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View picture in original size
Fig. 1

Bifora-Uhrenfabrik, Joseph Bidlingmaier, Schwäbisch Gmünd

1900: Founded as bijouterie store, soon production of watch cases.
1918: 70 employees produce complete wrist watches with Swiss rough movements, and a growing number of self-made parts.
1928: Calibre 2025, the first German wrist-watch movement with lever escapement, maybe the first anyway (the only probably earlier one was the Urofa 51 with cylinder escapement).
1951: Bifora 103 AUT, first German automatic kalibre.
1955: Top calibre Bifora 120, available in several grades, up to the certified Unima Chronometer.
1960-70: 1000 employees produced up to 4000 watches per day, which were exported to 42 countries. A high quantity, considering that everything, except hair- and main springs, was made in house.
1967: First electromechanical calibres B8, B9, which were never serially produced.
1971: First electronical calibres B10, B11.
1973: First quartz calibre B12, to wide extent based on B10, B11.
1977: Although genuine quartz calibres were designed in time, decreasing prices of the Far East competitors and the buy out of a share holder led to insolvency.
1978: Factory bought by Hiranand Gajria, previously Bifora representative in India. The production continued first in Schwäbisch Gmünd, but soon moved to Bangalore/India, where the production of watches with calibre 91 continued until about 2000.
2006: Restart as Bifora Uhren GmbH at historical address in Schwäbisch Gmünd.

Comments about the data

Bifora was some time the biggest factory for wrist watches in Germany.
Mainly medium grade watches, effordable for everybody, were made, but in small quantities also high grade products.

bidfun-db 21.3 © 02-08-15, mtr-Ranfft

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