Traditional Craftsmanship:

The Development of a Muehle Watch

Precise Parts Manufacture

As soon as a new watch is finished in our heads and on the drawing board, the first prototypes are built and appraised. If we are satisfied with everything, we begin production.

We ourselves manufacture many parts which are important for the accuracy of our mechanisms. These include above all the woodpecker neck regulation and fitting balance cock. We also, however, design the automatic bridge, our rotor with its elaborately riveted rotating weight and the three-quarter plate with its attachments.

The parts are manufactured on CNC machining centres, which produce the parts that we design to an accuracy of one thousandth of a millimetre. Even though we are particularly proud of all the skilled manual work that goes into the manufacture of our watches, without these machines we would not be able to maintain our high quality standard. The machines supply us with high-precision blanks, which we then further process and finish.

Finishing and Assembling the Watch Mechanisms

As a small, independent family business we adhere to the stringent quality criteria of craft manufactoring. This is most obvious in the finish and assembly of the watch mechanisms we use – all work is completed manually.

We start out with field-tested raw mechanisms provided by reputable manufacturers. A Mühle watch, however, has to meet the highest standards as regards quality and precision. For this reason we disassemble the raw mechanisms completely, examine them thoroughly and optimize them. We pay particular attention to the core of the mechanism: the movement, consisting of the balance, balance spring, lever and escape wheel. A uniform rate is of extreme importance for the accuracy of a watch, so this is where we make the biggest technical changes. The balance is supported in the balance cock, which we produce ourselves, and equipped with our own fine regulation system.

After technical optimization, the mechanisms are carefully reassembled together with the parts finished by us, topped off by our both efficient and finely decorated Mühle rotor.

Regulation in Six Positions

After a mechanism has been completely assembled, the woodpecker neck regulation is used for exact setting of the rate. This regulation is carried out in six different positions, through which we simulate every possible wearing position on the wearer’s wrist.

During regulation, time which the mechanism gains or loses in all six positions is measured using a time balance and is recorded exactly. After this we set the mechanism so as to ensure that the overall deviation is at its minimum. If there is any deviation at all, our watches should run very slightly fast. After all, our company philosophy is that anyone wearing a Mühle watch should on principle not arrive late. If anything, a little early – that is more polite.

Before the regulated mechanism can be inserted into its case, the face and the hands still have to be put on. All the added features, known as complications in the watchmaking industry, are now also checked again for accuracy. These include, for example, the data display and the stop function on our chronographs.

Meticulous Final Inspection

Our watches represent mechanical precision and reliability. To achieve both, we have to work extremely carefully at all stages. Between each work stage we carry out repeated tests and measurements to see if the work already completed meets our expectations. Our tradition demands this of us. After all, it was Robert Mühle who started manufacturing measuring instruments for the Glashütte watchmaking industry as early as 1869.

Before a watch leaves our premises, it undergoes a strict final inspection. This consists of a standard cycle of tests during which it has to provide full proof of its qualities.

This begins with a careful running-in phase during which it is automatically wound by a special watch winder. After it has been fully wound, we let it unwind completely and during this we carry out multiple tests to see if it keeps the rate values set by us for the different winding states of the spring barrel. In addition to other tests, the leak test is of course particularly important to us at Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte. To do this test, we subject the watch to over-pressure. Using highly sensitive measuring instruments we can detect even the smallest defects during this test.

The watch has to pass all the tests before the watch strap can be attached. And even after that, we do a final visual inspection test.

Nautical Virtues
Instruments for Time Measurement
Traditional Craftmanship
Characteristic Muehle Rotor
Patented Woodpecker Neck Regulation
Newly Developed Three-Quarter Plate
Functional Aesthetics

Typical Muehle parts: rotor, patented woodpecker neck regulation and three-quarter plate