The first german watch movement
After years of pioneer work Josef Bidlingmaier could in 1928 introduce the Caliber B2025 as the first self developed and manufactured movement. It is the first form movement specially for watches built in Germany. Also it is the first watch movement with anchor lever of german production. On the ¾ bridge of the movement was the signature ”BIFORA” (BI= Bidlingmaier, FOR= Formwerk, A= Ankerhemmung) and ”D.R.G.M.“ (Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster). In 1934 the trade mark ”€žBifora” was registered and the company renamed in ”€žBifora-Uhren J. Bidlingmaier Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung”. Die company J. Bidlingmaier developed to one of the leading German watch manufacturers and the watches had an excellent image.
Bimag - the first german automatic movement
1951 the caliber 103 SAwas introduced as the first Germanautomatic movement. 1962 Bifora introduced the first German ladies automatic caliber, caliber 70 with 7 ¼ lines, to the market. In the same year also a new Bifora-Automatic mens watch was introduced. The caliber 910 was based on an inexpensive pole construction.
Chronometer Bifora ”Unima”
1955 the caliber 120 in the form ”€žUnima” was presented as a very successful handwind-chronometer movement. The Bifora ”€žUnima”-Chronometer were besides the Chronometers of Junghans and Laco the top products of German watch production.
Already in 1967 working prototypes of the electromechanical movements B8 and B9 were shown, but only in 1971 the calibers B10/B111 were functional electromechanical producst in serial production. Bifora then could show an own quartz movement in 1973 with the caliber B12. A lot of parts of the B10/B11 (i.e. plates and bridges)could be reused. With the”€žflat-line” and the calibers B17/B18 Bifora could then in 1977 show the worldwide slimmest quartzwatch with a hight of 2,6-3,1 mm, where the cases and movement were produced from one piece.
Josef Bidlingmaier died on 20. January 1967 and his two sons took over the management of the company. Regardless of massive personnel cut, in 1977 with in the end 270 workers they had to claim bankrupt. 1978 the former repräsentative of the company in middle east, the India high merchant Hiranand Gajria, took over Bifora. The produktion in Germany stopped finally in 1983and the factory was closed down. Also in India the watch production was finally closed down in the 1990s.
The new aera
In 2011 a small team started again by founding the ”€žBifora Uhren-Manufaktur GmbH”. They want to produce high quality mechanical watches in the old tradition but following the modern demand. And so they could show in november 2014 the JB-60, the first Bifora-watch since 30 years. The name reminds at the founder Josef Bidlingmaier and the edition of 60 pieces. 60 original caliber 130 from 1965 were used. The have been generally fixed and exceptionally refurbished and polished. All parts of the watch, as of their pretention, are produced in Germany and Switzerland. The case for example is produced in Pforzheim, the band in Augsburg. The dial and hands are made in Switzerland.
Excerpt and translated from Wikipedia https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bifora-Uhren