Security is part of our DNA
More than 100 years of securing what matters most
25 November 1920 marks the birth of BURG-WÄCHTER. Under the name F. Buhl & Co. the company was founded by Alfred Lüling and his uncle Ferdinand Buhl in Volmarstein. The company sold padlocks from Burg, before starting its own production.
In 1950, the company was renamed from F. Buhl & Co. to BURG-WÄCHTER. New products are introduced to the market, for example a shackleless lock and armoured deadbolts. Both met customer needs of the time.
BURG-WÄCHTER succeeds in manufacturing high-quality products at fair prices in the difficult period after the Second World War. In 1954 production of cylinder locks begins and these provide additional security for mortice locks.
The 1960s were characterised by new products. In addition to cylinder padlocks (1962), cash boxes are launched as an innovation in 1966. These innovations fit in perfectly with the requirements of people at the time, who were able to save money and keep it safe, as well as their savings books and other documents.
In 1964 BURG-WÄCHTER built a new production facility in Valbert, Sauerland. The location is still the company's largest production site in Germany today.
The trend towards increased security at home and in the business sector continues to strengthen. In 1971 BURG-WÄCHTER adds the development and production of wall and freestanding safes to its product range.
In 1975 letter boxes are added, offering high quality and large selection of styles & colours, the range becomes a resounding success. Initially, the letter boxes are made of aluminium or sheet steel. In 1982, the first models made of high-quality plastic are produced.
BURG-WÄCHTER has been equipping safes with the "SecuTronic" electronic combination lock since 1984. This allows safes to be opened conveniently using a numerical code. There is no longer any need to worry about a lost key.
At the same time, the safe program is being further expanded. Demand from companies and private individuals for larger and heavier models was growing. 1988 saw the launch of the Karat series of high-quality safes, which quickly became very popular.
The TSE (electronics door lock) division, which later also includes the secuENTRY series, is created. The door locks offer more convenience thanks to modern electronics. You can no longer lose or misplace a key as the door to the home or office, as they can now be opened conveniently by code or fingerprint. In the course of German reunification, a distribution centre was opened in Bitterfeld early 1990. Later, Wismar is added as a production location. In 1995 BURG-WÄCHTER moves into new company headquarters (photo) and the new production facility. The company remains loyal to its headquarters in Wetter-Volmarstein.
Since 2000, BURG-WÄCHTER's product range has been expanded to include modern technologies such as video surveillance (2012) and smart home (2018).
From 2010 life becomes more digital and networked. With BURGprotect™, BURG-WÄCHTER launched a clever smart home alarm system. It warns of dangers caused by burglary as well as fire and water damage. Furthermore, the recordings of the BURGcam video cameras can be viewed via app on the smartphone.<
100 years of BURG-WÄCHTER
What does the BURG-WÄCHTER anniversary year 2020 and the future hold?
Many exciting products and applications that make lives a little safer and more comfortable. Since 1920 to 2020, and for the next 100 years.
from Patrick Depuhl
BURG-WÄCHTER - a story of "small" and "big" values
101 years ago the great war was not long over and the consequences can be seen and felt everywhere. 40 countries and almost 70 million soldiers faced each other. The end is a catastrophe and a redemption in one.
As if that were not enough, a virus strikes, the mother of all pandemics. It will later be named The Spanish flu, which sweeps across the world in 3 waves and leaves another 50 million dead.
The world is restless. Full of turmoil and uncertainty: bloodbath in front of the Reichstag. Kapppusch and Ruhraufstand with 50,000 gunmen.
At the same time, art reawakens, blues is recorded on vinyl for the first time, and the first jazz disc is released in Germany. Karl May is filmed (silently) and Zorro appears on the big screen.
At Volmarstein castle ruin Alfred Lüling decides to open up a new era with a "tool of the future" - a lever action screwdriver. The castle sits in the Westphalian region, long known for its skills in lock making, dating back to 1750. In 1890, BURG launch its first hand-made padlock with Friedrich Wilhelm, but by 1920 Alfred Lüling creates his own company and launches BURG-WÄCHTER, which roughly translates to “Castle Guard”.
With the castle in sight and mind, Alfred finally decides to focus on the padlock as a showpiece. In 1922, it can be purchased for incredible prices ranging from 146.20 marks to 675.20. But admittedly as a result of inflation, it rang more in the ear than it rang in the till. In the years that followed, the company grew not only in production, but also in sales.
In the 30s sales are temporarily stopped, but the company quickly develops further. Slowly the next generation comes into play: Alfred. Adalbert. Friedhelm. By the end of 1960, the company had about 100 employees, and when there was a need, the office staff helped out on the milling machines.
Despite the newness of the 60s, colourful advertising images for brass locks and a new lock headquarters in Meinerzhagen-Valbert, there are dark moments. First Alfred dies in 1960, then Alfred Junior only 39 years old, in 1964. These moments remind us only certain treasured items can be protected - but life itself, lies in other hands.
After 50 years safes are developed, initially slightly clunky with a dial two-speed lock that offers an impressive 17,000,000 locking combinations.
My first Burg-Wächter product was a small blue cash box. The colourful and stylish design which has stood the test of time. Burg-Wächter mailboxes is where the developers excelled with a vast choice of modern designs, styles and colours from the beautifully simple to the more contemporary styled models. Mailboxes with swivelling signal flag, these are contemporary examples of, let's call it, "everyday art". - At the sight of many a mailbox pattern and design of bygone days, one wonders: How did they do that? - And the other wonders: Why? Why did they do that?
1984 sees a new generation of Lülings: Harald. Dietmar. Reinhard. It's hard to believe that this was over 37 years ago - that is until you see the hairstyles. Then you realise at first glance that those were different times!
With reunification in 1990, the company is immediately on the road again throughout Germany with security for its values and Wurtstbrotbüffet in Bitterfeld - and soon manufacturing in Wismar. Growth then follows into the international markets with Romania, China, France and the United Kingdom.
The next generation of Lülings' appears around the same time with Christopher, Gerrit and Lennart working side by side with the previous generation. Similar to when the company was founded in 1920, a pandemic grips the world, just in time for the 100 year company anniversary in 2020. The work continues, but the celebrations will have to wait a bit.
100 years in business has evolved in a changing world. The future is becoming increasingly international with electronic and digital technology using fingerprints, transponders and smartwatches. The question that needs to be asked again and again is: What can the past tell us in order to shape the future of security.
The world is not perfect and this is why locks and security exist.
In the kingdom of heaven, there is only one key. Peter gets it from Jesus with the words: "To you I will give the key that unlocks the new reality of God." (Bible translation: The Book - Matthew 16:19)
Indeed the treasures worthy of protection are not always visible, such as a wealth of ideas, knowledge and imagination.
The key to a good life is being open: Being open-minded.
There is a lot to be thankful for, gratitude to life, to the people around us and also gratitude to the other person who holds the keys of our life in their hands.
As a family business in its fourth generation we feel firmly committed to our Christian values and share our knowledge and experience from generation to generation to ensure the future is safe and secure.