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What made you want to become a master locksmith?

My father was a locksmith at Mercedes-Benz and he also did a lot of locksmith work at home. He let me help out as a child and I got the “locksmith bug.” The master certification was only a logical consequence then, as I wanted to receive further qualifications in the theoretical and practical areas. I can bring both to my work at Döttling. On the one hand, I am involved in the construction of our safes. On the other hand, I also take on welding work and help with the final assembly.

 

What fascinates you most about working with luxury safes? 

The high level of precision that goes into the work here! For example, people might say that a safe already looks great, but then we discover tiny flaws, so we work meticulously to improve it, until it is really one hundred percent perfect – that’s the kind of thing that really fascinates me.

 

Which project, or which safe, are you particularly proud of? 

The Fortress is my favorite safe. The upper lock is mechanical and the lower is electronic. So it’s actually two safes in one. And then it also has the humidor drawer – which makes it extremely beautiful for me. I also enjoy working on it. For example, adjusting the locking mechanism, so that it runs cleanly and doesn’t drag. Sometimes, it takes a while before it works smoothly and you no longer hear a sound. But when everything is right, one tends to feel truly proud.

What made you want to become a safe painter?

I was always talented when it came to handcrafts. I was also very interested in shaping things, making them more beautiful. This is only possible to a limited extent as an electrician or car mechanic, for example. That is why I chose to become a painter. Here I can use my manual skills and be creative.

 

What fascinates you most about working with luxury safes?

Before I came to Döttling, I was an automotive painter for classic cars. This was already handwork at a very high level, and there was no room for errors. But the work at Döttling tops even this. Here, everything needs to be 100% perfect. Our high-gloss finishes are so even and brilliant that you could use them as a shaving mirror. A grand piano is a snap in comparison. Transforming antique safes into the state they had when they were first made – I find this brilliant. Of course, it takes time. And we are given plenty of that here at Döttling.

 

Which project, or which safe, are you particularly proud of?

The Legends No. 180! I still dream about that safe today. As many as 16 to 20 clear lacquer coatings alone were used on the safe. That was 98% handcraft. In the end, I worked for over three months on this antique luxury safe and it had a little surprise in store for me nearly every day. But the moment when the Legends No. 180 was finally finished was indescribably beautiful. 

Where did you get the inspiration to specialize in antique safes?

I have always been interested in traditional craftsmanship. It was only a matter of time that I would concentrate on this direction professionally as well. Every time I get involved with a historical safe, its history and the traditional craft techniques used, it is almost like going back in time. Sometimes, you can even find old coins or newspaper articles inside the safes. That’s really exciting. What’s more, it simply excites me to safeguard these witnesses of ancient craftsmanship and combine them with state-of-the-art security technology.

 

What fascinates you most about working with luxury safes?

The term “mass production” doesn’t apply here. Every safe leaving our manufactory is unique. It is tailored to the wishes of our clients, right down to the smallest detail. What’s nice at Döttling is that we are allowed the time to bring out each of these details in a flawless manner and also in the best possible quality.

 

Which project, or which safe, are you particularly proud of?

The first one that springs to mind is the Legends No. 332. The Morosini brothers built this safe in Milan in 1872 for King Victor Emmanuel II. He had used it to safeguard the love letters of his mistress. The powerful boltwork was a real challenge for me, and it took three months before it was running immaculately again.

Currently, I am working on an antique wooden safe – that is, a wooden corpus reinforced with metal. This was pretty much the first safe design that ever existed. The keys for this outstanding piece had been lost over time. That is why I had to fabricate them to perfectly fit the historical locking mechanism while making sure the boltwork runs smoothly again. A tricky task, but one that has turned out successfully.

Fast and secure – this also applies to our new Quick ’n’ Safe when it comes to installation in the existing decor: thanks to its compact size, it can be easily integrated into wardrobes, chests, desks, or other pieces of furniture.

The body of the Quick ’n’ Safe is covered in the finest calfskin. As for the doors, calfskin has also been used – here it is quilted – with up to 57 different colors available for the leather and seams. Either harmoniously color-coordinated combinations or exciting contrast variations can be realized. The electronic locking system is centrally positioned on the surface of the door and can be locked and opened in next to no time using a four-digit code.

