Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Ruhla (Germany) has had a vibrant watch making industry for over 100 years, but in 1991 production ceased. Help us bring it back.
Ruhla (Germany) has had a vibrant watch making industry for over 100 years, but in 1991 production ceased. Help us bring it back.
90 backers pledged €24,892 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

TUW Ruhla Watches - Comeback of a Legend project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

€24,892

90

Projektvideo auf Deutsch / German Project Video

Just for our German audience: here is the video in German!

The Story

TUW Ruhla, this stands for Thüringer Uhren Werke Ruhla = Thuringian Watch Works Ruhla. Ruhla is a small town located in the central-German region of Thuringia. The population of Ruhla is only about 7,000 people, but since 1862 Ruhla has been a very important part of Germany's watch making industry. The steep hills and dense woods around Ruhla made agricultural work there unfeasible, so step by step Ruhla developed into a watch making town.

Ruhla's main watch factory, approx. 1910
Ruhla's main watch factory, approx. 1910

 Up until 25 years ago 8000 watchmakers worked there and produced up to 2.000.000 watches (yes 2 Million!) per year. Now only a handful of watchmakers remain.

The name Ruhla always stood for reliable and solid watch making combined with an excellent price. The goal has always been to make watches that „the average Joe“ could wear, enjoy and most importantly afford. It is no accident that in 1892 Ruhla pioneered Germany's first mass-produced pocket watch. Then, in 1908, the first mass-produced wristwatch was also created in Ruhla. 

Sadly, in the early 1990s, Ruhla's watchmaking factories were closed down, due to the abrupt transition from a planned economy to a free market economy. As we grew up in East Germany, it was particularly depressing for us to see a brand that we grew up with just disappear overnight.

So we decided to do something about that and bring back the Ruhla watches. Yet it’s not just the name and the price point that are important to us. We also want to revive Ruhla's unique watch designs and bring them into the 21st century. Our goal is to create contemporary watches, with the distinctive 'Ruhla' look. 

Prior to embarking on this mission, we have been in the watch industry for almost 10 years. We’ve dealt with watches of all brands, as well as with their accessories, such as straps, bracelets and watch winders for automatic watches. This is why we feel very confident in taking up this challenge.

The samples have been produced and assembled already, packaging has been prepared. We have invested as much as we could from our own capital but are at the end of what we can do without YOUR help.

The Design

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the watchmakers of Ruhla thought of many great designs and inventions. In designing our own collection, we did not want to simply copy Ruhla’s classic designs, but rather pay homage to them and help them cross over into the 21st century.

Historic Watches, approx. 1970s
Historic Watches, approx. 1970s
Historic watch and a dial, approx. 1980s
Historic watch and a dial, approx. 1980s
Impressions of the trial assembly
Impressions of the trial assembly
During the assembly
During the assembly
Fitting the movement
Fitting the movement
Case design of the Thuringia Automatic model
Case design of the Thuringia Automatic model

Why should you Support us?

Every supporter will not only get an early production model of TUW Ruhla, but will also contribute to realising our dream of bringing back this classic brand.

At this point we’d like to point out that we are not about making up a nice logo and cool name. We are deeply rooted in the watch industry and our goal is to bring back a well-known brand that always stood for great watches.

For you this means that you’ll get an excellent price-performance ratio. There is no retail markup on this project and no fashion brand licensing fees that need to be paid. You don’t pay us for a huge overhead but you simply pay for what you get: great watches at a great price.

In addition to getting a discount on the retail price of the watches, you will also have a chance to influence the future Ruhla collection. It would be only natural for us to ask those, who help bring Ruhla back to life, for their input in determining the future of the brand.

The Watches

Over the next months and years, our goal is to bring back a lot of Ruhla’s former designs and concepts. At the moment, though, we’d like to focus just on one line to keep production as efficient and cost effective as possible: the Thuringia model.

Thurigina gents with mesh bracelet
Thurigina gents with mesh bracelet
Thuringia Ladies
Thuringia Ladies
Thuringia Vintage Gents
Thuringia Vintage Gents
Thuringia Vintage Ladies
Thuringia Vintage Ladies

A true conversation-starter, the Thuringia has a very unique design with many parallels to classic Ruhla watches. Each watch will be shipped in a neat looking box. A printed Manual will also be included. 

TUW Ruhla packaging / gift box
TUW Ruhla packaging / gift box

The Rewards

It is simple: even though the production costs of the watches are slightly different we do not want this to affect you. There will be just one flat price for any Thuringia gents or ladies watch, no matter what colour, case, strap or bracelet you pick.

If you like what we do but are not be able to invest as much, we also offer some smaller rewards to support us. Every penny will help. It takes a big investment to source all the tools, parts and movements for this project. There are still some development costs that we have to invest here as well.

Limited Early Bird offer: For 100 backers we reserve a special deal:

Get any Thuringia at 150€ (Quartz) or 250€ (Automatic) rather than the later kickstarter price of 175€ (Quartz) or 275€ (Automatic).

