Who made the Flytimer chronograph?
History of Karl Plepla: the watch and clock maker
The Plepla Family moved from Austria to Russia in 1820 by the Congress of Vienna under the leadership of Hans Rasumusky. Karl’s father served in the Austrian Army during the occupation of Bosnia and the Balkans. In 1873, Karl attended the Imperial & Royal School for Watch and Clock making located in Karlstein, Germany.
Karl and his family moved to Budapest, Hungry in 1916 and worked there until the armistice in 1918. They returned to Salazia and started a business until 1920. In 1923, Karl immigrated to New York with only $25.00 in his pocketbook. Karl obtained his first American job with Tiffany & Company as a watchmaker and chronometer maker. Karl received his US Citizenship in 1928.
After working with the watch company Gruen, Karl began his own watch company under his own name, KARL PLEPLA (Plepla Watches* Clocks) in 1934. His retail business was located at 522 Fifth Avenue, NYC and his wholesale business was called the Superior Watch Company.
Between 1942 and 1948, Karl imported watches for the Armed Forces, working along with watch company Felca. After 1948, Karl began selling his watches in the post exchanges (along with the Jardur Import Company) and the veteran’s administration. Once the Eisenhower administration decided the watch companies couldn’t sell in the post exchanges, taking jobs away from jewelers, Karl stopped importing watches. In 1955, the watch market took a decided dip.
Many companies, such as Karl’s watch company and the Jardur Import Company, contracted their merchandise by planning various models that had the most appeal on the market. Karl designed the watches and the Switzerland offices then contracted to build them. It was a common practice of all contract factories. The contracted factories finished the watch to the piece so that the customer could afford to pay. They made several grades of watches. Karl had his contract lined up so that he was several steps ahead on construction. The watches were 100% anti-magnetic, by that he made the parts out of Varillium.
Accomplishments and Models:
Watches: Flytimer (1944), Utilitimer (1942), Dualwind (1943)
Clocks: Atmos and World Timer
Vice President: Movado
· A pocket watch from the RMS Lusitanian
Admiral Richard Byrd’s pocket watch