High-quality Alcantara has been used inside the Quick ’n’ Safe. There is enough room here for up to six watch winders. Alternatively, weapons can also be safely stored. Upon request, we can also integrate a USB port for charging cell phones or laptops.

 

Quick ’n’ Safe

The new humidor may seem familiar to some enthusiasts of the finest in locksmith craft. And quite rightly so, because a similar model is already integrated into the safes of our series “The Fortress”. After numerous customer requests, we are now offering a tabletop version. And, of course, it also has a number of features that are unrivaled.

This begins with the fact that the humidor can be opened by simply pulling out a drawer, whereas other humidors usually have a flap-hinged mechanism. The interior is made of original Spanish cedar and is atmospherically showcased by LED spotlights. The heart of every humidor is, of course, the humidifier for the precious cigars inside – incidentally, these were provided by PATORO for our photo shoot. In the case of our new tabletop humidor, a CIGARSPA product has been perfectly integrated into the drawer. Its performance can be monitored at any time with the help of a hygrometer, barometer, and thermometer made of brushed stainless steel.

And because your individual desires are our first concern at Döttling, the interior of this unique object is naturally also configurable as a wonderful storage box for watches.

Naturally, the noblesse of the interior must be matched by the exterior. For this reason, we chose to cover the humidor in high-quality calfskin. However, numerous other surfaces, including wood or a high-gloss varnish, are possible upon request.


Tabletop Humidor

Quite apart from what has become our legendary quality of craftsmanship and integrated, state-of-the-art technology, there is another feature that makes our luxury safes truly unique – the sheer endless selection of materials and designs. Your creativity can be virtually limitless, which today’s main actor amply demonstrates: a Bel-Air safe with a body that we have covered with genuine, natural cowhide. The staggered arrangement of the various pieces of hide in relation to one another causes the light to break in a myriad of subtle ways, producing a particularly glossy, facetted effect. The fittings, created in a special bright gold in a very pale yellow, harmonize perfectly with the cowhide.

When it comes to the exteriors of our luxury safes, there are virtually no limits placed on your individual desires. Not only does the implemented material make all the difference, but also the processing technology. This happens to be the case with our latest specimen from the Pauline series. At the customer’s request, laser technology was used to cut numerous tiny openings in the leather which, when viewed together, create a complex floral pattern. In order to show the contrast even better, we lined the leather with dark fabric. The fittings are plated in 24-karat gold and add luster to the body of the safe. A special armored plating and an alarm system connection including silent alert function ensure VdS class 3 security. In this way, our latest work not only scores point in terms of aesthetics, but also in terms of security.

 

One thing is true for all the safes in the new Opus series: the body of the safe can be created in every imaginable style, from antique to modern. Despite any differences in design, all the safes share one characteristic feature. At first, an observer cannot perceive a high-tech, high-security vault, but instead – as in the case of the Opus 1, with its high-gloss finish in grand piano quality and gilded decorative elements – an antique armoire in the historicist style. All distinguishing marks that indicate a safe have been cleverly hidden – for instance, the specially developed door mechanism, which completely conceals the hinges. This even applies to the console of the electronic high-security lock, which is integrated behind a tiny secret flap in one of the decorative elements.

 

Once the owner opens the heavy doors either by means of a finger scan or by entering the security code, one’s gaze is drawn to the interior, magnificently outfitted in poplar burl veneer and Alcantara. Here, 40 precision watch winders, 12 drawers and two extendable tables offer enough room for up to 250 valuable watches and precious jewelry. And since the luxury safe corresponds to VdS class 4, these valuables are always protected against unauthorized access. Twelve gilded bolts made of specially hardened steel lock the doors when closed like a fortress. Unlike normal safes, a multi-shell ​​construction guarantees a resistance that is up to six times higher. And naturally, the Opus 1 can also be connected to an alarm system. The built-in seismic microphone records even the smallest vibrations and then immediately triggers an alarm.

Luxury safes by Döttling protect what you hold most dear in a uniquely prestigious way. In addition to watches, jewelry, and important documents, our safes can also be highly stylish, secure abodes for valuable weapons collections.

