German watchmaker Dugena was established in 1917 as Deutschen Uhrmacher-Genossenschaft Alpina. Headquarters were transfered to Berlin in 1927, but the company had to relocate to Darmstadt in 1948. Interestingly enough, Dugena was one of the few companies that came out of the quartz crisis unaffected, and one of the early ones to adopted the new technology.
Nowadays, Dugena watches are mostly distributed throughout German-speaking European countries. Most of their collections use reliable Japanese quartz or automatic movements, and the brand competes on prices with companies like Christ, Festina and Rodania.
Since the creation of calibre 561 by Pforzheimer Uhrenwerke in 1971, Dugena has been one of the brands using the rugged and reliable movement in entry-price watches. The PUW 561 is a 11½ French lines calibre, similar in diameter to the Miyota 8205, ETA 2824-2 and ETA 2892-A4. The anchor escapement beats 21,600 A/h and the spring barrel provides a power reserve of 40 hours. The PUW 561 hand-wound version is 3.7 mm thick, while adding a bi-directional winding rotor (PUW 1561) brings the total thickness to 5.1 mm.
To this day, Dugena still uses the PUW 560 in their core collection. The brand recently unveiled Dugena Premium, a label they want to position one notch above the main trade mark. Models featuring quartz calibres starting at EUR 139.
Dugena watchmakers were able to get their hands on a stock of automatic Bulova 11 ANACD, movements which they have been using alongside hand-wound PUW 560 calibres, ETA 2824-2 and Unitas movements for the mechanical collection, which is limited, numbered, and starting at EUR 565.
For a little more than USD 780 (at today’s exchange rate), one can easily own a piece of German watchmaking history.