It’s just two short weeks ago we introduced you to Josef Bresan and Lukas Pohlmann, two talented German watchmakers who we’re ready to launch their first-ever watch. Joining forces under the name Junge Uhrmacher, the Prestige came to life as the combined vision of the two men. With a background in watchmaking for several high-end watchmaking companies, it looks very promising from the get-go! Following the presentation of the Prestige, we wanted to learn more about the two men, so we asked them several questions about how the company, and the watch, came to life.
Robin Nooij, MONOCHROME – Josef, Lukas, you’re new to the world of independent watchmaking under the Junge Uhrmacher name. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Josef & Lukas, Junge Uhrmacher – We are two watchmakers from Dresden/Germany, both 32 years old and completed our apprenticeship in Glashütte. Josef worked at Wempe, at Lang & Heyne and studied mechanical engineering. Lukas started working as a watchmaker at Lang & Heyne after his apprenticeship. That’s also where we met in 2013.
Talk us through your journey into watchmaking. How did it get started for you both?
Josef: I didn’t have much of a connection to watchmaking as a child and teenager. I knew that watches existed and that someone had to make them, but I didn’t think much about the subject. However, in 2009, when I was standing in the shop at our local watchmaker’s to pick up one of my mother’s watches, I realised for the first time what was behind a mechanical watch. When I saw the small gears and levers, a fascination was awakened in me at that moment that continues to this day. When I started my apprenticeship as a watchmaker in Glashütte shortly afterwards, I finally knew what I had been looking for all this time: I had found my destiny.
Lukas: I gained my first insights into the world of watches at flea markets. Vintage watches quickly exerted a strong attraction on me. My first flea market find was a defective wristwatch from Glashütte production. This watch led me on a journey to watchmakers, museums and finally to the watchmaking school in Glashütte.
So you’ve met at Lang & Heyne. What connected the two of you, apart from the obvious craft of watchmaking?
What connects us from the beginning until today is a great friendship. Even when Josef left Lang & Heyne to study, we saw each other regularly and exchanged ideas. Besides watchmaking, we also have a great passion for music, good food and travelling. But the biggest thing we have in common is our sense of humour and the same mindset.
What pushed you to develop your own watch?
Independently of each other, we both had the big dream of building our own watch according to our own ideas at some point during our training. However, for a long time, it was just a dream without any concrete plans.
In 2019, we started to set up a small workshop in Lukas’ living room. There we repaired, restored and studied many vintage watches. During this time, we had the idea of building our own watch at some point. At that time, we didn’t think that it would happen very quickly. But the work we did together and our passion made this idea more and more concrete, until one day we decided to just do it!
What was the inspiration for the Prestige?
For us, the Prestige combines all the aspects that we demand of a watch as a daily companion: it should be robust, easy to wear and effective. It should be visually suitable for many daily situations and always be stylish without becoming boring or too conspicuous over time. It is also important to us that the time is clear and easy to read. We want the owner to occupy himself with the watch and take it in his hand, e.g. to wind it up. This is when the biggest highlight, the movement, becomes visible and should captivate the observer for a moment. However, we place the high quality and craftsmanship of all the individual components above all else.
The Prestige was launched only very recently, how has it been received?
There was a lot of positive feedback from all corners of the world. It’s great after all the time in the workshop and all the work to finally be able to show the watch and experience people’s great reactions. We hope that many people will have the opportunity to hold our watches in their hands someday.
Your choice of movement isn’t conventional, what was the reason for going with a Pobeda 2608 central seconds movement?
From the beginning, we planned to build our movement based on an ebauche. We were looking for a movement with a central second hand. With the 2608, we are particularly excited about the unique architecture of the gear train, its history and the potential to transform it. By completely redesigning the balance cock and opening up the wheel cock, as well as adapting all the other components, we emphasise the great depth of the movement and show how the mechanics work. This newly created free space also makes it possible to observe our newly developed seconds hacking mechanism at work.
Now that the Prestige has been announced and is in production, what’s next for Junge Uhrmacher?
First of all, of course, we will continue to build the Prestige models in order to deliver all orders. However, we also have many ideas and plans for other models and new watches. We will continue to develop these ideas. We think the next step will be to introduce other dial variants and hand shapes. In the next few years, we also want to further develop and expand the movement.
What’s the long-term plan for the company? Any hints on what future projects lie ahead?
Our next big goal over the coming few years is to create a movement that we develop and produce completely by ourselves. This should then provide the basis for a whole family of movements with different complications. If our watches continue to sell well and find many enthusiasts, we would also like to expand a little to create more potential for new watch developments.
We love watchmaking and how it brings so many great people together. That’s why we hope to build many more great watches and establish the JUNGE brand.