As its name already implies, Döttling’s FocusLine concentrates on the essentials: maximum security at an affordable price. The basic model fulfills VdS/EN Class N security requirements, with VdS/EN Class 4 also being possible upon request. In addition, the FocusLine offers certified, 60-P Class S fire protection. This means that documents inside the safe are preserved for one hour at an ambient temperature of 1,090 degrees Celsius. The lock is equipped with an emergency opening function, meaning that in the event of a technical defect – e.g. due to fire or attempted burglary – the safe can still be opened with the high-security key. This eliminates the need for a costly emergency opening.

Our new modular system comes into play inside the FocusLine. The safe can be equipped with individual modular boxes to store documents, jewelry, or watches. For instance, one of these modular boxes can accommodate four watch winders by the renowned Swiss manufacturer SwissKubiK.

In addition to all of these inner values, here are some details regarding the exterior: The body of the safe is lined with Alcantara, a material that many will be familiar with from high-quality automotive engineering. The keypad for code entry and the handle are chrome-plated in the basic version, but can also be upgraded for an additional price, for example with gold or ruthenium plating.

Has your focus been drawn to our new FocusLine? Then we cordially invite you to design your own. Among other options, you can select three safe sizes, a variety of interior and exterior colors, and, of course, the safe’s centerpiece: module boxes in various designs. And if you have any questions beforehand, Markus Döttling will be happy to personally assist you.

 

Focus Line

A first glance at our newest luxury safe The Gallery reveals: Its design with high-gloss nickel fittings and sides covered in the finest calfskin is closely aligned to The Bel-Air safe range, reflecting the timelessly elegant appearance of overseas travel cases from the Roaring Twenties. With one major difference. We’ve designed the door in such a way that we could integrate a bulletproof, 30-mm-thick armored glass window, which allows a clear view of the treasures inside, even when closed. This safe is a real tour de force from our technicians, as the bolt work had to be mounted within a very confined space around the glass without even remotely compromising security. Another technical highlight that specifically reflects Döttling’s attention to detail: The bulletproof glass window can be switched from transparent to opaque by remote control.

The interior of The Gallery, lined with the finest Alcantara leather, features 24 precision watch winders – protected by a Döttling fingerprint high-security lock – which can optionally be equipped with innovative Touch & Move technology. There are also four drawers with black-stained Japanese Tamo Ash veneers, an extendable table, and four secret compartments. Seventeen infinitely dimmable LED spotlights impressively stage the treasures inside.

The Gallery will celebrate its world premiere on December 2 at the grand opening of our new sales partner – nomen est omen – De Gallery in Miami.

Demonstrating the greatest artisanship using the smallest space is quite an unusual challenge, and is, therefore, ideal for us at Döttling. We faced this challenge and created an entirely new series of miniature safes called the Chest.

In spite of their extremely compact design, Döttling’s new miniature safes naturally have a fully functional locking mechanism with a double-bit key safe lock. When the carefully handcrafted mechanism is opened, it reveals another unique feature of the Chest series: While the design is inspired by antique Italian and French masterworks of the late eighteenth century, the inside is fitted with the latest state-of-the-art technology. Döttling precision watch winders, for example, which can, on request, be equipped with our new, electronically controlled Touch & Move technology. The discreet illumination system always puts the treasures housed inside in the perfect light. An additional high-tech feature is the optional, higher priced, integrated alarm system: When the Chest is removed from its position a deafening alarm sounds to discourage thieves. Should the safe ever be burgled, however, it is equipped with a GPS device that always enables its precise location to be tracked.


As with all of the products leaving our manufactory, the finest materials are used to create the Chest, for example braided, patinated steel bands combined with ornamental upholstery nails on the body of the safe and an interior of the finest nubuck calfskin.

Initially, Döttling will produce two versions of the Chest: the single-door Chest 8 offers space for eight watches on four precision watch winders and four cushions. The two-door Chest 15 stores ten watches on precision watch winders and five on cushions. 

After a long and eventful journey through two centuries of European cultural history, a highly unusual masterpiece of Italian blacksmith art has passed through the gates of the Döttling manufactory and has been lovingly restored after 19 months of delicate work.

