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E.2 Epperlein 100

The first German electric watch was produced by 'Uhren-Werk Ersingen', situated in Kampfelbach-Ersingen near Pforzheim, Germany. The name of the owner of this company was Helmut Epperlein. The development of the electric watch caused much technical and financial trouble, ultimately resulting in the bankruptcy of the factory in 1971.

1949Foundation of a watch company by Pius Reiling.
1950Helmut Epperlein, born in Chemnitz, 1911, enters the watch-firm.
12-1-1952Pius Reiling leaves and Helmut Epperlein becomes the new owner. The name of the factory is changed to 'Vereinigte Uhrenfabriken'.
1952-1956The first prototypes are developed, which had a long coil on the balance and three magnets.
21-1-1957The name is changed once again, this time into 'Uhrenwerk Ersingen', often abbreviated UWERSI.
1955-1960Hamilton and Epperlein work together and arrange for Hamilton to use the Epperlein patents in their 500 and 505 movements, while Epperlein obtains the licence to produce the Hamilton Electric watch in Germany under the name Epperlein 100.
1958The Hamilton watches produced by Epperlein cause many problems of a technical nature. Only a few hundred of the prototypes are produced. They show great similarity with the Hamilton 500. The two contact springs and the magnets were supplied by Hamilton. The battery was a Ucar or Eveready 201.
1959Epperlein starts its own production and releases a different watch still under the same name, Epperlein 100'. A watch with a completely renewed contact system and different balance wheel. About five thousand watches are produced. About thirty percent of these cause problems again, are sent back to the manufacturer and destroyed. All cases are made of gold or gold plated with a steel or plexiglass back and fitted with twelve different dials. These watches very much resemble the Hamilton 505. The contact is made and released by the index wheel. The single spring that can be seen at the photograph of the Epperlein 100 remains continuously in contact with the golden ring on the index wheel.
1960Epperlein announces the 'Electric Piccolo', the first electric watch for ladies. It never reaches the production stage.
2-4-1971Bankruptcy.


At the beginning of the nineteen fifties a number of personnel was laid off by the Lip factory, who established the corporation 'Nappey'. Copy-catting Lip's marketing line, which included an electric watch, 'Nappey' included the 'Epperlein 100' into its sales collection in 1959, which was sold with a dial, inscriptioned 'Nappey'.

Hamilton is the owner of numerous patents which have been put to use in the 500 and 505. About ten of these patents reveal the original inventor's name: Helmut Epperlein. Sometimes the names of Epperlein's employees appear.

Some of these patents are:

Germany1.066.148USA3.015.207
Germany1.080.030USA3.034.284
Germany1.087.982USA3.059.412
Germany1.106.697USA3.060.676
Germany1.107.156USA3.095.690
Germany1.125.362Germany1.128.813


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Copyright by Pieter Doensen

email: doensen@xs4all.nl

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