Radio and solar technology - Innovative high performance at Junghans
The story of the watch has been one of a strive for accuracy, miniaturisation and increased the power reserve. The development of the first radio-controlled wristwatch was a significant milestone, delivering the highest accuracy in combination with ease of handling. This challenge was overcome in 1990, when Junghans became the first manufacturer to integrate radio control technology into a wristwatch. Just three years later, in 1993, Junghans developed the first radio-controlled, solar-powered watch, creating one of the most accurate and environmentally-friendly wristwatches in the process. Radio-controlled and solar technology remain key elements of the Junghans brand to this day – joining numerous other developments in demonstrating the innovative energy of the venerable Schramberg-based company.
An excellent technological achievement: radio control technology
The current radio-controlled, solar-powered watches from Junghans were preceded by a history filled with innovations and creative developments. One key milestone is the Mega 1 – the first radio-controlled wristwatch in the world – with which Junghans wrote chronological history. In addition to its advanced technology it also stands out due to its futuristic design, developed in collaboration with FROG Design. In the 1990s the man behind FROG Design – Hartmut Esslinger – developed successful product designs for clients including Apple. The heart of the radio-controlled watches - their movement - remains a supreme example of technological mastery to this day, developed and produced in Schramberg. The latest generation of multi-frequency radio-controlled watches receive the long wave time signal from the time signal transmitter DCF 77.5 near Frankfurt am Main, which is connected to the atomic clock of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig, as well as the signals of the two transmitters in Japan (JJY40 and JJY60) those of the WWVB transmitter in the USA. The time on the wristwatch is synchronised daily – with the result that any deviations are restricted to thousandths of a second. The switch to summer and winter time and the change in month also occur fully automatically. If the wristwatch is beyond the range of a transmitter, it functions with the precision of a quartz watch.
A strong combination: radio control and solar technology
One pioneering further development is the combination of radio control and solar technology, in which the highest precision is combined with environmentally-friendly solar energy. Junghans watches have been combining these two technologies since 1993. Solar cells on the dial enable the watch to draw its energy solely and limitlessly from sunlight. With its highly-impressive longevity, the energy store provides a power reserve of up to 21 months. To save resources the watch switches to sleep mode after just 72 hours. It is reactivated by light in just a few minutes, with radio control restoring it to the precise actual time. The solar dials are manufactured at the plant in Schramberg: here the rectangular solar cells are cut to shape and printed at the in-house printing facility in up to seven work stages, before being fitted with appliques and luminous material and finally subjected to quality testing. In 2011 Junghans managed to combine a multi-frequency radio-controlled watch with environmentally-friendly solar technology for the first time in the Force Mega Solar model. Junghans will continue to add technological innovations in the future and further expand production of the movements in Schramberg, producing timepieces with the most precise accuracy and refined technology.
Junghans – the German watch
For more than 150 years, the Junghans brand has stood for quality, reliability and passion. Based in Schramberg, Germany, the long-established, independent company designs and manufactures watches that set new standards and are held in high regard around the world. Having close ties to the company’s location and being committed to the values that Junghans embodies, the owners work hard to maintain traditions and to move purposefully forward to a successful future. Tradition and an unswerving spirit of innovation are also reflected in the design and engineering of the company’s watches. In this regard the spectrum embraces all current watchmaking technologies: from classic mechanical watches and quartz technology all the way to the company’s own radio-controlled and solar technology. With innovative products ‘Made in Germany’ and an international outlook, Junghans will continue in future to further develop the unique success story of the watch with the star.