The Nikon F was a late runner, the grand-dadies of all 35mm SLR's were wmade in Dresden. 3 companies were at the forefront Exacta, followed by Zeiss and then under it's new American owner, Chales Noble, KW with the Praktiflex in 1939.
While Exacta made a system camera before WWII it was KW with the introduction of their Praktina cameras in 1952 who inroduced the first truly modern full prodessional 35mm SLR with accesories like a motor drive, 400ex back etc.This was later due to be upgraded as the flagship Pentacon Super.
If East German build quality had been better then the market today might have been very different. The first SLR available for sale with TTL metering was a Prakticamat beeting the Spotmatic into the shops by a few months.
Nikon however had built their reputation on their lenses and rangefinder cameras and the first adverts for the Nikon F in the UK are alongside the Nikon S3 and SP.