Technisches Museum der Pforzheimer Schmuck- und Uhrenindustrie,
The museum radiates an aura of vibrant activity; it smells like oil and metal in here, and the machines make a lot of noise! In the building of the former Kollmar & Jourdan jewellery manufactory, visitors have an opportunity to gain insights into the world of Pforzheim’s traditional jewellery and watchmaking industries, which once dominated the global market.
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It’s a place where history comes alive, where visitors can witness how pieces of jewellery are created, how metal is melted and shaped, and how complex movement blanks, watch dials or cases are made. Whether it’s sand casting, electroplating or rolling: the manufacture of jewellery and watches has always involved many processes and techniques. Starting from the drawing of an initial sketch all the way through to the production process itself, visitors can observe the individual worksteps involved and marvel at traditional manufacturing techniques employed using original historical machines.
Re-opening in Pforzheim’s anniversary year after a period of redesign After a longer period of redesign, the Technical Museum was re-opened in April 2017 within the context of the festival celebrating the 250th
anniversary of Pforzheim as the City of Gold – featuring new themes, references to our present-day era, new and comprehensive information, and a contemporary exhibition ambience. It showcases the technology involved in jewellery and watch production in its historical context, highlighting both the manufacturing techniques involved and the working conditions and developments in the city of Pforzheim. Because the jewellery and watchmaking industries not only have a long tradition in Pforzheim but are still active today, the museum also explores how this history is being perpetuated in the present: numerous companies have been further developing their special skills in jewellery and watch production, and are also successful in new markets nowadays. The explanations by the museum’s staff are complemented by informational media that also enable visitors to find their way around the museum on their own.
How the museum was created In 1979, in response to an initiative by Pforzheim’s then Head of the Cultural Affairs Department, Fritz Wurster, a »Supporters’ Association for a Technical Museum« was established. The reason for this was the fact that many jewellery companies closed down in the late 1970s, and the resultant question of what should be done with their production machines. The supporters’ association wanted to preserve both the machines and the tools for the jewellery and watch manufacturing processes to remain comprehensible in the future. Dedicated townspeople with knowledge in the fields concerned provided valuable assistance, and the museum was inaugurated in 1983 in the Kollmar & Jourdan building, one of Pforzheim’s most striking jewellery manufactories. Since 1984, the City of Pforzheim has been financing and preserving this cultural heritage.