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She is still the highlight of the historic fleet of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung: the Junkers Ju 52 – best known by her most popular nickname "Tante Ju" ("Aunt Ju"). On the occasion of the 60th birthday of the airline, Lufthansa had brought the plane back to its old home in 1984 – after a long odyssey around the world. Since then, the aged lady has by no means had the dreary existence of a merely museum-like object of exhibition. On the contrary, she is still regularly flying on sightseeing and cross-country flights over the clouds of Germany and every year puts several thousand aviation enthusiasts in delight.
Now, under the name of Iron Annie, a watch brand is also trying to keep alive the memory of this true icon of aviation: with incomparably beautifully designed, highly nostalgic aviator and pilot's watches. In fact, "Iron Annie" – by the way, the second nickname of the Ju 52, which she received in the seventies in her more than a decade of "stopover" in the USA from her owner at that time, an American historic aeroplane fan – is actually only some kind of advertising label chosen with a fine sense for the still enormous cult potential of the plane. Behind the new, well-sounding name of the watch label hides an "old acquaintance": the manufacturer of the well-known brand Junkers, a company with a long-standing tradition.
Junkers, now famous for its high-quality and extremely tasteful aviator watches "Made in Germany", was originally active as a company in the aircraft building and was founded by the German engineer Hugo Junkers. The latter is rightly considered one of the great pioneers in the history of aviation. Not least, the Iron Annie owes her origin to the design and aircraft construction plans of Junkers.
Every single Iron Annie wristwatch is therefore a recognition of the historical achievements of Hugo Junkers, a unique homage to the great times of aviation, and, in particular, a reminiscence-rich tribute to the flying Iron Annie. With extreme passion for detail, the watches evoke the early era of flying and aircraft construction. The design of the relief-like dials, for example, refers to the classic corrugated iron structure of the plane, or the totalizers of the chronographs pick up the historic look of the cockpit instruments with their authentic design.
The names of the individual wristwatch models alone are full of references to the turbulent history of the "Iron Lady of the Skies". A product line is called "Amazonas" for example. From 1957 to 1963, the Ju 52 actually was based in Ecuador, carrying the nickname "Amazonas", and was predominantly in use on transport flights for a local airline in the Amazon region.
Another series with noble men's chronographs is as simply as meaningfully called "D-AQUI" – with reference to the "Junkers Ju 52/3m D-AQUI", which was built in the Junkers main factory in Dessau and in April 1936 started flying for Lufthansa.
Now to all of you who love the true "Made in Germany" art of watchmaking and at the same time are really into the history of aviation: have fun with Iron Annie!