The safe, built in 1872 by the famous Morosini brothers in Milan, was apparently commissioned by Victor Emmanuel II, who reigned from 1861 to 1878 over the Kingdom of Italy. Its royal origin is visible on both inner doors of the safe, on which the fittings of origin are encased with ornate brass ornaments culminating at the top with the royal coat of arms of the House of Savoy with the crown.

The safe is not only special for its exceptionally opulent design and a bolt mechanism that was unusually heavy and highly decorative for the time, but above all for its fabled use.

According to the descendants of contemporary witnesses, the safe was exclusively used by the king to store love letters and memorabilia to his decades-long mistress and later second wife, Rosa Vercellana. In 1847, when she was just 14 years old, Rosa Vercellana stepped into the life of the then 24-year-old king, who was already married to Queen Adelaide of Austria. The extramarital relationship, which was quite savory due to Rosa’s young age and lowly origins (she was the daughter of a gamekeeper), went on for 22 years, during which Victor Emmanuel had eight children with the queen. It was only made legally official in 1869 with a church wedding. By this time, the king had already been excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
The relationship with Rosa Vercellana, commonly known as “La Bela Rosin,” lasted until the end of Victor Emmanuel’s life and resulted in two more children.

The fact that the Morosini brothers’ safe was forged for the amorous correspondence of the king with his long-time mistress and later wife is indicated by two wonderful details on the inner doors that were engraved as a secret code. Hidden under the royal crown and lettering, both inner door fittings are engraved with a rose, surrounded by a heart-shaped crest which opens upwards. “Rosa,” the first name of the king’s great love, means “rose” in Italian.

It can be assumed that the two Medusa-like medals on the outside of the safe depict the king’s mistress in her younger years. In any case, access to the interior of the safe is granted through one of the two. Only after activating a secret mechanism does one of the two medals move to the side, exposing the keyhole behind it.

How the safe found its way to Southern Germany, where Döttling scouts secured it in the aftermath of a house demolition, is unfortunately not known. What is certain is that after many months of detailed work, the Döttling manufactory has been able to restore it to the freshly radiant testimonial of a great royal love.

The exciting symbiosis of the finest traditional craftsmanship and innovative, state-of-the-art technology has always made safes from the Döttling manufactory very special. The most recent example: the new Döttling high-security fingerprint lock in combination with our safes “The Bel-Air” and “Pauline.”

Despite its small size, Döttling’s “Pauline” is a giant in terms of aesthetics and quality. “The Bel-Air” is an impressively crafted, high-end masterpiece whose design is based on the overseas travel trunks of the “upper crust” from around 1900. Both can now be optionally outfitted with new biometric access technology: simply place your finger on the scanner, and the locking mechanism will open as if by magic. This provides a clear advantage in terms of individuality and convenience. To ensure even more security, both safes can also be connected to the home alarm system. They both also have a “silent alarm” function: during a robbery, an emergency call will be made to the police or security service without the perpetrators being aware of it. Incidentally, upon request we would also be happy to equip other safes with the new fingerprint technology. After all, one thing applies to every product from the Döttling manufactory: unlimited individuality is guaranteed!

For many years, our collector rooms have been imposing and secure spaces for exquisite private collections. We take care of every detail: from basic planning and design to execution. All of this to create an elegant place for your most precious belongings, whether jewelry, watches, art, or weapons.

We recently worked on a very special project: the world’s smallest collector room with a floor space of a mere 97 square feet. It was designed as a fully fortified room with Döttling high-security access: an aramid fiber-filled security door with a steel core and multiple locks. The walls and ceiling are additionally furnished with contact microphones that reliably register even the minutest vibrations. Another security feature is the fact that the collector room is not recognizable as such because we paneled the security door as a precise reproduction of the existing wall paneling. Access is gained by means of a fingerprint reader that is also hidden in the vicinity of the collector room.

When the door opens, the indirect lighting integrated in the coffered ceiling fades in slowly to set the interior of the collector room in the proper light. Within, there is a section for the lady of the house, in which valuable jewelry can be fittingly stored and presented, and a section for the gentleman equipped with 24 precision watch winders. Drawers and cleverly integrated secret compartments offer additional space for more than 500 watches as well as all kinds of precious items.

