Bernhard Lederer


Bernhard Lederer was born in 1958 in the German town of Kornwestheim, near Stuttgart. At the age of 18, he became an intern at the Wuppertal Clock and Watch Museum and at the same time studied watchmaking in Düsseldorf. Three years later, he received a diploma and opened his own company Uhrenmanufaktur Lederer near Düsseldorf, which was engaged in antique clock repair and restoration.

In 1985 he received a Master's degree in watchmaking from the Pforzheim Watchmaking School and joined the Academy of Independent Creators in Watchmaking. By 1990, Lederer was already producing Perpetual table clocks in small series (no more than 10 pieces). In 1993 the master created one of his most famous models - a monumental clock project honoring the 500th anniversary of Brazil's discovery called Time Dimension. In 1996, the Time Dimension clock took 10th place in the prestigious Watch of the Year competition held by the German watch magazine Armband Uhren. 

In 1993, Lederer sold his atelier Uhrenmanufaktur Lederer along with all the equipment and began his famous "period of reflection". For nine whole years (from 1993 to 2002), Lederer pondered how to embody his ideas about time in wrist mechanics. For example, the master despised watches with a second hand, as it distracted him from philosophical thoughts. At that time, he also believed that the modern watchmakers should leave the pursuit of precision in the past, as it wasn't important anymore. 

Finally, in 1999, Lederer moved to Switzerland with intention to start a serial production of his own watches. So, he created the company called “BLU - source du temps SA”. In 2002, BLU (which stands for Bernhard Lederer's Universe or Bernhard Lederer's Uhren) released the first batch of watches based on Lederer's concept of ever-changing, endlessly moving time.

The master despised watches with a second hand, as it distracted him from philosophical thoughts

Everything about blu watches is quite original: the absence of a second hand, the time indication by means of self-rotating discs, the movement that makes them spin... Actually, Lederer doesn’t call his creations watches, but rather “source du temps” - "sources of time".

Peculiar watches, featuring a very unique time indication, and built on the ETA base movements, aroused keen interest amount enthusiasts at first, but eventually lost its popularity to Urwerk, Hautlence, MB&F and other more technologically advanced designs.

After that, Lederer took another long “period for reflection”, to once again radically change his approach to watchmaking. The master became interested in the works of the great watchmakers of the past, considering invention of various types of escapements. After many years of serious R&D and historical research, he completed the work begun by Breguet and continued in the 20th century by George Daniels. The result was the Central Impulse Chronometer wristwatch, created in collaboration with aeronautical engineer Georg von Tardy, whom Lederer met in 2012.

Today, 99% of mechanical watches use the so-called "free escapement", a fairly simple and effective solution. However, there are other escapement types out there, which are provide the same accuracy, but are much more complex. Well, Bernhard Lederer never looked for easy ways, and in order to achieve maximum mechanical precision, he ingeniously equipped his Central Impulse Chronometer with two escapement wheels, each of which is connected to its own gear system, has its own barrel and a separate 10-second constant force mechanism.

Lederer made a name for himself with innovative watch concepts, in particular by creating the “BLU” brand. Now Lederer mostly works behind the scenes through his company MHM SA in Saint-Blaise, developing movements and technical solutions for other watch brands, but occasionally he returns to the stage with his own watches, delighting connoisseurs with exciting new examples of his watchmaking ingenuity.


Auction 2023 lot:


Majesty Tourbillon
Starting price
CHF 35 000
CHF 60 000


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