UROFA is the abbreviation for "Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG", a former German ebauche manufacturer.
Foundation in the year 1926
From the bankruptcy estate of the Deutschen Präzisions-Uhrenfabrik Glashütte (German precision watch factory Glashütte) in December 1926 the Präzisions-Uhrenfabrik e.G.m.b.H (UROFA) (Precision watch factory eGmbH) and the Uhrenfabrik AG (UFAG) (Watch factory AG) are founded. The production is converted to wristwatches. The first independent German wristwatch movement is developed.
Till 1945 the two companies were directed by Dr. Ernst Kurtz and Paul Löwe. In 1934, the legendary Raumnutzwerk (space utilizing movement) was introduced. The highest quality level of UFAG watches was the Tutima brand that was introduced approximately 1930.
Watch manufacturing during World War II
End of 1938 UROFA and UFAG obtained the order for military production. During World War II, the production of Wehrmacht chronographs and aviator observation watches is raised considerably. Today, these watches habe become very sought collector items, such as the legendary "Flieger-Chronograph 1941", which - requested by the Air Force and designed and developed in just two years - has been used by numerous German fighter pilots. The dial offered the best readability by striking luminous hands in front of the contrasting black background. Also the pushers and the voluminous crown satisfied ergonometric requirements. (Fighter pilots always flew with leather gloves on.)
The pilot's chronographs movement was the only used UROFA chronograph movement, the Calibre 59. This rugged manual winding movement facilitated the control of all stop functions via a column wheel. Also, the possibility of additionial stoppings was given. The movement was fitted in some 30,000 watches.
On May 8, 1945, a few hours before the end of the war, Russian bombs hit the city Glashütte and caused heavy damage in the plants of the watch companies resident in the town. Random or not: one day ago, Dr. Ernst Kurtz had left the city with all his belongings and property.
After the war
1946 the Urofa presents the first postwar movement, the Calibre 61, developed and produced under the most difficult conditions.
On July 1, 1951 the two companies are merged with A. Lange & Söhne, Feintechnik (fine technics) Otto Gössel u. Co. and other companies to VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe (GUB). The company produces mechanical and quartz watches; in the 1970s and 1980s large quantities of discount watches are exported.
Dr. E. Kurtz continued the manufacturing of watches in West Germany. In the same year, he founded a new company in southern Germany, the watch factory Kurtz, which in 1951 he moved to Ganderkesee in Lower Saxony. Together with former Glashütte employees, he consistently follows the tradition of past times. The dial inscription "Kurtz Glashütter Tradition" tells of his claim to preserve the traditional horological values.
The former employee and confidant of Dr. Kurtz in Glashütte, Werner Pohlan, continues in Ganderkesee under the name "NUROFA Norddeutsche Uhren-Rohwerkefabrik" (North German Watch Ebauche Factory), beneath a newly established distribution company "Tutima Uhren" (Tutima watches). 1959 Dr. Kurtz again takes over the direction of the ebauche fabrication, and he gives it the venerable name UROFA, which is now defunct in Glashütte.
In the years 1958-59 the NUROFA-UROFA already produced the remarkable quantity of around 70,000 ebauches of the Calibre 570. The production of own raw movements finds, however, its end one year later.
But the name Tutima lives on. It is registered 1970 by Dieter Delecate as a brand and used for a production line in northern Germany. The legendary Tutima Flieger Chronograph 1941 is reissued as a replica.
- Tutima, official website