A Steinhart by any Other Name - Now we are Debaufre Watches

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Steinhart Watches was threatened with a law suit to change its name after 2 years in business. The name was changed from Steinhart watches to Debaufre watches. This is the story behind the enforced name-change, going from Steinhart Watches to Debaufre Watches.

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A Steinhart by any Other Name - Now we are Debaufre Watches. Perhaps Shakespeare said it best so many years ago when he penned the famous line in Romeo and Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

The meaning, of course, behind that infamous line is simply this: That which matters the most is not what something is called, but rather what it actually is. It's all about substance, in other words. Such is the position we have taken here at Steinhart watches as we transition to our new name, Debaufre.

For those unfamiliar with the genesis behind this change, this truly is the story of a modern day David and Goliath, the biblical tale about a boy who defeated a giant; only this time it seems that the giant has come out on top. That is, until you examine the situation a bit closer.

The best place to start is from the beginning. The name Steinhart first surfaced through Simon Steinhart, a gentleman who managed a well established watch company in the early 1900s. In 2005, Steinhart watches established its headquarters in Florida, in the southeastern United States, and in short order developed a solid and loyal customer base. Recently, Steinhart watches was approached by another, much larger, watch company that insisted that our name and perhaps even our logo, too closely resembled theirs (we won't get into which company it was).

The other, much larger, watch company threatened to sue if we did not change our name and our logo. Surprised? Indeed we were. But then again, we do live in litigious society, and lawsuits are "the way of the west" these days, it would seem. We must say, however, that we were also flattered. Here were are, a small independent company that, without even trying, made a much larger company feel threatened. Imagine that. We must be doing something right.

In any case, with the threat of litigation placed before us, we had to make a decision. Should we fight to keep our name, or should we take the high road? After consulting lawyers and other experts, we felt we would prevail in a court of law; however we were advised that the costs in time, treasure and human resources, might prove significant. Armed with that knowledge, the choice was simple, really: rather than spend our time defending a frivolous lawsuit, we decided to stick to what we do best - that is to continue building high-quality, affordable watches. After all, there are only so many hours in a day, and who wants to spend those precious hours in a courtroom when you can instead spend them creating beautiful watches? Not us.

Good things happen to good people
Call it kismet, fate or any other superlative you may wish to attach to it, but ours is a story of hope and renewal. In the process of exploring our options, we uncovered a treasure that has been hidden for many years, and we claimed that treasure on behalf of our loyal customers. Due to the enforced name change, Steinhart watches will take on the name Debaufre, a name rich in history and one we are proud to bring back to life.

The origins of the Debaufre name can be traced back to the year 1704, when in conjunction with Nicholas Facio, Jacob and Peter Debaufre were granted a patent for the application of jewels to the pivot holes of watches and clocks which revolutionized the art of watch-making, a practice so far ahead of its time that it still is used today in most mechanical watches.

Peter Debaufre invented and produced the first frictional wrist watch escapement, featuring two saw-tooth escape wheels of the same count mounted on a pinion, their teeth staggered and driven by a contrate wheel. Peter Debaufre also devised a "dead-beat" or "club-footed" verge escapement, which was adopted with some alterations by several other watchmakers. Peter Debaufre was admitted into the Clockmakers' Company in 1689.

As we transition to Debaufre we at Steinhart LLC wish to assure our faithful customers that the only thing we are changing is our name. The characteristics you have come to expect from the Steinhart watch company - quality, affordability and outstanding customer service - will never change. We will offer the same line of quality timepieces in the models you have come to love; and we will also develop a series of new watches that meet our exacting standards - and yours - as a way of introducing the world to the new Debaufre.

Our Debaufre collection will consist of: Ocean-1; GMT Ocean-1; Aircraft-8; two-tone Ocean-1; two-tone GMT Ocean-1; Triton; Le Mans; Nav-B; XXL Pilot; Airforce; and many more. So to all of you who have been loyal members of the Steinhart family, we roll out the bright red welcome mat and invite you to enter the house of Debaufre. And for those who are not familiar with the name that has become synonymous with quality, we have a place at the table reserved for you as well. Welcome friends, old and new, to the house of Debaufre. We think you'll like what you see.

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AlldaRon Knewitz
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