Stephan Obst sells all his possessions and moves into his home cellar, where he filed, designed, and assembled after his regular working day. At the end of 2008, the first watches and test runs had been developed. Much material was ‘dumped’ and only a few were successful. Nevertheless, his will was strong and a still unique watch brand from Thuringia was born.
The first watch is ready for the market and was immediately introduced in world renowned blogs and forums and hotly discussed! For some, it was love at first sight, others just smiled; but not for long, as after only a few weeks, the entire series was sold out. We are still receiving enquiries to supply the VDB I. Although collectors are offering huge sums, there is definitely no repeat run!
The next step – the design for the VDB II is finished and the first prototypes are ready.
VDB is rolling!
The first series watch, the VDB 2011, was offered to world watch fans in a limited edition of 200 pieces. It, too, was sold out in only 8 months and, as a result of this success, the tradition of an annual series watch was set into being.
It was also in this year that the first well-known people decided to order their individually made VDBs. Among them were: The ex-soccer player Effenberg and the European boxing champion Helenius, who was so taken that he invited the entire VDB team to his title defense in Helsinki. The watch’s fame soon spread throughout boxing circles and VDB was also decided upon by the Olympic and world heavy weight champion Alexander Povetkin.
The second series watch, the VDB 2012, was produced in a limited edition of only 130 pieces and sold out extremely quickly.
The first innovations also appeared, whereby VDB developed and patented its own crown protection mechanism. There was a rush of enquiries from large watchmaking companies, which were interested in our new innovation. Despite very inviting offers, VDB stood fast and said, “No!”. Instead, the Erfurt watchmaker decided on its own traditions and built the entirely new mechanism into only 6 of the VDB IIs.
The international media became very active! Large publications such as Playboy and Focus took up the story of the Erfurter watchmaker. They reported exclusively, editorially and extensively in their articles about VDB, which resulted in the first crash of the VDB website! It wasn’t to be the last.
A further milestone for 2012 was the making of the first Damascus steel watch.
Naturally, there was the third series watch, the VDB 2013.
In addition, VDB developed its first chronograph in bronze, which was limited to only 30 pieces, and it sold out immediately. Dealers in the US became aware of the brand VDB.
The VDB website crashed for the second time, due to the German nationwide television coverage.
It was during this year that VDB strengthened its exclusivity. In the middle of 2013, the VDB Mystery Project came into being. Only a very sketchy description was made available, which included information about the workings and the limited number of 30. Within 27 hours, all had been bindingly ordered. Delivery took place in December of that year.
2013 also saw the development of the first VDB titanium and full-carbon models, and the team concentrated entirely on its craftsmanship. The result was a black workshop due to constant filing of the various parts. Again there was a true innovation: The mechanical alarm function, which is activated via the crown – totally unknown in the industry!
There were also watch tests carried out under extreme conditions. Hugh Neff wore a mechanical VDB 2012 during the toughest husky sled race and it survived all its strains and trials. Neff came in second, and the VDB watch recorded exactly to the second!
This year saw the fourth series watch produced, and at the same time, a second international VDB dealer in New York.
2014 was marked with a special challenge: The project ‘World record in the depths’. The extremely robust VDB P1070 defied the laboratory tests equivalent to the water pressure of the deep Mariana Trench (a depth of nearly 11km), which were carried out in co-operation with the Frauenhofer Institute in Ilmenau, Thuringia. VDB built more prototypes of this record-breaking watch. As a result, we received a certificate stating a new world record: Waterproof to a pressure of 1200 Bar!
Again, one of our innovations made the headlines: The robust VDB KAITEN model contained, for the very first time, the new NCM technology. This watch can only be set using the bezel (lunette) and has no crown.
VDB is yet again ahead of its competitors!
VDB is rocking into 2016 and has decisively made it into the hall of fame! At the same time, not one but two of the top groups have declared their love for the Erfurt watches, and are now wearing the precious Thuringian models in front of thousands of their fans. No less than the wild members of the group Kiss, who don’t miss a single opportunity to proudly wear their VDB watches. Even better, Till Lindemann from Germany’s leading band Rammstein agrees and said ‘I want one too!’ and now wears his Erfurt watch.
2015 was definitely a year of superlatives and records!
The extremely robust Model P1070, from the VDB workshop, was successfully tested under deep-sea conditions of the Mariana Trench of the Pacific Ocean. It passed all tests under laboratory conditions, and remained undamaged and precise down to the second – something which no watch had ever achieved! In 2016, it will actually be taken on location down to the depths of 11,000 metres. The Guinness Book of Records is now waiting!