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What is made in Germany

“Made in Germany” is one of the most recognised and valued labels worldwide. People associate it with quality and reliability. An image that has been long in development. Interestingly, these days German-made goods are especially valued in China and USA. Considering that most of the things around us are made in Asia, how many German-made products could you name? If not many, this guide might surprise you.


Pens

Unique German pens Classic German pen German made pen
Germany makes variety of pens to match any budget and needs.

Lamy and Online are producing large quantities of main consumer-orientated products. Quality and design are, of course innovative, but not many of their pens have reached cult following.

Pelikan, Porche Design are appreciated by people who like to showcase their status. A luxury brand that stands for German made quality is one of the ways to do it. As a present I recommend Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue (pictured) or Green Pelikan Souvenir – these are widely recognised classics.

Kaweco Classic Sport, on the other hand, stands out because of its unique signature shape. It is also appreciated for its reliability known since WW1 when it was a pen of choice for many German soldiers.

For technical pens seek Rohrer & Klingner for calligraphy pens or colourful inks. And Rotring for exceptional Rapidograph or Isograph pens used by architects and alike.

Fascinated by pens? See our European Pens – Guide


Digital Cameras and Lenses

German made digital camera iPhone lens lenses Sports camera German lenses White security camera
Out of more than 20 camera makers just a few decades ago Leica is one of the few that is thriving to this day. It is very much respected for its technical capabilities, quality and even design. You cannot miss this simplistic yet statement-making shape. It’s lenses also stand out because they are much smaller than the equivalents from other makers. Do note though, some of Leica lenses were also made in Canada and Portugal – these will not re-sell at the same price as the German ones.

Other camera makers seem to concentrate on more niche products. Mobotix is making very high tech security cameras with night and thermal vision, among other features. While Rollei is specialising in making action cameras for outdoors.

A number of companies are making lenses for consumer and industrial cameras. Zeiss and Voigtlander’s names are recognised by most photographers for their exceptional quality lenses that are in demand worldwide. It is interesting to see that Zeiss even developed a lens for an iPhone (pictured).

White Goods

Kettle made in Germany German made hoover
We all heard German names producing white goods: Siemens, Miele, Bosch among others. Some of us own it, some of us heard about some washing machine that is serving a family for 17 years or more.

Those companies are still going strong but these days with globalisation it is not as straightforward as it seems. The same brand can now make different models in different countries. Hence keen an eye on the labels.

Having said that, there is a less known company – Ritter, which is fully committed to making all of their meat cutters, coffee machines, toasters and eco-friendly kettles in Germany.

From my personal experience, I was recently surprised by newly acquired Miele. It is exceptionally quiet and has HEPA filters as a standard. A feature appreciated by families with small kids and anyone with a sensitive respiratory system.


Headphones and Loudspeakers

German insert headphones German speakers
German electronic producers are famous worldwide, but let’s start with a newcomer that is making a lot of noise – Bragi.

Bragi high-end wireless headphones tap into new technologies to deliver exceptional sound quality, waterproof structure, built-in player, tap controls and long battery life. For an additional price, Bragi team takes precise measurements and impressions of your ears to deliver a 3D custom printed The Dash Pro.

Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic are the largest headphone manufacturers in Germany. But, in electronics “made in Germany” frequently is replaced with “designed in Germany” on cheaper products.

GermanMAESTRO stands out from the rest due to their “made in Germany” statement applicable to all of their headphones.

While Burmester is well known for its ultra fine quality loudspeakers and amplifiers appreciated by true music buffs.


Watches

Single handed watches Watch from Germany Vintage looking watches from Germany

Just like in Switzerland, the majority of German watches are made in the specialised towns: Pforzheim and Glashütte; which are known for its watchmaking since 19th century.

While Glashütte Original and NOMOS Glashütte are high to mid-range watch brands named after the town where they are made. Privately owned Laco stands out for its unique aged design that creates a vintage look from 70 years ago.

UTS Munchen, on the other hand, assembles and tests indestructible watches for extremely challenging environments. While Schauer and A. Lange & Sohne are known for their luxury watches competing with Patek Philipe and Vacheron.

If I had to pick my personal favourite, however, it would be a German innovation in watch designs – single-handed watches. Botta, the creator of this design concept, started his own watch company Botta Designs. While MeisterSinger has followed the suite by shifting from traditional to slightly different looking single-handed watches.

To learn more interesting facts about these and other German watch brands visit our German Watch Guide.


Bicycles, Bike Accessories and Parts

Berns unusual bicycle Electric German made bike Bicycle lock from Germany German made bicycle panniers Couple on a tandem bicycle
There are two bicycle manufacturers still based in Germany. Bernds stands out for their folding bikes, tandem folding bicycles and cute looking tricycles. While Kalkhoff produces all types of bicycles, and currently they are also becoming leaders in e-bikes.

There is a much longer list of companies manufacturing bicycle accessories in Germany. Vaude makes a wide range of quality panniers and cycling clothes, ABUS makes specialised bicycle locks, Wittkop specialises in quality seats, while SON Dynamo makes a wide range of dynamos as well as dynamo bicycle lights.

For German bicycle parts, there are a few interesting companies too. Lenkr makes quite unique wooden handlebars, while Haero Carbon makes light carbon handlebars for sports bikes. Taylor Wheels has a factory in Germany producing a wide range of bicycle wheels, including custom builts on request. Bike Ahead Composites use their innovative carbon technology to produce carbon wheels, handlebars and other parts.


Knives, Razors, Axes and Scissors

German knife with Damscus blade Straight razor in gold Axe Made in Germany Rescue Tool

Germany is lucky to have a high-quality metal ore located in Solinger, a place where majority of blade (think swords, knives and even scissors) makers are based. Good quality steel allows for a longer lasting blade, less corrosion and reliability of the knife. Use of name “Solinger” is legally protected as a quality mark, hence watch out for this name when choosing your next knives set.

There are small companies like Messermeister (or knife master in English) which still makes their knives by traditional hammer forge method. Or Eickhorn, a specialist in rescue, military and police knives.

And there are big players. Known due to a volume of “blades” produced and the brand names that go back in history for hundreds of years. For example, Zwilling J. A. Henckels is almost 300 years old, DOVO Solingen is specialising in scissors, razors and pedicure tools and Wüesthof is a smaller scale pocket knife maker. While Böker makes everything that has a blade.



Feeling inspired? Looking for more stories about original things made in Europe? Discover other countries too. Here are our guides on what is made in: Sweden, Lithuania, Italy

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