160 years young: GEZE celebrates its anniversary
A lot has happened since our company was founded in 1863. Come with us on a journey through time: from ski bindings to digital technical building system networking, from major awards to our social commitment – discover our history for yourself!
Crest of the Vöster family
1901: Viktor Gretsch
The locksmith Viktor Gretsch becomes the third member of the team. With him, the Hinderer brothers establish „Gretsch & Co. GmbH“. The product range is continuously expanded. In addition to fittings for tramcars and railway carriages, the ideas factory celebrates lasting successes with the Augusta fanlight opener, the linear ball bearing guides Perkeo and Apoll and the floor spring STOP, in particular.
1898: Oskar and Hugo Hinderer
The two energetic pioneers of the emerging industrial sector, Oskar and Hugo Hinderer, take over the factory of their uncle, Friedrich Carl Bauer. Inventiveness and business acumen are combined. They strive for a utilisation of the company‘s capacity that is independent of the seasons: in the summer, the first version of our ski bindings is produced; in the winter, it is hardware.
1911: Reinhold Vöster
The mechanical engineer Reinhold Vöster - grandson of Georg Friedrich Vöster - founds the company „Vöster & Müller“ in Feuerbach. The product range of Vereinigte Baubeschlägfabrik Gretsch & Co. GmbH is extended by door closers and hold-open systems for doors and windows.
Establishment of a factory in Vienna
Vöster & Müller, Feuerbach
The company moves into the building of Vöster & Müller in Feuerbach. At the same time, the building is expanded.
On course for success
Irrespective of the global economic crisis, „Gretsch & Co.“ products are still on course for success. The refined linear ball bearing guide Perkeo opens up transportation companies as a market. In the buses and trams of the European metropolises, in ships and even in Zeppelins, transport fittings are now indispensable.
The first Apprentice Department is established with state-of-the-art machinery.
In the spirit of optimism of the 50s, the stage is set for growth. Production figures soar. An additional plant is established. With the support of his son Walter, also a graduate in engineering, Reinhold Vöster can concentrate on new developments and advancements again. The lifting door fitting Huba comes onto the market and is a successful model.
1970: Additional production site
Foundation of an additional production site. Business is going well, so well that space has to be created for production. In Boxberg-Schweigern near Würzburg, Ziegelei- und Apparatebau GmbH is up for sale with its buildings and land. A branch is set up here for the production of door closers and the Perkeo sliding door fitting.
Reinhold Vöster dies at the age of 84. Before his death, he passes on his life‘s work to his granddaughter Brigitte Vöster, who becomes the sole shareholder. She starts a process of growth which is characterised by new technologies and internationalisation to this day. GEZE experiences above average increases in turnover and income.
1980: Logo „G.C.“ becomes GEZE
A brand name becomes the company name. The logo „G.C.“ on the packing cases of „Gretsch & Co.“ – used in speech for years – provides the new name. Thus, „Vereinigte Baubeschlagfabriken Gretsch & Co. GmbH“ officially becomes „GEZE GmbH“. Since the 1980s, the product policy has been focussed on solutions for doors and windows.
Augusta opens fanlights
Augusta, the fanlight opener for opening a high window, is new in around 1901. The operation of Augusta with a drawstring makes easy operation possible even in tight spaces. A horizontal casement weighing up to 50 kg can be lifted out of its frame without any effort with Augusta as a "single cord system".
Perkeo - in the range to this day
The linear ball bearing guide Perkeo is characterised by its tiny dimensions and can stand up to heavy door leaves. Perkeo has been in the product range since 1901. The linear ball bearing guide gains a global reputation from 1928 when it takes over buses, trams, ships and even Zeppelin airships. It has continued to be developed to this day and is used as a complete unit on single and double leaf sliding door systems, whenever durable, extremely resilient and precise guides are required, e.g. in industrial systems or in vehicle construction.
"Fax" fanlight opener
The company relocates to the aspiring industrial location of Feuerbach.
Advertisement for "Perkeo" sliding door fitting in trams
Victor Gretsch leaves the company. Two companies exist with an identical production programme: the Hinderer brothers merge the two companies Friedrich Carl Bauer and Gretsch & Co. GmbH. The result is „Vereinigte Baubeschlägfabrik Gretsch & Co. GmbH“.
Kandahar - successful binding
The innovative Kandahar cable binding becomes a best-seller in the 1930s. It guarantees the safe guidance of the ski. It is particularly suitable for downhill skiing, as Kandahar affects a very high degree of heel pull and is adjustable. Using hooks, the cable tension can be adapted for the respective skiing discipline.
Advertisement for "Perkeo" sliding door fitting in trams
Georg Amann, Sales Manager, with Reinhold Vöster (left) with a "Huba" prototype.
