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E.4 UMF Ruhla

The first East German electric watch was the UMF 25, manufactured by 'VEB Klement Gottwald Uhren und Machinen-Fabrik Ruhla' in Th/ringen, East Germany. The abbreviation 'VEB' stands for 'Volkseigener Betrieb', indicating that the factory belonged to the people of East Germany.
The factory produced a system with a coil on the balance wheel and a fixed magnet, very similar to the Hamilton 505.

1-9-1963The UMF 25 electric also called 'Champion Electric' is shown for the first time at the Leipzig Autumn Fair in Germany.
1964UMF 25 goes on sale in Germany.
1967The production of the UMF 25 stops.
1967-1973Production of the UMF 26-12.
1969-1973Production of the UMF 26-09.


The following movements made by UMF Ruhla can be found:

UMF 25/10 without a seconds-hand.
UMF 25/12, 25/80 and 25/82 with a seconds-hand.
Both movements have a frequency of 2.5 Hz.
The UMF 25 was also produced in a version with light.
UMF 26-12 and UMF 26-09 with a frequency of 4 Hz.


Models 25 and 26 are very similar. Some parts are interchangeable.

The watch was sold under the following names: 'Champion Electric', 'Icarus Electric', 'Unilectric', 'Targa Electric', 'Ermi', 'Gsell', 'Lafayette' and 'Croton'.

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Copyright by Pieter Doensen

email: doensen@xs4all.nl

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