Thank you note on our Website. 1€

We will put your Kickstarter Alias in the special section of the TUW Ruhla website.

Notebook 25€ (approx. 27,50 USD) 

The TUW Ruhla Notebook
The TUW Ruhla Notebook

Coffee Mug 15€ (approx. 16,50 USD)

The TUW Ruhla coffee mug
The TUW Ruhla coffee mug

Thuringia Automatic watch styles to chose from:

The watches with the red and green dial have a yellow gold case, the blue and black dial versions have a rose gold case. 

The watches with the red and green dial have a yellow gold case, the blue and black dial versions have a rose gold case.

Thuringia Quartz watch styles to chose from:

The watches with the red and green dial have a yellow gold case, the blue and black dial versions have a rose gold case.

The watches with the red and green dial have a yellow gold case, the blue and black dial versions have a rose gold case.

Automatic: 275 (approx. 290 USD)

Any Thuringia Any Thuringia Automatic watch of your choice.

Quartz: 175 (approx. 185 USD)

Any Thuringia Any Thuringia Automatic watch of your choice.

Thuringia Couple package - Automatic

Get two Thuringia watches at a discounted price (250€ per piece rather than 275), maybe a gents and a ladies version, or a vintage and the regular Thuringia? you decide!

Thuringia Couple package - Quartz

Get two Thuringia watches at a discounted price (150€ per piece rather than 175), maybe a gents and a ladies version, or a vintage and the regular Thuringia? you decide!

The Specifications

- 40mm diameter (gents)
- 32mm diameter (ladies)
- 10mm height (gents & ladies) for the quartz model
- 11.5mm height for the automatic model

- sapphire crystal (scratch proof) for quartz and automatic versions

- Japanese Made automatic movement, 41h of power reserve (NH-35, made by Seiko): rotor winds in both direction, can be hand wound and the second hand stops when crown is pulled ('hacking')
- Swiss Made Ronda Movement (Quartz)

- Screw Down Stainless Steel Back (Quartz Version) or Crystal Back (Automatic Version)

- 100m / 10 ATM water resistance 

- genuine leather straps (handcrafted in Germany) or stainless steel mesh bracelets

Why is there such a big difference in Price between the Automatic and Quartz Watch?

Well first of all reliable automatic watch movements are quite expensive and are much more complicated during assembly. Additionally we aim for getting you the best price / performance ratio in the quartz watch: if you like the design and story of TUW Ruhla watches then the Quartz watch is for you. If you are more of an horology expert and enthusiast you will enjoy the additional features of the automatic watch: in contrast to the quartz watch with its printed dial it has applied indexes for all numbers and other dial markings, it features a crystal back to see the movement parts "beating". The automatic watch also has a handmade leather strap rather then a little less expensive one that is mostly made by machines on the quartz watch.

On your wrist

The Timeline

Project Timeline
Project Timeline

The Stretch Goals

50.000

Every backer that buys a watch will receive a travel pouch on top of the regular box.
Every backer that buys a watch will receive a travel pouch on top of the regular box.

Straps / Nato Straps

-photo-

If we reach 150.000 EUR we will include a free NATO strap with any watch + a special watch strap removal tool. You can chose from one of these 5 styles.

-drawings-

Risks and challenges

Delays
Watches consist of a lot of different parts which come from a lot of different suppliers (dials, hands, cases, bracelets, straps, crowns, movements etc.). If just one of those many suppliers does not deliver on time, it may hold back the final assembly. However, we know that the lead time for most parts is shorter than those 90 days quoted above, so we have a bit of a buffer and should hopefully be finished ahead of schedule.

Parts not up to standard
This is always a risk when sourcing parts from many different suppliers, as is usual in the watch industry. Fortunately we have gone through the sampling phase already as you can see from the samples we used in the video and photos. Yes, some alterations still need to be made but we already know all our suppliers from the sampling phase and know what we will get. It is highly unlikely there will be unforeseen events.

In case the unexpected happens and something does go wrong, we can still draw upon for help the many useful contacts we’ve made in the watchmaking industry, during the 10-years that we worked in it.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.12

    Thank you note on our Website.
    We will put your Kickstarter Alias in the special section of the TUW Ruhla website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    18 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €15 or more About $17

    Coffee Mug with TUW Ruhla Logo

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €25 or more About $28

    Notebook with the TUW Ruhla logo

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €150 or more About $167

    Early Bird - Thuringia Quartz Model of your choice

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 22 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €175 or more About $195

    Thuringia Quartz Model of your choice

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €250 or more About $279

    Early Bird - Thuringia Automatic Model of your choice

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 24 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €275 or more About $307

    Thuringia Automatic Model of your choice

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €300 or more About $335

    Quartz Couple package - get 2 Thuringia quartz watches of your choice (for example the ladies and gents version, or the vintage and the regular version, or two different colors, its up to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €500 or more About $558

    Automatic Couple package - get 2 Thuringia Automatic watches of your choice (for example the ladies and gents version, or the vintage and the regular version, or two different colors, its up to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (40 days)