The newest and smallest collector room also demonstrates that Döttling stands for exceptionality, both when it comes to unique quality and incomparable design, and when it comes to understanding our clients’ high demands and extraordinary needs.

At Döttling, uniquely crafted safes are never the exception. And they are all absolutely uncompromising in design and technology. The latest proof of this is the Döttling Fusion, a sensational combination of a state-of-the-art Döttling Liberty and an antique safe from our Legends series. The latter was manufactured in Marseille, France, in 1820. Its notable nail heads are reflected in the Liberty by rivets attached to a cover of the finest calfskin, creating a harmonious optical bridge spanning nearly two centuries.

The front of the Liberty can also be adorned on request with a skull set with Swarovski gems concealing the keypad for code entry. Inside, the Legend houses six watch winders and one drawer. The Döttling Liberty houses eight watch winders and three drawers. And, last but not least, our extravagant combination of modernity and history is also extraordinary when it comes to security: it can be connected to your house alarm system and fulfills the highest security requirements.

A world debut shines while hidden!
Innovation needs inspiration. In the case of our manufactory’s latest product, this was our customers’ desire for a safe drawer that could be integrated in a completely individual way, as opposed to a free-standing safe – filling a need left unanswered by the market to date.

With the Integrior, we have developed an extremely stylish yet secure solution. The Integrior can be easily integrated into any type of furniture, such as a desk, cabinet, or dresser. We only require the dimensions of the recess and will then manufacture the safe drawer with a matching outer frame. Naturally, we individually adapt the drawer front to its environment, so it is not apparent at first glance that a safe is hidden behind it. To this end, a large number of high-quality wood varieties and a selection of the finest leathers are available to choose from.

For maximum security, we use a specially armored front plate that is made of the same material as Döttling’s Guardian: an in-house development of several components, which can even withstand drills, saws, and sledgehammers. Opening the Integrior is only possible with a high-security transponder chip. So the valuables inside – e.g. watches, which can be placed, if desired, on integrated watch winders – are optimally protected. In addition, the safe drawer can be equipped with a vibration alarm. This registers even the smallest movement before immediately sending a signal to the house alarm system.

Of course, we not only offer the Integrior as an individual solution. We would be happy to integrate our new safe drawer into one of our safes, if desired. This would indeed constitute a very special kind of security summit.

Some great ideas come overnight and others come from close customer contacts and precise observation. We noticed that although there are many luxury safes, not a single one is constructed to store firearms, ammunition, watches, jewelry and cigars. That is now changing with the latest version of our Liberty safe.

Its design is based on that of The Bel-Air safe by Döttling. For example, we use the classic hand-sewn leather bands and traditional saddler’s nails and high-gloss nickel-plated protective corners. But the new Liberty gun safe has a special exterior highlight: It is upholstered in the finest black cowhide, lending it a very discreet appearance that is both rustic and elegant.
The interior of the Liberty gun safe is lined with precious calfskin. It provides seemly accommodation for ammunition, watches, and jewelry in six drawers. A humidor made of Spanish cedar ensures that your finest cigars are optimally stored inside the safe. In addition, the Liberty gun safe is equipped with six automatic Döttling precision watch winders. Last but not least, LED spotlights inside put your valuables in just the right light.

The latest Liberty safe is available both in a one-door and a two-door version. It is custom-manufactured according to our customers’ desired dimensions and available in the certified security levels VdS/EN 1 to VdS/EN 5. This – combined with an optional connection to a home alarm system – makes it insurable for nearly one million dollars.

The Liberty gun safe will first be presented in April exclusively at the premises of our new sales partner – another first – the interior designer Bernadette Schäffler in Dallas, Texas.

We are delighted to present you with yet another piece of good and very exclusive news: the Döttling product catalogue. With over 200 pages, you can delve into the fascinating world of the finest locksmith art and learn everything about our products and their completely endless optional features. To order, please send an e-mail directly to Andreas K. Schlittenhardt at a.schlittenhardtdoettling com.