1. In 1949 a mere eight countries on earth were able to produce wristwatches. Thanks to the PRIM brand, Czechoslovakia was one of them. In 1949, a branch of the company Chronotechna was opened in Nové Město nad Metují and this very soon began to specialise in the production of watches.
2. Chair No. 14 made by the TON company can be assembled by the most experienced employee from pre-produced components in 90 seconds. For over 150 years, people have been sitting on curved wooden chairs by TON. The highly talented Michael Thonet, originally from France, was behind this invention. Together with his sons, he settled down in Bystřice pod Hostýnem, founding his furniture-making company there in 1861.
3. Preciosa crystal chandeliers illuminated the coronation of Maria Theresa and adorn the mirror hall in Versailles and the Royal Opera in Rome. The first Czech crystal chandelier was produced by Josef Palme in 1724. Today, you can be dazzled by Preciosa chandeliers at the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong, for instance, as well as nearer to home at the new Preciosa Flagship Store in Prague.
4. Pilsner Urquell is one of the last breweries on earth to still employ coopers. Hand-made barrels help maintain the consistent taste of the beer. In October 1842, Pilsen’s Josef Groll brewed up a very different beer to those common at the time. He used a method known as bottom fermentation to brew beer made from yeast at around 10°C. He then let this mature for 30 days. Did it happen by chance or was it intentional? No one will ever know.
5. Czech Airlines are one of the oldest, still operational airlines in the world. Only Holland’s KLM (1919), Australia’s Qantas (1920) and Soviet/Russian Aeroflot (1923) are older. ČSA was founded on 6th October 1923, its first historic flight taking place on the Prague-Bratislava route on 29th October of the same year.