Republik).
Karl-Johannes SCHLENKER left the company in 1898, thus leaving KIENZLE as the sole owner. KIENZLE had by then started with "American style" clock mass-production, pounding out 500.000 clocks a year.
In 1903 KIENZLE opens sales offices in London, Paris and Milan; production is up to 1 million by then.
The company name is changed to KIENZLE UHRENFABRIKEN in 1919, Jakob KIENZLE retires and his two sons inherit the company.
In 1923, the company opens a sales room in Buenos Aires.
In 1929, the THOMAS ERNST HALLER clock factory is merged into the KIENZLE company, followed by DUFA, Deutsche Uhrenfabrik Leipzig and Schwenningen, in 1931.
By 1939, shortly before the beginning of WW 2, KIENZLE has more than
6500 employees and a production rate of 5 millionen clocks.
KIENZLE did not only produce clocks, but watches with their own calibers too, as well as taxameters and many other technical instruments.
By 1974, the company is in fact the largest wristwatch manufactury in Germany.
The BÜRK clock company was taken over by KIENZLE in 1985 and KIENZLE changed their name to DUFA for a few years, before their bankrupt in 1996.
A Hong Kong Holding takes over the company, until the name rights were bought back by German investors in 2006 and thus, the KIENZLE AG was back into business, now located in Hamburg.
Of course, this is but a short digest of the KIENZLE history.
KIENZLE movements can not, at this time, by dated by serial numbers.
Hans-Heinrich Schmid, Lexikon der Deutschen Uhrenindustrie 1850 -1980
Kienzle Uhrenmuseum (1961 - 1975)
Deutsches Uhrenmuseum Furtwangen - Hellmut Kienzle clock collection
Historical published materials
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