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
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
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.