The history of Askania begins with Carl Bamberg, a German who was born in 1847 in the Thuringian Kranichfeld. After completing an apprenticeship as a precision mechanic at Carl Zeiss in Jena in 1966, he soon relocated to Berlin. This is where he founded the Bambergwerke in 1871, at the tender age of only 24, from which the Askania-Werke emerged in 1912.
Specializing in measurement technology, the factory had great success in the production of nautical precision tools and navigation equipment. Among the bestsellers were, above all, marine chronometers and compass instruments, but the growing product portfolio also included aviation instruments. At its peak, the company was able to provide work for up to 15,000 Berliners.
Back then, Askania’s timepieces were considered ahead of their time, setting the standard for reliable flight instruments. As a result, almost every German Lufthansa aircraft in the first half of the 20th century carried at least one Askania instrument on board.
It is thanks to Leonhard R. Müller that Askania’s rich heritage still exists today, as he brought the watch manufactory back to life in 2004. These days, he runs the company in his function as Chairman of the Executive Board of Askania AG.
It is also Mr. Müller, who guides us through the world of Askania in our latest Meet the Manufacturer episode. Enjoy!