There are thousands of watchmakers in the world and there is no way of knowing all of them. However we can get to know the most important ones, brands that left a trace in the history of watchmaking, brands that created something quite important for the industry. Probably all of us know companies such as Seiko, with their great achievements (Seiko Astron which shocked the world industry), Zenith with their El Primero and first chronograph with automatic movement, etc... you know what I am getting at. Those innovations changed the watch industry. But do you know why you can change the date in your watch so quickly? Probably something that doesn't seem so game-changing, saved me a lot of time.
Atlantic is quite well-known in eastern european countries such as my homeland - Poland. Back at the time when between 1945 and 1989 Poland was under comunist rule (being de facto USRR satelite state) our country did not import most of western goods. But we got some of them. And when we got some of them, they were pretty desirable. Having a swiss-made watch before 1989 was a luxury a lot of men strived to. My dad was no different. In 1988 when he worked in eastern Germany - DDR he could afford one of them and finally bought an Atlantic Worldmaster. And about 3 years ago I was gifted it and I love it.
Manual winding, antibloc (or shock protected), some magnetic resistance. And I love that design. There is something about it which makes my heart beat faster as it had the same effect on my dad almost 34 years ago!. As a young man he desired to have a watch like that and this design (slightly changed) is still being sold.
My dad's watch was produced and bought before the fall of the Berlin wall. Before USRR collapsed. Before Poland finally became a free, democratic country. Western capital finally flew to Poland and now I can buy whatever brand I want. There is so much history in this watch. It has seen the world before my sister was born, before I was born. Before my parents married. And I hope I would be able to pass it to my kid. I was shocked when I realised that this brand has so little recognition in western countries. It makes sense when you know that they focused on eastern market such as Poland. They continue their activity up to this day. And when all of it started? It started in 1888 in Bettlach (close to Grenchen) in Switzerland, capital of whatchmaking. They started with name "EKB (Eduard Kummer Bettlach)" and adopted a logo of anchor and callipers. Firstly they produced parts for companies such as Longines and Certina, but in 1928 they switched to making their own watches. In 1950 they opened their first shop in Poland.
And we finally have the milestone. In 1960 they invented a quick date switch. Maybe it sounds like a fantasy, but back at the time you had to change the date by minute hand. When it was 1st day of the month and you wanted to change it to the end of month you had a lot of twirling the lace in front of you. And it was easier to damage the mechanism ( once I broke winding spring of old russian watch just by trying to finally set the god damn date). Does not seem like a great invention, but for my watch story it is more groundbreaking that for example tourbillon which nowdays seems purely like showing off your watchmaking skills.
I am eager to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading all of my post.
Source: Wojciech Kutermankiewic "Historia i logo zegarków firmy Atlantic"
Photo of new worldmaster - wkruk.pl
My own and my dad's knowledge.