Even before the Dritte Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz zur listenmäßigen Erfassung der jüdischen Betriebe (Third Regulation on the Reich Citizenship Law regarding the listing of Jewish businesses) entered into force on 14 June 1938, the Vienna-based watchmaker Bartholomäus Schmid had already begun to draw up such lists. He himself stated at the Erste großdeutsche Versammlung der Uhrmacher in Wien (First Greater German Meeting of Watchmakers in Vienna) in January 1939 that the list was an attempt to solve the problem that there were no reliable complete lists in the trade or the guilds of Jewish businesses. In parallel, Schmid intervened with Walter Rafelsberger, Staatskommissar in der Privatwirtschaft (State Commissar for Private Industry) and head of the Vermögensverkehrsstelle (VVSt) (Property Transaction Office), to establish an institution responsible for business Aryanizations. Headed by Schmid and with Rafelsberger's assistance, the "Arisierungsstelle der Zunft der Uhrmacher und Juweliere und der Gilde des Uhren- und Juwelenhandels" (Aryanization Office for the Watch and Clockmakers and Jewellers Guild and the Guild of the Clock and Jewellery Trade) was established in June 1938 at Schulhof 6 in Vienna's 1st district. The watch and clockmakers were represented by Stefan Saghy and Josef Weishäupl, and the jewellers by Karl Schwab and Othmar Halder, while Franz Mauritz, later replaced by Franz Drabeki, represented the VVSt. The Gau headquarters, the Abteilung Einzelhandel der Fachgruppe 12 (Juwelen, Gold- und Silberwaren) (department for the jewellery, gold and silver retail trade in professional group 12), the district headquarters and the Wirtschaftsamt in Vienna also sent experts to influence the decisions made by the Aryanization Office. Its initial task was to decide whether a Jewish business should be Aryanized or liquidated. For that purpose it used the lists and plans drawn up by Schmid and internal audit documents on the companies' business activities. The second task was to select the Aryanizer and determine the purchase price. Aryan members of the profession were given the possibility from the end of June 1938 to apply directly for Aryanization. Officially, the Aryanization Office was only supposed to make suggestions to the VVSt, which was responsible for giving final approval for Aryanization. In practice, the suggestion was normally taken up. In January 1939 Schmid announced that the Aryanization of the sector had already been extensively completed. He stated that over one hundred Jewish businesses had been taken over by Aryans and that the remaining ones – over 540 businesses – had been liquidated. On completion of its task, the Aryanization Office stopped working in early 1939 after having existed for just a short time, but most of the businesses scheduled for liquidation or winding up were to occupy the auditing office and the Einkaufs- und Treuhandgenossenschaft (ETG) for several more years.
The Aryanization Office had become the central instance in this sector, deciding whether a business should be liquidated or Aryanized and who should be authorized to do so, and in this way exerting a strong influence on the transfer of expropriated assets. For example, in the case of the business owned by Ernst Steiner at Mariahilferstraße 62 in the 7th district, it designated the watchmaker Bartholomäus Schmid as Aryanizer, who later gave certain objects to the Technisches Museum Wien. Although they have been the object of systematic provenance research since 1998, it has so far proved impossible to determine their whereabouts. In the case of Alexander Grosz at Wipplingerstraße 22 in the 1st district, the Aryanization Office suggested liquidation. While most of the inventory was given to the ETG, the Uhrenmuseum Wien (Clock Museum Vienna) obtained seventy clocks in advance from Grosz. Following the decision by the Vienna Restitution Commission of 1 July 2003, forty of the clocks still held by the Museum were restituted to the legal successors of Alexander Grosz in 2013.