When we think about horology, we immediately think about the miniscule feats of engineering and precision calibres created by the Swiss masters like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. However, horology can also be big, bold and German, as Erwin Sattler likes to show.
Their philosophy is really start as you mean to go on and that can’t be clearer than when you approach their manufacture outside of Munich. You are immediately greeted by the building’s façade which houses a 12m high precision pendulum clock with an enormous 8m pendulum, swinging slowly back and forth with the inexorable march of time. It’s the largest precision pendulum clock in the world and you can’t make a bigger statement than that.
Stepping inside you’ll find a world of exotic and highly precise timepieces ranging from pendulum clocks that are accurate to within 1-2 seconds per month to marine chronometers mounted on rotating gimbles to wall size watch winders that can house up to 60 wristwatches at a single time. Most of which can also be found for sale on their website to some degree. It’s a connoisseur’s dream.
All this is made possible by Erwin Sattler’s understanding that they are creating artefacts that are designed to outlive them, multi-generational heirlooms that need to operate with the same amount of accuracy for decades. Their larger timepieces use brass plates 5mm thick to provide excellent sturdiness and create the groundwork for longevity with 90% of all Erwin Sattler production completed in-house.
But while Erwin Sattler are perhaps best known for their handmade clocks – pendulum, table or otherwise – they also have a small collection of wristwatches that they describe as pendulum clocks for on the go. As you might expect, they have a penchant for regulator complications, a function that separates the hour, minute and second hands onto individual dials to allow for precision time reading. It’s a complication that allows you to accurately set the time of a second timepiece, such as… a pendulum clock perhaps.
Nowadays pendulum and table clocks seem a bit archaic and are no longer the essential piece of furniture they used to be, so the argument could be made that Erwin Sattler are slightly out of touch. However, their designs are chic and modern with open work cases and dials showing the inner workings of their mechanisms and captivating the eye, keeping them relevant and exciting.
They’re more than simple nostalgia trips and are serious centrepiece artworks. Not to mention the precision pendulum clocks can be fitted with safes and watch winders to make them a totem of luxury within your home. There’s also the added benefit that every timepiece created by Erwin Sattler is highly exclusive because they are produced in limited series due to the handcrafting process.
More details at Erwin Sattler.