Arctos GPW Military Watches
The establishment of the brand Arctos and the hour of birth for today's Arctos GPW Military Watches can be traced back to the year 1923 when it was a trademark of Weber & Aeschbach, a watch assembling company located in Pforzheim. In the early 30’s, Philipp Weber – co-founder next to Jakob Aeschbach – was spurred to expand the company’s business from watch assembling for other companies to introduce an own watch brand, which he had registered in 1924. It was called Arctos, the Greek word for the Great Bear constellation. Twenty years after its foundation, Weber & Aeschbach produced at 8 facilities in Pforzheim and had 900 employees. On February 23rd, 1945, all production facilities were destroyed by an allied air strike at the end of WW2.
Once the reconstruction of the company quickly went ahead, it was renamed to “Arctos-Uhrenfabrik Philipp Weber” in 1947. In 1956, the company boasted a world sensation by introducing its world time watch – the Arctos Horometer. Additionally, the Arctos Elite collection was presented for the first time to the audience in that year. This collection specifically appealed to the discerning customer and competed soon as a highest quality German watch with Swiss brands on the market. As the company specialized more and more in the segment of military watches, another milestone was reached in 1971 when it became the first German watch manufacturer to present a prototype of a quartz watch.
According to tender for the manufacture of chronographs with maximum reliability, the company received a contract for the production of chronographs for the German Air Force, Navy, and Army from the Ministry of Defence in 1982. Arctos watches later became official standard equipment of NATO forces and the German Armed Forces under the NATO reference and supply number 6645-12-194-8642.
In 1994, Arctos, as well as other well-known watch manufacturers, withdrew from the market. They had no chance against the overwhelming competitors who entered the market with cheap digital watches.
81 years after the foundation of Weber & Aeschbach, “Arctos Präzisionsuhren e.K.” was re-established and located in Aarbergen near Pforzheim in 2004. Financial and technical requirements were completed. Common experience, critical market analysis, and surveys led to the continuation of the popular military watches.
Since 2007, the company – as the first German watch manufacturer – sells a collection of watches made of zirconium oxide (ZrO2), high-tech ceramic, and titanium.
The Arctos GPW Military Watch Infantry line is introduced in 2012 and is based on watches made for the Infantryman of the Future and German KRK (Crisis Reaction Forces) Soldier - featuring a light-weight solid Titanium case.