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Hans Osterman was a watchmaker and father of Jon Osterman.


Hans Osterman worked as a watchmaker in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1936, his wife abandoned him and their son, Jon, for an SS officer. Because of their Jewish heritage, Hans feared for him and his son's well-being and so they fled to Cartwithen Castle in Gwynedd, Wales for safety while they awaited passage to the United States.[1]

While Hans repaired a watch to pass the time, he sends Jon to get him bread. Jon wanders off into a bedroom and hears people coming. The boy hides in a wardrobe and watches as a man and women come in and have sex. Jon drops an apple and the man hears it, and comes over and finds the boy in the wardrobe. However, Jon runs off before they can catch him. Later, Hans and Jon are eating at the dinner table when they are approached by the Lord and Lady of the manor. Hans thanks them for opening their home to them and has Jon introduce himself. The man asks to speak to Jon in private, and the couple take him to the chapel.[1]

Hans Osterman with his son, Jon.

Following their stay at Cartwithen Castle, Hans and Jon find passage to New York City. They make residence in the borough of Brooklyn where Hans established his own business, Osterman Fine Watches. Hoping that his son would follow into his footsteps, Hans trained his son in the art of repairing watches.[2][1]

On August 7, 1945, Hans reads the news of the Hiroshima bombing while Jon studies clock cogs before school. Realizing the sheer power of atomic science, he throws his old pocket watch out of a window and pushes his son towards becoming a nuclear physicist rather than a watchmaker.[3]

In 1959, Hans receives a telegram from the United States military informing him of Jon's accidental disintegration. Following Jon's reemergence as the superpowered being Doctor Manhattan he never corrects their mistake, and Hans spent the next decade until his death believing that his son had truly died. In 1969, Hans died alone in a hospital bed. Following his death, Jon received the news of his passing.[3]