SHOP­PING

The Ger­mans and the Swiss are known for their punc­tu­al­ity. It's no won­der their watch in­dus­tries are among the best in the world, says Annabelle Mallia.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

A watch­mak­ing in­dus­try that matches the Ger­man ob­ses­sion with punc­tu­al­ity.

Watches from Swiss man­u­fac­tures have right­fully earned their sta­tus as the crème de

la crème of time­pieces. There's the tech­ni­cal per­fec­tion and time­less al­lure of a Rolex wrist­watch (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 184), the pure lux­ury of Chopard (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 54, www.chopard.com), and the ex­tra­or­di­nary pieces by Mau­rice Lacroix (Friedrich­str. 166, www.mau­ricelacroix.com), with par­tic­u­lar ex­per­tise in chrono­graphs and moon-phase in­di­ca­tions. Then there's Hublot (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 56, www.hublot.com), best known for its avant-garde sports watches worn by stars such as Usain Bolt and com­bin­ing cen­turies-old craft with in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy.

How­ever, brands based here in Ger­many have def­i­nitely caught up with the ex­clu­sive club of Swiss man­u­fac­tur­ers. The undis­puted cen­ter of the Ger­man watch­mak­ing in­dus­try, the town of Glashütte, is once again thriv­ing af­ter half a cen­tury of dor­mancy, hav­ing re­cov­ered from WWII and com­mu­nism. This lit­tle vil­lage near Dresden has a watch com­pany on al­most ev­ery street. Glashütte

Orig­i­nal is par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy, as is A. Lange & Söhne, the grand­daddy of them all. Us­ing only gold and plat­inum and as­tound­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail, it pro­duces some of the best time­pieces in the world. A more af­ford­able new­comer thriv­ing in the midst of the old masters is

No­mos, mix­ing Bauhaus style with an el­e­ment of fun.

The Black For­est town of Pforzheim is an­other watch­mak­ing hub and home to the brand Stowa, sell­ing up­dated mod­els of the orig­i­nal Flieger watches worn by Luft­waffe pi­lots in WWII. An­other fa­vorite among ad­ven­tur­ers is the Sinn name, said to be able to sur­vive an apoc­a­lypse. Their use of clever in­no­va­tions, such as sub­ma­rine steel and in­jected Ar­gon gas, makes the watches al­most in­de­struc­tible. While th­ese brands don't have bou­tiques of their own in Ber­lin, they can be found at lux­ury jew­elry stores such as Wempe (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 215, www. wempe.com) and Bucherer (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 45, www.bucherer.com). But for a watch with a Ber­lin heart, check out Lilien­thal Ber­lin. Their lively and col­or­ful de­signs are all the rage among young Ber­lin­ers, and can be bought on­line on www.lilien­thal.ber­lin.

The col­or­ful "Göt­ter­funken" set by Lilien­thal Ber­lin. Inset, be­low: Chopard

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