Up to the toughest operating conditions

The story of the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer

The function and design of the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer was essentially co-determined by the coxswains of the sea rescuers. The coxswains are the captains of the sea rescue cruisers and boats. In wind and weather, they perform their task of helping seafarers in distress. As a watch brand with a nautical background, cooperation with the sea rescuers was a natural choice.

Founded in the year 1865

The German Maritime Search and Rescue Society (DGzRS)

For more than 150 years, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Society (DGzRS) has been ensuring safety on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The sea rescuers perform important and often dangerous work, to which many people owe their lives.


Since its foundation, the society, which is financed purely by donations, has rescued more than 85,000 people from distress at sea. The foundation was preceded by several serious shipwrecks on the North Sea coast, which led to calls for a German sea rescue organization. This initially led to the founding of regional rescue associations, which came together on
29 May 1865 in Kiel to form the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS).

Common tradition

Handing over in February 2002

Since 2002, the sea rescuers and Mühle-Glashütte have shared a tradition. In February of that year, the first S.A.R. Rescue-Timers were handed over to the DGzRS officers. The watch was developed together with them and tailored to the tough requirements at sea. The sea rescuers are usually on duty in rough seas. While their rescue cruisers and boats have always been highly seaworthy, many private watches have been damaged during operations. So in March 2001, we contacted the sea rescuers and proposed the development of a user-oriented watch that could withstand the tough conditions of use.

team work

The development of the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer

The first preliminary talks on the construction and development of the wristwatch were with Dr. Bernd Anders, the then DGzRS managing director. We then made an initial suggestion: a robust timepiece with a GMT function seemed to be appropriate for the “seafaring” purpose. After all, seafaring sounds like endless expanses and crossing time zone borders. The sea rescuers’ feedback on the first suggestion was rather subdued. They wanted the dial and functionality to be reduced to the essentials. Due to the operation close to the coast, for example, the display of a second time zone could be dispensed with.

Watchmaking know-how paired with seafaring competence ultimately resulted in a watch made for extremes: A 4 mm thick sapphire glass defies all water pressure and, above all, harder impacts. A magnifying glass inserted from the inside enlarges the date for easy reading. This was developed by Hans-Jürgen Mühle himself. Before taking over the family business in 1970, he had studied precision mechanics and optics in Jena and was thus able to calculate a distortion-free magnifying glass. This does not have to be placed on the glass from the outside, which means that it cannot be knocked off the flat sapphire glass.

The housing, designed for a pressure resistance of 100 bar, was subjected to a pressure of 250 bar as a test during the development phase. Only when the pressure was increased two and a half times did the bottom of the case give way and was dented spherically. The 4 millimeter thick sapphire glass and the watch as a whole remained waterproof.

team work
In 2002 the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer was the prelude to a series of unique Mühle watches that are used by the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service or in the German Navy. Each tool watch is developed together with the respective unit and adapted step by step to their requirements.
Hans-Jürgen Mühle
4. Generation des Familienunternehmens
Long-term test

The S.A.R. Rescue-Timer in use

During development, the main focus was on high robustness and very good readability by day and night. This is because the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer is also needed as a timer during night operations. To improve visibility at sea, the lighting in the ships is dimmed. Thanks to the good night time readability of the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer, e.g. times for mission reports can also be logged exactly then.

In terms of robustness, the solid stainless steel housing, which is pressure-resistant up to 100 bar, is particularly noteworthy. To ensure that it can withstand the tough conditions of use, we equip it with a 4 mm thick sapphire crystal. The robustness is also reflected in the movement in our particularly shock-resistant woodpecker neck fine adjustment.

Sea rescuers have been putting the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer through its paces since 2002. How serious we are about this test is best shown by a sentence from one of the supervisors: “There is one thing you as experienced seamen should not do in your rough everyday working life, however: take it easy on the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer in any way! So: put the watch through what you put yourself through!”

long-term cooperation

A partnership with a future

Over the years, a close, almost friendly partnership has developed between the sea rescuers and us. This manifests itself not only in annual donations, but also in support through specially developed special editions, the proceeds of which benefit the important work of the DGzRS. In addition, Thilo Mühle has been a full member of the DGzRS decision-making body for many years.

long-term cooperation
As a member of the decision-making body of the maritime rescue workers, it is my personal and our company's need to contribute to their work. We have been working together successfully for many years and I am always impressed that there are people who, whether voluntary or permanent, are committed to help people in distress at sea. We will continue to support their great work also in the future.
Thilo Mühle
Managing director and 5th generation of the family company
Tried and tested in difficult rescue missions
on a day-to-day basis

S.A.R. watches for nautical use

Our watches are known for their nautical virtues: high precision, reliability and best readability.
Especially our S.A.R. models prove this in daily use by sea rescuers on water and in the air.


Actual S.A.R. collection

Not only the sea rescuers of the German Maritime Search and Rescue Society are used to rough seas and bad weather conditions, but also the rescue pilots of the German Navy. So it made sense to provide the proven S.A.R. Rescue-Timer with a watch for the SAR pilots. In 2010, the S.A.R. Flieger-Chronograph went into service.

The Mühle watch par excellence

S.A.R. Rescue-Timer

The function and design of the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer was essentially co-determined by the captains of the DGzRS. This practical orientation has resulted in an exceptionally robust watch that is up to any challenge: thanks to a robust stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 100 bar and has a 4-millimeter-thick sapphire glass.

Back-up instrument

S.A.R. Flieger-Chronograph

The rescue pilots of the German Navy required a chronograph watch that not only enables them to calculate air speeds but is also built to withstand even the toughest of conditions. The S.A.R. Flieger-Chronograph was our answer to these demands.

Benefit of Sea Rescuers

S.A.R. Rescue-Timer "SK Hamburg"

Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte and the Hamburg-based family company Wempe support the sea rescuers on the North Sea and Baltic Sea with a limited special edition of the S.A.R. Rescue timer. The occasion of the special edition, limited to 150 pieces, is the construction of the new sea rescue cruiser Hamburg, whose lettering in red letters on the dial of the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer “SK Hamburg” can be found. The new Mühle watch is only available in branches of Juwelier Wempe and includes a donation of 100 euros for each watch sold for the benefit of sea rescuers.

In use for almost 20 years

Handing over of the new S.A.R. Rescue-Timer

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