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It would be an exaggeration to assert that the Münsterland, a district within Germany's North Rhine Westphalia region, is an extensive center of German watch-making comparable with Glashütte or Pforzheim. However, today there are a number of very ambitious and talented watchmakers between the North Sea and the Alps who have settled and established operations.

Such is the case for Münster, the capital of the Münsterland.

Here, Manfred Schneider has his personal studio within which he produces watches of his own design and creation and which are uniquely different from the products of other watchmakers within his country.

More by accident than design Manfred Schneider decided to become a watchmaker at a time when watch specialists concentrated on production of battery-operated quartz watches.

In the mid 1980's there was a move in demand back towards old traditions, especially those that were established before the electronic era. Manfred Schneider himself was influenced by the 'mechanical-tic' and so, following his master's examination and qualification, he opened a watch-workshop in his home town Hiltrup, near Münster. He started doing all kinds of watch repairs and soon it was recognized by the local people that in their midst they had an experienced watchmaker who could competently repair mechanical watches and clocks.

All this gave him the conviction that it would be an opportune time for him to create his own special watch designs and thence he has built his own MSC watch-making business.

The first watch, named 'MONDEGO' was produced in 1998 in a limited edition of only 50 units. The movement within this watch was the old UNITAS 6497 from the 1970's, to which Manfred Schneider gave a beautiful finish; polished, gold-plated and supplied with a tempered, blue-heated screw.

Even today the UNITAS movement still has a special place in his watch production. After the originals, more models were produced using this movement and further creations are expected in the future. Meanwhile the MSC collection has expanded to 15 exclusive models, with Swiss ETA mechanical movements, either manually-wound or automatic.

Although Manfred Schneider still performs special watch-finishing for special watch lovers his business success is underpinned by production at a fair price of good basic quality watches with imaginative but stylish designs. In doing so the name of Manfred Schneider has become recognized as a significant specialist brand which has helped to maintain Germany's watch-making reputation as a respected practitioner of the old watchmaker handicraft tradition.



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