About Günter Watchmakers
Günter Watchmakers is one of Newton Abbot's longest established businesses.
It was once said that the shop's success lies in it being a specialist shop, and we would totally agree, as today it becomes more difficult to find skilled craftsmen to repair both watches and clocks, and to restore antique clocks professionally.
It was in 1955 that Günther von Waskowski, Mr Gunter as he became known, moved to Newton Abbot from his home town of Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad in Russia) with his wife, Christel, to open their own business (now demolished) in Wolborough Street.
Then, in 1965 the opportunity arose to purchase premises in Union Street, which were more suited to the needs of a growing business. The shop, at its inception, was very space-age and avant-garde, having been very cleverly and well designed by Mr Gunter himself.
The shop front is very unusual, with black glazed Belgian tiles under a stainless steel window surround and with the matching handle on the front door simulating the hands of a clock. As you can see from the picture, the initial "G" incorporates a symbol of a clock dial, which also appears on all of the shop stationery.
The workshop is visible from the showroom which allows you to see the clock repairers and craftsmen at work, an idea Mr Gunter also imported from the continent.
The other extraordinary fact is that over the past 58 years, the shop has kept ledgers with handwritten records of all significant repairs undertaken, which astounds and is much appreciated by customers of both long and new standing.
Mr Gunter was a very active member of the Chamber of Trade for over 40 years, serving as Chairman in 1973, and later becoming Vice-President.
He was also a founding member, then President of the Twinning Association, instrumental in establishing initial contact with Besigheim (good wine) and then Aÿ (good champagne)!
Over the years he saw many changes in Newton Abbot, and his horological business is now the only one of its type still under the same ownership. Günther sadly passed away in December 2011, aged 90, but the business still remains in family hands with Lewis Spiller, MBHI, PGDip, an employee with over 11 years experience at the shop, as manager.
If you are interested in the history of Günter Watchmakers, then Step Back in Time to read more.