Hermle Clock History
The Hermle clock company, like many of the well-known American clock companies, such as Seth Thomas and Ingraham, owes its existence to one clockmaker who had the desire to build quality clocks, Franz Hermle. While the major American clock companies trace their roots to the early 1800’s, the Hermle Company is a twentieth century success story. The company was started in 1922, shortly after Germany began recovering from World War I, as the Franz Hermle Clock Company in the town of Gosheim near Wuerttemberg, Germany.
Amazingly, at a time when the world economy was plummeting into the Great Depression and American clock companies were struggling to avoid bankruptcy, the new German company prospered. By the early 1930’s, the Hermle clock company was a world leader in the manufacture of quality clock movements. While other clock companies were using nineteenth century methods, Franz Hermle had an eye for efficiency and used the latest modern techniques for producing clock movements.
Like other master clockmakers, Franz Hermle passed on his clockmaking expertise to his four sons: Gebhard, Alfred, Hans and Heinrich, changing the name of the company to Franz Hermle and Sohn. Continuing the success story, Franz Hermle and his sons prospered after the devastation of Germany from World War II, at a time when many of the major American companies could not recapture their former status as world leaders in clockmaking and were soon to disappear from the scene. In addition to the manufacture of clock movements, Franz Hermle and Sohn expanded into the manufacture of clocks and clock accessories. Franz Hermle died in 1953, leaving the company to his sons.
At the current time, Franz Hermle and Sohn remain in the hands of the third generation of Hermle clockmakers. The company continues to specialize in mechanical and quartz movements and other clock parts that are manufactured in a computerized and automated precision manufacturing environment.
Franz Hermle and Sohn is a major worldwide supplier of clock movements, exporting to over 100 countries. Their advertising points out the fact that “You may not recognize our name, but we are the source who keeps the clock industry ticking.” The company manufactures clock movements that are used in clocks worldwide producing, according to their claim, “the largest selection of mechanical and quartz movements available anywhere.”
In addition to being a world leader in the manufacture of clocks and movements, Franz Hermle and Sohn is a leading supplier of clock dials and pendulums. The company also produces decorative weight shells for modern weight-driven clocks, especially grandfather clocks.