The GC logo is used for the first time and leads to the current company name GEZE in 1980.
Christel Cranz and Franz Pfnür win gold medals in the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the ski binding Kandahar. Kandahar becomes the binding of choice on all ski slopes.
Lifting and tilting with HUBA
In the booming housing construction of the 1950s and '60s, it is not just in Germany that almost every balcony, patio door and sash window is opened or closed with the lifting fitting HUBA. Its particular benefit is complete air-tightness, combined with a ventilation function as a result of the door or window being bottom-hung. HUBA is easy to operate, as only a lever has to be used. The sales of HUBA are sometimes measured in tonnes, rather than numbers of items - that is how successful the product is.
1960: GEZE Olymp
At the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley in California, everyone is talking about GEZE ski bindings. The speed skier Heidi Biebl wins the gold medal with GEZE Olymp.
In the 1950s, the winter sports products experience a boom. GEZE Olymp, the first toe release safety binding developed by Walter Vöster, is presented. He plays a decisive role in the strived for further development of the company, which makes a fundamental rationalisation and expansion of the production facilities necessary.
Apprentice workshop and new gate in Leonberg
"Topstar" safety control
The production facilities in Feuerbach can no longer stand up to the demand and the rapidly changing times in the long run. Sufficient space for putting new ideas into practice can be found in Leonberg. A new factory is built there between 1959 and 1963, according to the latest considerations of rational production.
"Open sesame" or TSA 10
The first automatic floor spring TSA 100 for swing doors is a technological quantum leap that rings in the era of automatic door opening in the 1960s. Whilst the action mechanism of door closers was hitherto based solely on the hydraulic principle, the new floor spring TSA 100 is operated by an electric motor. The motor and the drives are housed together in a cement box in the floor. The door now opens automatically with the help of a floor contact mat.
1990: Automatic doors
In the middle of the 1990s, it is really possible to do business with automatic doors. Automatic sliding, swing and revolving doors have been part of the product range since then.
The GEZE SecuLogic emergency exit system
In the middle of the 1980s, GEZE launches a complete innovation from the field of safety technology onto the market. With the new emergency exit system, GEZE satisfies the constantly growing requirement for safety and is once again one of the technological pioneers on the market. To this day, the emergency exit system is being developed into a comprehensive system solution, with the GEZE door control units as the "brain".
1983: In order to equip for the future
In order to equip the company for the future, Brigitte Vöster-Alber abandons the popular ski product line. A difficult decision - but GEZE can now concentrate fully on modern door closing systems. The export business is expanded further.
„Gretsch & Co.“ equips all the buildings of the Olympic Village in Munich with the lifting door fitting Huba, which has achieved a market share of up to 95 per cent by now.
40 years of continuity
The Chief Executive Officer, Brigitte Vöster-Alber, celebrates her 40th jubilee with the company. With the expansion of its logistics and storage capacity, GEZE is responding to the excellent order situation and its growth worldwide. A subsidiary is established in Hungary.
GEZE System TS 5000
The overhead door closer TS 5000 with guide rail sets standards in technical perfection. The closing force can be infinitely adjusted. The computer-calculated curved form of the pinion gear, the heat resistant closing speed and back check that can be adjusted from the front and the hydraulic latching action guarantee flexibility and the highest technical standards at the end of the 1980s.
2002: GEZE Service
GEZE Service shines with new lustre: due to continuous growth, GEZE Service GmbH occupies a newly constructed building on the company's premises.
The „integrated all-glass system“ GEZE IGG is introduced.
1997: GEZE Slimdrive SL
A milestone of GEZE product design: with the Slimdrive SL, a sliding door drive with a drive height of only seven centimetres is presented for the first time.
With a subsidiary in the Chinese port of Tianjin as a sales and production site, GEZE is reacting to the ever growing demand in the Asian market and strengthening its competitive position. Today, almost 450 employees work there very successfully.
New technology centre
Official opening of the new technology centre. Innovative products and systems are developed in this ideas factory.
The subsidiary GEZE Austria is established in Salzburg.
The subsidiary GEZE Sonderkonstruktionen is established in Boxberg-Schweigern. Sophisticated sliding and revolving doors and all-glass solutions are created here.
GEZE Service GmbH
The subsidiary GEZE Service GmbH is established. Today, there are around 120 employees conducting training courses, installation and maintenance work.
GEZE GmbH is certified according to the quality management standard ISO 9001.
2002: Top 100
GEZE is granted the TOP 100 award and is one of the 100 outstanding medium-sized companies in Germany.
After ten years of direct involvement in China, the subsidiary in Tianjin celebrates 10 successful years in business. In addition, the production site is extended by the business segment special constructions.
