A great passion for watches, a fondness for Polish brands and the desire to create our own product all lead to a single idea – the revival of Błonie.
Once it became apparent that it is in fact possible to revive such a legendary Polish watchmaking brand, there was not a moment of hesitation and we got down to work. With great pride we present to you the product of our efforts.
The new Błonie is a rejuvenated brand, the result of careful cultivation of Polish watchmaking traditions and a national legend brought back to life. Błonie’s logo had been recreated by another accomplished Polish creator and calligrapher – Adam Romuald Kłodecki. It is not our desire for Błonie to be just a Polish brand brought back to life. We want Polish spirit to be at the very heart of the company.
We hope, with a fair amount of conviction, that we have brought much joy to numerous collectors, enthusiasts and anyone with an appreciation for high quality products of Polish origin.
Our watches are created using selected parts and quality components of the highest standard, such as sapphire glass and stainless steel. The watch straps are made of genuine leather. Each piece is meticulously examined by a Polish watchmaker who carefully regulates the precision of each watch’s mechanism.
The very first series of watches had left the factory in Błonie on October 24th 1959. Many consider that day to be the brand’s birth date. However, the brand’s history does reach back a little earlier – to the year 1956. It was in 1956 that a political decision had been made to go ahead with the production of wristwatches. The very first watches bearing the Błonie brand name were exhibited and sold at the Poznań International Fair in 1960.
Taking into account the political situation during those years, it is not surprising that political authorities at the time demanded the watches be produced under a Soviet license. A decision had fallen to establish the production site in a former match factory in Błonie, which at the time was serving as… a factory for the armaments industry.
Błonie’s first watches were assembled entirely out of Soviet-made parts. Amongst them was the 2409 mechanism, which had been modelled on the Swiss AS 1430 from the famous workshops of Adolf Schild. These were simplified, 15-jewel mechanisms without shockproof balance staff bearings. A plan was put in place for the gradual implementation of components of their own production into the assembly line – starting with watch cases and dials. Due to the factory’s location, meaning that it was operating in areas that did not showcase a tradition in the field of precision mechanics, the biggest initial challenge was gathering a qualified team. These staffing problems could most certainly be contributed to the fact that the quality of the first watches to leave the production lines in Błonie was substandard. Saying this, it should also be noted that production quality improved quite rapidly, and the Błonie brand started to acquire numerous patrons and supporters.
Production of similar, slightly distinct watches, which would differ in aspects such as the watch face, took place during the years leading up to 1964. These watches would bear graceful and native names such as „Bałtyk”, „Błonie”, „Dukat”, „Lech” and „Wars”. Mechanisms for these watches were still being assembled from parts supplied from the Soviet Union; but most of the components were shockproof and parts like the hairspring were made from non-magnetic materials. With time, production of boards and bridges for the aforementioned 2409 mechanism had commenced. These models had been signed using Błonie’s very own logo consisting of a gear wheel in a rectangular box. There is no consensus as to the number of mechanisms produced (estimates range from a few to 30,000 copies). Błonie also manufactured watches with the intent to export them abroad, such as the famous “Blonex” with its 17-jewel mechanism. During the decade of 1959-1969, approximately 1.2 million watches had been produced in Błonie. Interestingly, the factory in Błonie did not market any spare parts or replacements, prompting several smaller factories to manufacture replacement watch dials. Distinguished amongst these were the silver coloured so-called „warszawskie” (Warsaw) watch dials, which would be produced using photochemical processes.
The history towards the end of the production of watches in Błonie is somewhat unclear. It can, to some extent, be linked with the socio-political events that took place in the country during the early 1970’s. There are unconfirmed stories of Soviet military transports deporting factory machinery from Błonie in December 1970. To a greater extent, it most probably had to do with the economic situation at the time; particularly import difficulties, which would have caused suspensions to the production process, etc.
Błonie – Timeline:
- 1953 – The establishment of Precision Mechanics Workshops in Błonie and the initiation of production for the armaments industry.
- 1957-58 – Production of anemometers and motorcycle and bicycle speedometers (amongst other products).
- 1957 – The purchase of licenses for the watch brand „Kirovskije” from the Kirov Factory located in Moscow.
- 1959 – The first series of watches leaves the factory in Błonie.
- 1960 – Błonie’s debut at the Poznań International Fair.
