Albert Graetz (1831-1901) invents the «Petromax» petrol lamp and founded the company Ehrich & Graetz OHG in 1866 with Emil Ehrich for the purpose of manufacturing lamps, burners, stoves and heating furnaces for liquid and gaseous fuels. Ehrich dies in 1887 and the Graetz sons Max (1861-1936) and Adolf (1860-1909) take over the business. Max Graetz turns out to be an imaginative designer and Adolf Graetz continues to drive the company as a businessman. This is followed by electric heating and cooking appliances and carburetors for vehicles. In 1899, the company starts production in the newly constructed building complex on Elsenstrasse in Berlin-Treptow. The workforce is 1000 people and "Graetzor" is the brand name. At the end of the 1920s, Graetz produces components for radio receivers and loudspeakers.

From 1925 Graetz begins to distribute radios of Elektro-Watt GmbH (Wattophon), Dresden. Because of liquidity problems "Watt" 1928 in the dependence of Ehrich & Graetz and may only manufacture for them. Soon after, the company moves to the Berlin Graetz site and replaces the name "Wattophon" with "Elektrowatt". Ehrich & Graetz take over the shares of the shareholders and Fritz Graetz, one of the four sons of Max, the management of Elektro-Watt GmbH. Only occasionally do devices come under the name Graetz in catalogs, e.g. Prohaska 1929  and as No. 7874 at Radio-Web 1929. In the fall of 1933, Ehrich & Graetz renamed themselves Graetz-Radio AG. Not only as a model, but also as a brand name in catalogs, the name Graetzor appears again from 1933 to 1938.

In 1938, under the leadership of the third generation, Graetz is the seventh largest production company in Germany / Austria in terms of production. In 1941, the workforce comprises about 3,500 people. By founding the Graetz Radio KG, the family can save the company as a family AG in 1941 despite lack of equity. In 1942, all entrepreneurial activities in Graetz AG can be summarized. The company produces both in Rochlitz near Dresden and in Berlin-Treptow. Both locations are located in the eastern zone after the war. Also at Graetz there is a division of companies between East and West: After the war Graetz goes west and builds new manufacturing workshops in Altena (Westphalia) under Graetz KG. The company can produce equipment from August 1947 (Standard Super). Possibly it builds already in 1946 the model 65W or takes over it from star radio Rochlitz. Graetz applies module technology early on and to a great extent.

In 1961 Standard Elektrik Lorenz AG (SEL, ITT subsidiary) took over the majority shares of the company with the production plants in Altena, Bochum and Dortmund-Dostfeld and some small ones. According to , there are a total of 13 production locations. Until 1977, devices from Graetz are regularly found in radio catalogs. However, until 1984, there are sporadic individual productions, such as the remote-controlled component system HMC400 . In late 1986, ITT New York sold the entertainment sector Europe, and thus SEL, to the French group Alcatel (CGE) . On 1.1.88, the Finnish Nokia Group takes over the Audio and Video division of SEL and thus also the Schaub-Lorenz and Graetz brands. Nokia founds the Nokia-Graetz GmbH, whereby it can use the name ITT Nokia. The Graetz brand is reserved for retailers. The Greatz factory in Bochum is considered to be the largest of its kind in 1988, producing e.g. 1.2 million color television receivers or kits per year and 100,000 video recorders. The picture tubes come from the Esslingen plant, the speakers from Straubing. The production of television sets with kinescope was discontinued in 2000. Most recently, mobile phones were built at Nokia's Bochum plant. In the summer of 2008, the plant was closed and production relocated to Romania.