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History

HISTORY

HISTORY


The history of the famous PRIM brand wristwatch, which has been indelibly written into the lives of millions of people, started to play out in 1949, when the opening ceremony was held for a branch of the Liberec-based enterprise Chronotechna. The factory very soon started to specialise in manufacturing of wristwatches, a thing which was rare at that time – only 8 countries in the world could boast mass production of wristwatches. Thanks to PRIM wristwatches, Czechoslovakia numbered amongst them.

The first PRIM wristwatch design saw the light of day in 1952 and was constantly developed until 1956, when a run of the first Czechoslovak wristwatches was created. The experts devoted their time over the next two years to testing – every component had to manage problem-free operation for at least 15 years, the wristwatches had to be precise, reliable and durable.

Just as our customers can nowadays actively influence manufacturing of their PRIM wristwatches, the public also had a hand in their birth at the time of their creation. Regular employees from various fields joined in with non-professional testing – their task was to wear the wristwatches nonstop for a year and to note anything which could lead to improvement of their functioning and appearance.

PRIM wristwatches were unique from the very start. Proof of this is the fact that several politicians and leading representatives of Czechoslovakia received them as exclusive gifts. One of the most important owners of a PRIM wristwatch was the President of the Republic Antonín Zápotocký, who received a gold wristwatch with serial number 4 on the day of his 72nd birthday.

Although the first Czechoslovak wristwatches had already been born, their name was still not determined. The unofficial working version originally counted on the name Kotva and from 1954 on, the name Spartak started to be used, after the name of the classical hero who led an uprising of slaves against their masters.

In the end, decision was made that the wristwatches would bear the same name as the other products from the factory – for this reason, wristwatches labelled PRIM awaited customers in the shops from 1958 onwards. In the meanwhile however several thousand wristwatches with the name Spartak were manufactured, these being a very valuable collector’s item to this very day.

  • 1946 – the Chronotechna company was established in Liberec, Czechoslovakia
  • 1949 – a Chronotechna company branch opened in Nove Mesto nad Metuji, manufacturing wristwatches
  • 1954 – first Czechoslovak wristwatch model Spartak
  • 1957 – PRIM wristwatches serial production launched
  • 1958 – PRIM wristwatches became available to the general public in Czechoslovakia
  • 1965 – the PRIM Orlik wristwatch was launched and soon became the most popular model

  • 1967 – first advertisement of PRIM wristwatches
  • 1969 – the wristwatch company in Nove Mesto nad Metuji, Czechoslovakia, changed its name to ELTON
  • 1982 – PRIM Quartz battery-wristwatch production was launched
  • 1993 – the ELTON company privatized
  • 2009 – the complete manufacture of mechanical movements was renewed at Nove Mesto nad Metuji
  • 2016 – the Elton hodinářská company becomes a proud member of the CZECHOSLOVAK GROUP holding

Contact Us

ELTON hodinářská, a.s.

Náchodská 2105

549 01 Nové Město nad Metují

© 2005-2018, ELTON hodinářská, a.s. - České hodinky PRIM

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