WBOTD 9.15.12: Sothis

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WBOTD 9.15.12: Sothis

Post by mrneddles on 2012-09-15, 13:32

This is one of my darling brands. I owned a "Spirit of Moon" for awhile. Perfectly crafted cases and modified 7750s and 7751s. The owner and designer Mr. Steinkrüger has passed away, and the brand seems to be in limbo, although Jorg Schauer was supposedly going to keep the name going. They pop up on the secondary market rarely and have been holding value pretty well for a lesser known brand.


SOTHIS was founded by Wolfgang Steinkrüger in 1996.
Because of his love for collecting watches, Wolfgang Steinkrüger created his own watch and one year later went into series after receiving many inquiries. So began the first model “SPIRIT OF MOON”; with a diameter of 39mm and 3 different face variations.

These models were greeted with great enthusiasm by watch fans worldwide. It was quickly realised that watch making was a full-time job and not something one could do in their spare time. After careful consideration, Wolfgang Steinkrüger decided to retire from his profession as Advertising and Production Designer of his own Advertising Agency in Bielefeld in order to spend his full time in designing and producing top quality limited Editions of mechanised watches. Now, 10 years later, the actual collection consists of 13 models. A number of the models designed since 1997 have reached their limitation and are no longer available.

How was the name found? Where did the name SOTHIS come from? It would have
been far too simple to have bought an ”easy on the ear” name with a long history. This however was never in question. The philosophy of the founder was that a new watch should have a new and unique name and so the name SOTHIS was chosen. In the astrology, SOTHIS can be compared with the star SIRIUS which is to be found in the constellation of CANIS MAJOR (Big Dog). As the brightest star in the northern winter sky, this star was celebrated in the old Egyptian mythology as the Goddess SOTHIS who showed the old Egyptians not only the changing of the old to new years, but also the times when the River Nile would be flooded, thus flooding the fields with fertile Nile sediment which resulted in a good harvest. A minor factor for the name SOTHIS was that it can be pronounced without difficulty in almost any language.

At first, all parts of the SOTHIS watches were produced in Switzerland. It was decided very quickly after the start, that as a German watchmaking company, the watch parts should be produced by manufacturers in Germany. Unfortunately there being no infrastructure for high quality watch works or hands in Germany, all parts are still being drawn from the best producers in Switzerland. Each watch is assembled exclusively in the Bielefeld workshop. Wolfgang Steinkrüger assembles most of the watches himself, but because this is not always possible, SOTHIS found in the Master Watchmaker Andre Haselhorst the highest professional support.
We are proud that our watches have carried the quality stamp “SOTHIS GERMANY” for many years.

The first of our watches was designed with a case which through its size and optic had a totally new and unique appearance against all other names on the market. Although watchcase producers had their doubts that only with great effort could a watch case like ours be manufactured, we held onto our beliefs. Contrary to the Astronomical name, the three rings which adorn every watchcase reflect the elements Earth, Water and Air. After only a short time, our watchcase design was easily recognisable, thus, each of our watches seen on the wrist is immediately known to be as a SOTHIS watch.

In the meantime, we have improved the design of the casing so much, that all parts, such as the bezel, bottom, but also the complicated watchstrap horns are affixed by screws. This allows us to dismantle all parts and even years later re-assemble, as new. The watchstrap horn can be individually replaced, when necessary. We are proud to be able to claim that we assemble one of the most perfect watches in the world.

The watch face is the personality of every watch and decides the on success of the watch. Therefore, I, as a designer with an eye for typography, insist on the balanced fashion of our watch faces. Each individual watch face is enlarged 10 times on the computer in order to see and correct any imperfections. The design spectrum of our models extends from puristish to extravagant. For example, the watch dial of the IKARUS model contains 73 individual pieces. These many pieces are as varied as the blue appliqué work of the roman numerals through to the proscribing of the minute dividers. Each individual appliqué is drilled to an exact one hundredth hole through which the feet of the appliqué are threaded and then riveted in the reverse side.

Every individual piece of the watch is stringently controlled by our staff on delivery to our company. Any imperfections or faults are immediately reclaimed from the suppliers or brought up to perfect condition in accordance to our top quality standards by our own craftsmen. Only through such measures can we be sure of delivering top quality watches. The watches are assembled with the same care.
Each movement is given a coating of first class long life oil before assembly. Special gloves are warn when setting the face and hands. After this phase, the movement with all its components is fitted into the casing. The watch is then tested on a 5 stage chronometer and regulated. The last step is to test its water resistance under sub-atmospheric end excessive pressure conditions, also, a 240 hour test on a rotary machine with daily controls of all functions of the watch. Only after these procedures have been completed is the watch ready for delivery, with my personal signature documented on the Guarantee-Certificate.

With regular service and proper care, you purchase a watch which will bring you pleasure for generations to come.

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