- 1961 – Błonie watches are manufactured with components from their own production. During this year, an assembly hall had been established in the factory in which the construction of watches would be carried out.
- 1962 – A governmental decision is made that watch construction from own parts must cease (assembly is to solely utilize components imported from the Soviet Union. However, watch cases, dials and watch hands continue to be manufactured).
- 1964 – Production of pressure gauge mechanisms and balance staffs.
- 1966-67 – Termination of Błonie watch production.
- 2003 – The District Court of Warsaw declares the company’s bankruptcy.
- 2014 – Revival of the Błonie brand and its market comeback.
- 2015 – Our second watch, becomes available.
The very first model from the revived 1960’s brand. The watch is available in a limited series of 500 pieces.
As a classical watch, it has been designed for everyday use. Its unified design makes it suitable to wear with both formal and casual attire, adding class and elegance to any look.
The new Błonie watch is produced by an experienced, international company with offices ranging from Germany to Hong Kong. The watch must undergo three stages of quality control, and is additionally individually inspected and regulated upon arrival to Poland. The watch is water resistant (to 5 atm) and has a 2 year warranty.
Błonie watches are the perfect combination of modern technology and contemporary design. Its technical specifications are as follows:
|40-mm watch case made from stainless steel 316L|
|Japanese Miyota 8215 automatic mechanism|
|Original rotor in Poland’s national colours; clearly visible through the watch’s glass case back|
|Water resistant to 5 atm|
|2 year warranty.|
In the year of 75th anniversary of Battle of England we presented our second watch – a tribute to the heroic history of Polish aviation. WX302 is RAF code for Squadron 302, the first Polish fighter squadron formed in England in the year 1940.
Our designers worked closely with experts from the Historical Foundation of Polish Aviation in order to create a unique model which, through the symbols contained within the watch, may serve as a reminder of the heroic struggle of Squadron 302’s Polish pilots during the Second World War. Our aim wasn’t simply to create a pilot’s watch – we wanted to honour the military service and preserve the memory of Polish pilots who flew for Squadron 302.
The Błonie WX302 watch was created for aviation enthusiasts, pilots and all individuals who wish to commemorate the history of Polish aviation. The symbols contained within the WX302 watch take us back to a time of vicious aerial battles over Britain, in which Polish pilots took no small part. The representation of specific elements of Squadron 302’s history can be seen throughout the watch. The embossed WX302 symbol has been placed in the inner circle of the dial. WX302 (short for Woxhale 302) is the code painted onto aircraft belonging to Squadron 302. The WX302 symbol has also been inscribed onto the buckle of the watch strap.
An arrow on the watch dial pointing towards the 12 o’clock index, is a reference to military watches. On the battlefield, soldiers have to face situations of extreme stress. The arrow allowed for quick orientation and swift timekeeping. Such arrows were found on watches belonging to soldiers serving in the British Armed Forces.
The outline of the inner circle on the watch dial was inspired by the crosshairs of World War II era military aircraft.
The orange-tipped watch hands, through their shape and colour, are a representation of the propellers of Spitfire planes flown by Squadron 302 pilots.
On the inner side of the watch dial at 50 and a half minutes is the silhouette of an aircraft. This is an indicator of the number of planes shot down by the pilots of Squadron 302. 50 and a half is the number found on “Bajan’s list” – an official list of Polish fighter pilots serving during World War II. The list had been created based on a collection of documents gathered by a commission from the Polish Armed Forces in the West. The “half” stems from the fact that when an enemy aircraft was targeted and subsequently shot down by two pilots at the same time, it was not always clear which pilot’s shot led to the downing of the enemy aircraft. To settle such situations, the kill was split between both pilots, often belonging to different squadrons..
The watch crown is engraved with the silhouette of a raven – the emblem of Squadron 302. The image is based on one of the unit’s original medals.
The watch features a custom rotor in the shape of a Spitfire aircraft.
The watch is available in three versions: Stainless steel with light watch face; Stainless steel with black watch face; PVD coated with black watch face. The first series of WX302 will be limited to 300 pieces – 100 of each version.
|42 – millimeter stainless steel watch case.|
|Swiss made automatic movement, 24 jewels, 21 600 vph.|
|Custom rotor in the shape of a Spitfire plane, visible through a glass case back.|
|Water resistant to 5 ATM|
|2 years warranty|
Błonie watches are delivered to clients in an elegant, classical wooden box. Each watch comes with two genuine leather watch straps.