GEZE is continuously growing and is now also represented in France, Great Britain, China, Poland, Italy, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, Iberia and Middle East.
TOP Employer award
It is through intelligent new products, in particular, that GEZE is able to maintain its position as one of the world's leading providers of systems for door, window and safety technology. This requires highly qualified and dedicated specialists. This is why GEZE supports its employees through a human resources management system that is continuously being scrutinised and optimised. GEZE has received a number of awards for this, including a Top Employer award in Germany in 2008 and 2011.
GEZE establishes a subsidiary in India as one of the most important markets of the future. Dominant market positions are achieved with refined product lines, including design glass fittings, integrated all-glass systems and a new guide rail technology.
Vetroslide is awarded the "red dot" seal of approval for premium design quality by an expert panel in the Architecture and Interior Design product category of the "product design" discipline of the competition.
Order of Merit
The Chief Executive Officer, Brigitte Vöster-Alber, receives the Order of Merit for her particular dedication as an entrepreneur and for her outstanding social and cultural service.
GEZE develops and creates innovative product solutions for the building technology. Due to the high quality standards, GEZE products garanty comfort and safety and contribute to worldwide innovative building concepts.
GEZE intensifies its sales and service activities in Eastern Europe. In Zrenjanin in Serbia, an additional production site goes into operation.
Smoke and heat extraction
You are particularly interested in fire prevention and solutions in the area of smoke and heat extraction systems (RWA)? Then we hope you enjoy the demonstration of the functioning of the GEZE product solutions in our smoke and heat extraction film.
Reddot design award 2009
The Vetroslide is awarded the "red dot" seal of approval for premium design quality by an expert panel in the Architecture and Interior Design product category of the "product design" discipline of the competition.
Award "TOP 100"
GEZE is granted the TOP 100 award again and is one of the 100 outstanding medium-sized companies in Germany.
GEZE distribution centre
The company expands into an ultramodern distribution centre in Leonberg.
2012: GEZE Worldwide
GEZE extends its local presence throughout the world by establishing two new subsidiaries in Turkey and Russia.
GEZE is one of the world‘s market leaders and is represented in 110 countries in the world with 2500 employees, 30 subsidiaries and a comprehensive sales and service network.
GEZE TS 5000 ECline
The door closer GEZE TS 5000 ECline with guide rail has been awarded with the grade „good“.
Swing door drive GEZE ECturn
GEZE products satisfy the criteria of „barrier-free use“ and „universal design“: the swing door drive GEZE ECturn is granted an award by the German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
GEZE remains loyal to its headquarters in Leonberg. Due to increasing numbers of employees, it expands into a new administration building and a new facility management building.
GEZE products satisfy DGNB and LEED criteria
Sustainability is value-enhancing. Due to an increasing scarcity of resources and increasing energy costs, sustainable building and the energy-efficient operation of buildings are becoming a substantial requirement. GEZE products have a positive impact on an LEED or DGNB building certification.
Environmental aspects are taken into consideration consistently. The improvement of the ecology of the products, of the production processes and facilities is a permanent task. GEZE's environmental management was successfully certified in accordance with the globally valid standard DIN EN ISO 14001. Our own environmental protection officer constantly provides new solutions for reducing energy consumption and dealing with limited resources responsibly.
As a system provider, GEZE produces products and system solutions from one source that combine individual requirements in one system and open and close doors and windows in a coordinated manner.
2022: GEZE Studio Leonberg
The GEZE Studio in Leonberg is being completed - and is already in use. As part of a shift towards digitisation, it will now be used to produce the company's own videos, record interviews and hold live streams.
The Slimchain chain drive
Slimchain is the star of the new chain drive generation, which is introduced in 2012. The strengths of the all-rounder are its wide range of applications, its "slim" design, intelligent control and networking options. With its modern control technology, the Slimchain can also be optimally tailored to different requirements in the case of smoke and heat extraction and for building ventilation.
In collaboration with the child welfare organization Plan International, GEZE provides 150 sponsorships for children all over the world. As of our 160th anniversary, we now have 160 active sponsorships.
GEZE is investing in the Leonberg production site and building a 6,500 square metre warehouse. 5,000 square metres of the space will be used for production, while 1,500 square metres will be used for offices and common areas.
2017: Cutting-edge investment
With its new development centre in Leonberg, GEZE is paving the way to an innovative future. The four-story building has offices, a creative area and meeting spaces, making it the perfect place to expand the company's portfolio of products with forward-thinking system solutions.
2018: South Korea
GEZE is establishing another subsidiary near South Korea's capital of Seoul. This 28th branch will now allow customers on the South Korean peninsula to benefit from our expertise in door, window and safety technology.
