Where do the Circula Vintage Movements from P.U.W. come from?
Our mechanical vintage movements were in the 70s, 100% made in Germany by the ‘Pforzheimer Uhren-Rohwerke GmbH’ (P.U.W.). During the quartz crisis, the company had no use for the stock items and gave them to a watchmaker who, as a curator, collected at the time thousands of movements from numerous factories. Since the items are not newly produced, but are indeed new and unused, we also speak of NOS-items, for ‘New Old Stock’. That’s why our P.U.W. vintage movements are strictly limited, as the treasure is finite and when it’s used up, there won’t be new ones. Except of course the amount we hold back for service. Because the movements should last a lifetime or longer.
What makes a vintage movement special?
First and foremost, the historical value through the unique history and extreme rarity. But also, that they were 100% Made in Germany, which doesn’t exist like this anymore today. In addition, movements used to be designed primarily for one thing: long and precise performance, less flatness or decorating touches that may have an effect on the function. Large balance wheels and efficient winding mechanisms were used to guarantee a good function over years. Visually, the movements are good-looking, but not decorated. Geneva stripes, circular graining and blue screws, which we associate with quality today, had not yet found their way into movements. At the beginning, grindings were anyhow only used in pocket watches to bind dust on the bridges. The visual benefit came much later into account.
The bidirectional winding of our automatic movements is simply constructed and therefore enormously robust. While modern winding wheels are worn after five to ten years, the rocking bar changer lasts a lifetime here. In addition, the winding is very efficient. With 21,600 vibrations, our P.U.W. movements are among the classic ones, which is reflected above all in long maintenance intervals. Many movements can today only dream of such characteristics, because the faster the escapement works, the shorter the maintenance intervals will be.
Additionally, there is of course an ecological aspect: with these historical movements, only existing resources are used and brought to their original purpose.
Can vintage movements compete with modern ones?
Our experienced watchmakers elaborately rebuild these unused treasures in Pforzheim by hand. After prophylactic cleaning in the ultrasonic bath, they assemble the individual parts, oil all moving sections with a special oil according to a precise plan, and then carefully adjust each movement to ensure precise accuracy. A new bearing movement, such as our PUW movements, which has been freshly oiled and precisely regulated, operates within the strictest tolerances. The gear values on the electronic timing machine lie in comparable ranges to factory-new movements.
Text: Cornelius Huber