German watch producer Pointtec has renamed its bestselling brand Junkers and will now make all future collections using the name Iron Annie.
Iron Annie is the name of a German transport aircraft manufactured since the 1930s by Junkers, a major industrialist in the country. It is popular because it was used mainly in civilian roles during World War II and since, sometimes as an air ambulance or as a troop and cargo carrier for the Luftwaffe. Since 1945, it continued to be manufactured and flown for short haul flights by commercial German airlines. It was retired in the 1980s but vintage planes are still flown at air shows and for sightseeing trips.
The aircraft has a distinctive corrugated metal alloy exterior, which has been reproduced in miniature on Junkers watches that will now be known as Iron Annie timepieces.
The change of name came about after the parent company Pointtec decided not to continue paying royalties to the Junkers family for the use of its name.
The Junkers family will produce its own watches using the Junkers brand in collections that will launch later this year.
Distributors in North America and the UK also said that the Junkers name was not being pronounced in the German way with the J sounding like a Y, but instead with a hard consonant as in junk.
Distributors in North America and the UK believe that the Iron Annie name will quickly gain traction.
“Our experience in the UK and America suggested that any potential challenges with changing the name from Junkers to Iron Annie would be more than made up for by the fact that customers would have a much more positive reaction because of warmth and recognition to the Iron Annie aircraft and because it did not sound like junk,” describes Hans Brandt, sales director UK/Ireland for the business.
Pointtec makes around 200,000 watches per year, more than any other German manufacturer, under what used to be the Junkers and will now be Iron Annie; and also Zeppelin timepieces.
2019 is a landmark year for German design because it is the 100th anniversary for the genesis of the Bauhaus movement, and the newly named Iron Annie brand has a complete collection launching this year in celebration.
The Bauhaus 100 Year collection spans clean and simple quartz-based three-handers with date where form most clearly follows function, as the Bauhaus movement prescribes. The range moves up through models using ETA, Sellita, Myota or Seiko automatic movements with power reserve meter and small seconds and chronograph functions.
A range of dial colors for the steel watches are offered, and they can be bought on complementary coloured leather straps or a Milanese mesh bracelet.
Another icon of German industrial design, the Zeppelin airships that flew in the early 20th century, is immortalised in the Zeppelin watch brand from Pointtec.
The watches are considerably more complex in their design that Iron Annie, and have chronograph, second time zone, date and small seconds functionality as well as displaying a tachymeter scaled on the dial to measure acceleration.