Curious History

Curious History
Bahri Tufina

Bahri Tufina’s Watchmaking Legacy

The Tufina family’s legacy is one defined by their resolute preservation of watchmaking heritage, a commitment that endured even through subsequent periods of turmoil. From enduring dictatorship to cultivating an educational institution, and from traversing continents to revitalizing their craft, the Tufina family’s journey exemplifies an unyielding pursuit of excellence and the eternal power of resilience. In this article we will delve in more detail into the story of Bahri Tufina, one of the most prominent members of the Tufina dynasty.

Master Watchmaker Bahri Tufina at the government operated watch-factory.

Harsh times during the dictatorship

Bahri Tufina‘s narrative is one that exemplifies resilience and tenacity in the face of difficulties. Their lives began to change in 1948 as a result of the harsh reign of a totalitarian regime. The Law of Extraordinary Confiscations resulted in the arrest and torture of these expert watchmakers for a full year. Their resilience in the face of harsh persecution and torture is demonstrated by the atrocities they endured.

Throughout their trials their homes, businesses, tools, timepieces and precious jewelry were ruthlessly seized. The communists showed no mercy. They confiscated all of the family’s last remaining Napoleon gold coins — amounting to a sum of at least 9000 coins. The weight of these hardships was immense as all of the Tufina’s properties were forcefully taken away from them. However, even during these times their family held onto their watchmaking heritage fiercely determined to preserve their craft against all odds.

The first made-in-Albania timepiece, “Sahat me zile Tirana” by master watchmaker Bahri Tufina.

Preserving through Perseverance

After being released from imprisonment and overcoming many hardships Bahri Tufina displayed unwavering dedication to his family’s time honored craft. During the 1960s he devoted himself to teaching watchmaking at the Tirana Factory, an institution where most of his students were young women. This commitment lasted for years during which he shared his extensive knowledge with numerous students. One of his accomplished pupils was his own daughter, Elira whom he passed on his expertise to. A significant achievement during this period was the creation of Albania’s only “made in Albania” timepiece in 1973 – a table clock known as the “Tirana Alarm Clock.”

Bahri Tufina and his students at the watchmaking school.

The establishment of the watchmaking school envisioned and led by Bahri Tufina played a role in shaping Albania’s watchmaking industry. As an institution it attracted students from all over the country who received guidance and mentorship under Bahri Tufinas attentive supervision. Even though it was a public entity governed by the state, it was Bahri Tufina’s passion and knowledge that truly inspired and educated future watchmakers in the nation. An exceptional aspect of this school was its commitment to empowering female students in an industry traditionally dominated by men, providing them with an opportunity to excel in what had been an exclusive domain.

Enis Tufina, former football player, founder of Tufina Watches.

A Journey Across Continents Towards Renewal

Today the name Tufina is synonymous with the creation of mechanical and automatic timepieces meticulously handcrafted in Munich, Germany. It was Enis Tufina, grandson of Bahri Tufina himself who revitalized the standing family tradition. Prior to venturing into watchmaking Enis Tufina had gained recognition as a football player for KF Tirana.

Escaping from the dictatorial regime in Albania during the 1990s brought him to Germany, where he continued his football journey by playing for teams like VfL 93 Hamburg, VfL Pinneberg and VfR Neumünster. Unfortunately a serious knee injury forced him to say goodbye to his pursuits.

After facing this setback Enis Tufina found himself at a crossroads longing to revive his family’s legacy. In 2004 he embarked on an adventure, by introducing Tufinas representative German brands – Theorema and Pionier. With unwavering dedication he guided these brands towards excellence crafting watches that initially gained recognition in the renowned city of Pforzheim and are now crafted in Oberhaching, near Munich. These designed timepieces now reach horology enthusiasts worldwide through a strong online retail presence.


The story of Bahri Tufina and his enduring legacy showcases the strength of resilience and the unbeatable determination of individuals devoted to their craft. From enduring the horrors of dictatorship and persecution to rising above adversity the journey of the Tufina family paints a picture of triumph amidst challenges.

Their unwavering devotion to safeguarding the craft of watchmaking, their strong emphasis on education and their tireless pursuit of perfection have left an enduring impact on both the watchmaking industry and the pages of history. As Tufina Watches continues to radiate as a symbol of accuracy and artistry it does so, with the legacy of Bahri Tufina deeply ingrained in its core.

Share this:

Previous article
The study of sleep disorders
Next article
The Viking Age: Exploring the Seafaring Warriors of the North
About the author