Brigitte Vöster-Alber has led the company as its Chief Executive Officer for 50 years. She took over leadership of the company in 1968, at just 24 years old. Since then, she has continuously and successfully expanded the company's corporate strategy, its product portfolio and foreign business.
2018: South Korea
A new GEZE website is going live! After the website goes online, services and information will be even more accessible for customers. The website also includes the new corporate identity and new corporate design.
2021: New logo in Leonberg
The new logo now also decorates the company's building at its headquarters in Leonberg. The logo, which uses white lettering on a GEZE blue backdrop, is visible from far away, and is another step towards implementing our brand experience.
Brigitte Vöster-Alber receives the State Business Medal for her business and social contributions to the state of Baden-Württemberg.
The Powerturn swing door drive, our most powerful swing door drive to date, is launched. The Powerturn safely opens and closes single-leaf doors up to 600kg. Thanks to the smart swing function, it also allows for barrier-free use of the door. It impresses installation companies and building planners with its easy installation and low height of just 7cm.
Now, the GEZE ActiveStop delivers even better door control. The door draw-in damper has impressed multiple juries and won prizes like the German Innovation Award.
2019: ECdrive T2
Thanks to its insulating glazing and thermally separated profiles, the new ECdrive T2 sliding door drive makes an efficient contribution to thermal insulation in entrance areas.
2023: New products
GEZE is welcoming three new products to its portfolio in 2022: The Revo.PRIME revolving door, the TS 5000 SoftClose door closer, and the F 1200+ window drive are coming onto the market, and winning major prizes like the German Design Award, the Red Dot Award, and the German Innovation Award.
We thank you for 160 years of trust
Continue to accompany us on the path to a sustainable future with the goal of creating livable buildings. With commitment and passion.
Extract of our product awards & honours
With our innovative and impressive products, comprehensive system solutions and holistic services, we always pursue a single goal: Making liveable buildings possible. Numerous awards and prizes have confirmed to us in recent years that we are on the right path. See for yourself.
- 2016 – Top 100: GEZE was named one of the top 100 innovators once again in 2016, and is being honoured for its systematic innovation management.
- 2017 – Industry Award + Iconic Award: With its advanced solution to optimize measurement, test and automation technology, GEZE is one of the best in the production technology and mechanical engineering category, and is being awarded the INDUSTRY PRIZE 2017 by the jury. The unique combination valve machine reduces the use of resources and allows for more economical and more sustainable production.
- 2018 – Industry Award Sustainable Manufacturing Processes: The INDUSTRY PRIZE jury is recognizing the company's efforts towards sustainability once again in 2018: By eliminating lubricants in the production of overhead door closer housings, GEZE is improving sustainable, efficient and economic conditions worldwide.
- 2021 – Architects Darling Award: Architects Darling Award: GEZE is receiving coveted silver and bronze prizes in the areas of “Safety technology and access control systems” and “Automatic doors”.
- 2022 – Red Dot Design Award and German Design Award: Two of Germany’s most prestigious design awards go to the new Revo.PRIME revolving door
- 2023 – Top 100: For the tenth time, GEZE is one of the top 100 innovators in the German mid-sized business landscape. The award is one of the most prestigious in the sector.
As a family business, we recognise the importance of family-friendly working conditions and a sound work-life balance. Working together in a spirit of mutual respect and on an equal footing are particularly important to us. This is the only way we can remain sustainable and successful for the future. Our efforts have paid off: GEZE has already received several awards as an attractive employer and training enterprise.
- 2019 – Awards Employer attractiveness: GEZE stands out as an attractive employer, and is being awarded the Top Job seal, the Top Employer seal, the Trendence seal for a “fair trainee program”, as well as the Architects Design Award.
- 2020 – Top Innovator, Top Employer, Fair Training Award: GEZE impresses once again as an employer and innovator: In 2020, the company is once again one of the top 100 innovators, and receives the “Top Employer” and “Fair Training” seals.
- 2021 – Award Fair Training+ Trainee Programme: Once again, GEZE is being honoured for its apprenticeship and trainee program with the Trendence seals “Fair apprenticeship” and “Fair trainee programme”
We take responsibility
We want to take on responsibility: for our region, for people and for society as a whole. That is why we work in a variety of areas: From sponsoring events to funding social projects – we want to work for people in need of help.Download Sustainability Report (PDF | 3.25 MB)
Shaping the future
Working together for a better future
Experienced, committed, and openly sustainable: Together, we are working to actively shape the future of building automation. The goal: to create liveable and sustainable buildings.
#160Yearsyoung: GEZE is celebrating – On social media, too
We are celebrating – in many different ways: These include employee campaigns, social involvement, and company highlights like the opening of our new show room. You can follow the events and campaigns taking place during the anniversary year on our Social Wall. There, we compile posts and images from social media under the hashtag #160Yearsyoung.