History

CENTURY through time

CENTURY TIME GEMS LTD was founded in 1966 by Hans Ulrich Klingenberg in Biel, in the heart of the region that is home to Swiss watchmaking.

From a very young age, Hans U. Klingenberg harboured a vision of creating a truly exceptional watch, thus laying the foundations for the present-day CENTURY sapphire collection. He dreamed of creating a timepiece that would unite eternal beauty and a technically perfect construction in total harmony.

In 1959, he developed a brilliant invention based on the principle of creating a vacuum to ensure a totally water-, air- and dust-tight seal. This exclusive system lies at the heart of many designs and has been the object of numerous patents registered by CENTURY. By exploiting various licences relating to his innovations, Hans U. Klingenberg was able to pursue his quest to invent new techniques.

In 1977, after many years of intensive research and development, Hans U. Klingenberg found the solution that allowed him to fulfil his vision. He invented two unique construction systems, “Megalith” and “Monolith”, for producing scratch-proof sapphire cases, and combined these with the exclusive sealing system he had developed several years earlier.
 
These two innovative constructions systems were patented worldwide and are used to this day in our workshops.
 
Thanks to his revolutionary inventions, Hans U. Klingenberg has left his mark on the Swiss watchmaking industry, as time and again, he amazed the international watch market with his technical brilliance. 
 
Today, our family firm remains independent and is now headed by the founder’s son, Philip Klingenberg, who is actively pursuing the development of the company and the CENTURY brand.
 
In 1995, we built new premises to bring our watch manufacture, cutting atelier, polishing workshops and administration department under one roof. This unification of all our activities has ensured that CENTURY timepieces will continue to be produced exclusively in Switzerland. 
 
Philip W. A. Klingenberg has remained true to the corporate philosophy introduced by his father, while successfully combining it with a modern spirit of the times.